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May 10, 2023 (ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) yesterday inaugurated a three-day workshop for Regional Events: Learning and Training for the Horn of Africa Groundwater for Resilience Project (HoA GW4R).

The meeting is bringing together delegates in charge of water resources from Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia,representatives from The World Bank, the UNDP, and the Rift valley Institute.

The main objective of the three-day workshop is to reinforce the regional aspect of the GW4R project so that the member states achieve joint management of transboundary groundwater resources by the end of this project. The regional and international experts and practitioners will identify best practices, share experiences, and build on emerging lessons to strengthen the HoA GW4R programme’s implementation, and inform ongoing and future initiatives in the region.

The meeting was inaugurated by the State Minister for Water and Energy of Ethiopia, Dr. Abraha Adugna, in the presence of the Advisor to the Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Irrigation of Kenya, and the Director General of the Ministry of Energy and Water Resource of Somalia.

 “we can manage shared water resource effectively and in a sustainable manner only if we work together as horn community by advancing the GW4R regional learning agenda, developing institutional capacity and collaboration around sustainable Gw management and use this resource in equitable and reasonable way among the Horn communities”, Dr. Abraha Adugna said.

Speaking at the opening of the workshop,  Dr Eshete Dejen, Program Manager of the Agriculture and Environment Division – Sustainable Environment Unit, stated: “At IGAD, we understand the importance of groundwater for the region and the need to provide assistance to those who are most affected by these challenges. We remain committed to supporting the IGAD region and its people in addressing the water-related issues that they face”. “We recognize that recurring droughts and famine have become all too common in the region, and we are aware of the devastating impact that these disasters have on communities. That is why IGAD has made it a priority to work with member states to improve access to water, especially in the rural areas that are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change”, he added.

The design of resilient rural water supply systems is at the core of the Horn of Africa Groundwater for Resilience (GW4R) regional program. Operating within highly complex rural environments in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia, the GW4R program has started the identification and assessment of investment sites, with a focus on the most marginalized and vulnerable areas of the HoA: the borderlands. Exploring existing and novel approaches to designing rural water schemes, from both the supply and the demand side, is critical to ensure the sustainability of investments.

Horn of Africa (HoA) Groundwater for Resilience Project GW4R  (P174867) is financially supported by the World Bank.

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