November 23, 2023 (NAIROBI, Kenya): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) yesterday concluded a three-day learning event that brought together stakeholders from IGAD member states and lead international experts to address key challenges and opportunities for sustainable groundwater (GW) management and collaboration in the Horn of Africa (HoA).
The IGAD Regional Learning Event is part of a series of knowledge sharing and learning events organized by IGAD in the context of the regional HoA Groundwater for Resilience Programme (GW4R), which involves Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia.
It aims at increasing the region’s sustainable access and management of groundwater resources towards climate resilience promising a deeper understanding of how harnessing groundwater can pave the way for resilience in the region.
Director of the Agriculture and Environment Division of IGAD, Daher Elmi, inaugurated this three-day learning event by stating: “The HoA GW4R Programme’s overarching goal aligns with the Multiphase Programmatic Approach, emphasizing collaboration among Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, and IGAD. Trust-building lies at the heart of this collaboration, and IGAD is actively working towards this goal through initiatives such as the establishment of Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) on specific aquifers, collaborative platforms, and transparent data-sharing procedures.
Over the next three days, our discussions will span a range of crucial topics, including transboundary groundwater management, successful planning and management of groundwater contracting, community engagement, and water management models. These discussions will contribute to the development of country-specific Action Plans, providing a practical roadmap for implementing lessons learned and enhancing regional collaboration.”
The main outputs of the Learning Event are country-specific Action Plans outlining the way in which Ground water for resilience (GW4R) countries will integrate the lessons emerging from the event into the GW4R project activities, with a focus on concrete actions to accelerate the program’s implementation and to enhance regional collaboration.
The IGAD Regional Learning Event had sown the seeds of hope, and as delegates departed from Nairobi, they carried with them a vision of a Horn of Africa where communities thrive, agriculture flourishes, and resilience is a tangible reality, nurtured by the depths of sustainable groundwater management.