December 9, (NAIROBI, Kenya): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), with financial and technical support from the World Bank, officially launched the IGAD Groundwater for Resilience project.
In an event organised by the IGAD Secretariat at IGAD Climate Predictions and Applications Centre offices in Nairobi, IGAD member states and the World Bank indulged in deliberations on the roadmap to operationalise both national and regional components of the IGAD Groundwater for Resilience project.
The 6-year project aims to increase the sustainable use and management of Groundwater in the Horn of Africa through strengthening regional information, capacity, and collaboration to enhance the climate resilience of targeted communities, using a Multiphase Programmatic Approach.
Speaking at the opening session on behalf of the IGAD Executive Secretary, the Director of IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre, Dr. Guleid Artan, noted that 75% of the IGAD region comprises Arid and Semi-Arid Lands and is the most reliant on Groundwater as the largest source for the communities living on the edge of survival; hence Groundwater is a critical resource in addressing significant development challenges in the region.
“Although groundwater resources are much needed in this region, its knowledge base is limited, dispersed, disproportionally distributed in member states. Knowledge about such critical issues as geological formations, location and yielding capacity of aquifers, potential risk of developing available infrastructure as well as sufficient finance to develop the resources, and experience and professional capacity in developing groundwater resources is very limited”, he added.
The project seeks to strengthen regional groundwater institutions with increased access to improved information critical for sustainable groundwater management.
This will be enabled through:
- New policies, bylaws, regulations, guidelines, or regional agreements prepared or adapted for sustainable groundwater management and use in participating countries,
- establishment and operation of the Horn of Africa Groundwater Information System (HoA-GWIS), and
- The operationalizing of the Regional Platform for Groundwater Collaboration (PGWC) among participating countries.
The Groundwater for Resilience project launch was preceded by a two-day technical meeting of experts from the IGAD Secretariat, Member states, and World Bank to review and support the start-up and early implementation of the project.