ModULar Tools for Integrating enhanced natural treatment SOlutions in URban water CyclEs

The overall goal of MULTISOURCE project is to, together with local, national, and international stakeholders, demonstrate a variety of about Enhanced Natural Treatment Solutions (ENTS) treating a wide range of urban waters and to develop innovative tools, methods, and business models that support citywide planning and long-term operations and maintenance of nature-based solutions for water treatment, storage, and reuse in urban areas worldwide.

MULTISOURCE will allow users to identify multiple sources for local water reuse, promote increased uptake of nature-based solutions, and minimize discharge of water that has not received adequate treatment. MULTISOURCE will deliver new knowledge about ENTS and their ability to remove waterborne contaminants and provide effective risk reduction for chemical and biological hazards, as well as their capacity to be integrated into the landscape and contribute to the improvement of urban habitats. The project includes seven pilots treating a wide range of urban waters. Two individual municipalities (Girona, Spain; Oslo, Norway), two metropolitan municipalities (Lyon, France; Milan, Italy), and international partners in Brazil, Vietnam, and the USA will contribute to each of the main project activities: ENTS pilots, risk assessment, business models, technology selection, and the MULTISOURCE Planning Platform. The use of urban archetypes in the Planning Platform will enable users to quickly classify regions (in both developed or developing countries) suitable for the application of nature-based solutions for water treatment (NBSWT) and compare scenarios both with and without NBSWT. This unique approach provides the knowledge, business models, and modular tools that will enable stakeholders to conduct fit-to-purpose, large-scale planning in their local region and, in doing so, promote circularity and sustainable development in the urban water sector and overcome barriers to widespread uptake of nature based solutions for water treatment.Main aims are to:

  • demonstrate the pollutant removal and risk abatement capacities of enhanced natural treatment systems, as well as the ecosystem benefits and values they provide;
  • enable stakeholders in developed and developing countries, including local municipality and metropolitan areas government staff, to reduce pressure on existing infrastructure and freshwater resources by using MULTISOURCE tools to plan, finance, and implement NBSWT in their region;
  • accelerate the uptake of nature-based solutions in urban water management worldwide;
  • normalize social equality as an integral target of green infrastructure and smart urban development;
  • enhance cross-sectoral international collaboration among governmental staff (both practitioners and policy makers), educators, researchers, and the general public.

Duration: 06/2021 – 05/2025
Call: H2020-SC5-2018-2019-2020
Type of action: Research & Innovation Action
Total costs: € 4,999,631.25
EU contribution: € 4,999,631.25
Funded by HORIZON 2020, H2020-EU.3.5.2. – Protection of the environment, sustainable management of natural resources, water, biodiversity and ecosystems
Participating partners: 19 organizations from EU states, including FER as Slovenian partner.

More about the project



Water for a decent life

Steep population growth, fast urbanisation and climate change are the main reasons for raising demand for water in Uganda, may it be for drinking or for irrigation. In order to achieve the national strategy Uganda’s Vision 2040 a threefold increase of access to water ill be needed, which will not be attainable without efficient management of the environment and water. Due to Covid-19, the demand for clean water has increased even further, as well as issues regarding equitable access to it, which has during the pandemic worsened for women. Due to lockdowns, 51 % of poor urban population has had limited access to water, among them were also refugees from Ndejje. They are not included in national or international humanitarian programmes, which makes them one of the more vulnerable members of the Ugandan society.

As water quantities are limited, efficient management of the environment and water with nature-based solutions, which rehabilitate the environment and are often cheaper than the traditional grey infrastructure, which they support. The project ensures environmental, economic, societal and intergenerational sustainability, as well as gender equality. Its approach to tackling challenges of the refugee communities in Ndejje and Kampala is holistic and an upgrade of already ongoing projects. 

The specific goal of the project is to ensure sustainable use of water whilst protecting water and other (re)sources and mainstreaming gender into all project activities, in order to create conditions for decent life of 400 vulnerable families in Ndejje.

The project will enable access to drinking water for 400 household (2600 persons), 3 schools with 700 children, and 2 medical centres with 500 patients; increase food security of 300 households; ensure sanitation for all included households, schools and medical centres as a preventive measure to fight diseases, including Covid-19; create the environment for social entrepreneurship as part of circular economy and; increase social and economic empowerment of the local population in the context of sustainable management of water and sustainable development.

FER cooperates with refugee-led organization in Uganda Hope for Children and Women Victims of Violence (HOCW)and Slovenian company Limnos.

Duration: 05/2021 – 10/2023





More food and equality, less crises

According to the World Bank, climate change in Uganda represent a real threat to poverty eradication in Uganda. Extreme weather events are on the rise and they have a negative impact on agriculture and food security. The constant influx of refugees represents an additional increase in the population, which is in Uganda constantly on the rise, which by itself represents additional pressure on the environment and farm land. Refugees are to a large extent dependent on humanitarian assistance, but it is mainly refugees in settlements that receive such assistance. Urban refugees in Ndejje and Kampala are not beneficiaries of this kind of assistance. According to FAO, in times of humanitarian crises, lack of food security and poverty the incidence of gender based violence increases. SGBV in the first place influences women in their reproductive age, their physical and psychological wellbeing, but it also threatens their ability for economic independence, and contributes to the vicious cycle of poverty. If the mentioned issues would not be addressed, there is a serious threat of acute malnutrition, increased SGBV, higher poverty levels in Ndejje and Kampala.

FER cooperates with refugee-led organization in Uganda Hope for Children and Women Victims of Violence (HOCW). Our common goal is to increase resilience to crises and food security and water for at least 500 families (3200 persons) in Ndejje and Kampala. The project enable beneficiaries to grow local vegetables, cow, hen and fish rearing, which is a highly nutritious combination. We will also provide them with drinking water. Beneficiaries will be educated on integrated farming and will consequently increase their yields, as well as the capacity to adapt to climate change. This will redude the level of crises, which will, together with raised awareness and better medical assistance of the consequence of SGBV, reduce violence against girls and women.

Duration: 02/2020 – 10/2022





Tackling the root causes of discrimination against women in Albania

In the process of accessing the EU, Albania is passing legislature on the topic of gender equality in order to ensure a higher level of equity. Nevertheless, in its transition, the traditional and patriarchal norms are gaining in importance. This is especially present in the rural areas, such as Prrenjas in Devoll. Traditional norms limit the right to movement – for example, if high schools cannot be found in the village, this can influence the right of girls to continue with their education, which also influences their opportunities to find work. The limited right to movement on its own keeps women in the private sphere, where every second woman is a victim of gender-based violence. As keepers of the home and the family, women are in charge of water and waste management, but because of gender roles have no influence on management and decision-making about water and waste management at the communal levels. The traditional norms despite good new laws prevent progress in the field of gender equality, that is why the issue needs to be addressed at the root causes: values, norms and informal laws. In order to change them it is essential to work with youth, who are more susceptible to change. In parallel, it is necessary to promote the realisation of progressive laws and practices among decision-makers and local authorities, as the subordinate role of women has clear negative consequences for economic and social progress, as well as environmental protection.

FER cooperates with Balkan Center for Cooperation and Develoment (BCCD). The project aims at eliminating the root causes of discrimination against girls and women in Prrenjas and Devoll, due to which they do not have full access to their rights in both the private and public spheres. The norms and values are responsible for keeping the women in a subordinate position, which also negatively influences the economic and social progress of the municipalities. The project will address societal inequalities through the 4 SIGI dimensions. Through the same 4 dimensions, the reasons for discrimination against girls and women, the lack of information for women about waste management, and for better access for girls and women to safe, inclusive and green public spaces. To achieve that, youth trainers will be trained, who will then transfer their knowledge within their respective municipalities. Decision makers at local and national levels will be informed and their awareness will be raised with the aim of ensuring gender mainstreaming into new laws, as well as with the implementation of already existing ones.

Duration: 02/2020 – 10/2022




Empowerment of Women in Albania to Ensure Equal Opportunities

The project goal is to increase economic independence of women in Puka and to improve position of women in the Albanian society. The project focuses on overcoming uneven distribution of powers between men and women in Albania. 20 unemployed women in the rural municipality of Puka will be introduced and initiated into goat farming process and thus given an opportunity to become self-sufficient by providing them the conditions for, trainingson rearing, processing and marketing of products. In cooperation with a local expert on agriculture and goat farming, it has been estimated that 2 goats per woman are required for the success of the project. Women has been chosen based on the following criteria: interest, experiences, unemployment status or revenue of women and their families . The chosen women will take part in several trainings and mentorships, which will enable them to start successful rearing as well as efficient product sales. For now, women operate as a unit within the partner organization Gender Alliance for Development Centre (GADC), later on, after the development phase, they will establish a cooperative/social enterprise.

The work with young girls and boys is also intended to impact power redistribution within the society. We plan on educating 20 local leaders on gender equality in Puka and Roskovac province as well as in Tirana, providing them with tools for further empowerment of youth in their local environment so they could together tackle power imbalances between men and women. Local leaders will be young people who want to be included and are active in youth activities. Our partner organization the GDAC will ensure that local needs and circumstances are taken into account, in cooperation with Alenka Verbole who previously served as senior expert on gender equality within the OSCE. The project will empower  GDAC and its local branch, while supporting strategic functioning, networking and increased membership.




​Increased food and drinking water security among refugees and local population in Uganda despite humanitarian crises

FER cooperates with refugee-led organization in Uganda Hope for Children and Women Victims of Violence (HOCW). Our goal is to increase resilience to crisis as well as food and water security for at least 400 people in Ndejje. The project helps strengthen the resilience of the refugee and also local populations of Ndejje in Uganda (near the capital Kampala), mostly women who chronically suffer from being provided with basic nutritional needs due to ever longer periods of drought. The project enable them to grow local vegetables and hen rearing, which is a highly nutritious combination.  We will provide them with drinking water, raise their awareness on dietary requirements and preventive actions to  fight climate change and related natural disasters, while stressing the importance of women in this regard. The local agriculture organization is involved as a consultant, since it applies a very efficient agricultural approach for achieving food security in response to climate change – Climate Smart Agriculture, promoted by FAO. This approach sustainably increases the productivity of farms, adapts and strengthens resilience to climate change while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We believe this is the way to achieve sustainable food and water supply for the populations while increase resilience towards crises.



Escape and flight

FER developed an outdoor educational game in order to bring refugee stories closer to the youth of Slovenia. The project makes beneficiaries understand the realities of refugees and the reasons for their flight, which changes them from “the unknown and to be feared of” into something they can relate to and thus accept. Two approaches were used: 1) “the identifiable victim effect”, which relies on the fact that a specific person is easier to empathize with than a number, thus stimulating positive feelings towards refugees, 2) “gamification” approach, whereby game principles and elements are used in a non-game context. The 1,5 hours journey is an outdoor version of the “escape room”. The challenges that participants are facing on their journey are based on a true flight of a refugee that traveled from Afghanistan to Ljubljana in a time period of 4 months. All escape experiences end in a lively discussion with the so-called game keeper, during which the details of the game are discussed. Participants also watch short interview with Ayene, a refugee from South Sudan, that talks about the long and dangerous road from South Sudan, first to Egypt and Israel, and later to Uganda. Through the conversation, the participants are aware of the connection between their escape and the flight of a real refugee. Based on conversations with the players, short scenes from the escape game, and conversations with refugees, a video Escape and flight was created that aims at changing thinking patterns on the refugee crisis among the broader public. We’ve conducted interviews with refugees in Slovenia and Uganda to show their lives, their personal stories and their fears. The use of videos is a powerful tool to raise awareness. They entertain, educate and inspire. The combination of moving images, music, text and voice-over has the potential to transmit a lot of information and simultaneously convey and stir emotions. This is the reason we decided to choose the medium of video to bring refugees closer to people.