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25-09-2018, Kisumu (Kenya): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) this morning opened the 3rd Sio-Malaba-Malakasi (SMM) Basin Stakeholders’ Consultative Meeting between Kenyan and Ugandan water officials and other  experts drawn from  Ministries of Foreign Affairs and AG Chambers,  in Kisumu , Kenya.

The participants of the workshop are to discuss the revised Memorandum of Understanding for the joint management and development of the Sio-Malaba-Malakasi (SMM) Basin shared by the two countries and discussing in detail the Investment Framework for the same basin. Furthermore, the discussions will focus on the future steps for a sustainable legal and institutional framework for the management of
the Sio-Malaba –Malakisi (SMM) Basin. It is hoped that the two parties will agree on the modalities for implementing a roadmap for the development of the full-fledged SMM investment plan.

Further, the workshop is aimed at finalizing four prioritized Project Clusters for presentation to Development Partners on a later date.

Mr. Fred Mwango, Regional Water Expert at IGAD Water Unit in his opening remarks thanked the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the United Nation Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) for taking an active part in the process and the SDC and OES – US State Department for their support in Strengthening the Transboundary Water Cooperation and Governance Project in the IGAD Region. He further welcomed the German development agency GIZ to this important Project.  He said that IGAD was ensuring that the issues related to trans-boundary waters were well understood.  “The Kenya-Uganda Transboundary Water cooperation is exemplary”, he added.

Mr. John Owino, Nairobi-based Programme Officer-IUCN, said that this was the “last SMM basin stakeholders’ engagement workshop, mainly to finalize some of the pending actions and agree on the way forward”. “We still have an opportunity to organize one or two meetings at the regional level for the Protocol negotiation committee (most of whom are TAC members), then we will have the opportunity to share the SMM work with this group at the regional level”, he nevertheless

Ms. Chantal Demilecamps, Environmental Affairs Officer-United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), noted that the process had progressed a lot thanks to the commitment by the two parties and supporting partners. She further stated that continuity should be ensured for the process to bear fruits. “Our next step will be to focus on investment as had been requested during the first
consultative workshop”, she said.

Dr. Isaac Alukwe, Country Executive Committee Member-Water, Environment and Natural Resources, Busia County (Kenya), and Dr. Callist Tindimugaya, Commissioner of Water Resources Planning and
Regulation-Uganda and Member of IGAD Technical Advisory Committee on water, also took the floor to commit themselves to the success of the process.
Dr. Isaac Alukwe Officially opened the meeting.

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