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Soroti, Uganda, 17-11-2014: The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in collaboration with the Ugandan Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE) this morning inaugurated a five-day national training workshop on rainwater harvesting and catchment area development for Karamoja region under the leadership of Dr. Callist Tindimugaya, Commissioner Water Resources Planning and Regulation at the MWE, and Mr. Henk Gijselhart, Capacity Building Expert from the Technical Assistance  to IGAD for the implementation of the Inland Water Resources Management Programme (INWRMP), in Soroti, Uganda .

This workshop is bringing together officials from the Ugandan Ministry of Water and Environment, professionals from various Ugandan ministries working in the field of water resources management, District level political authorities and District water engineers from Karamoja-Uganda, representative of international NGOs active in water production in Karamoja-Uganda, and guest speakers from Ethiopia.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Henk Gijselhart briefed the participants about the IGAD Inland Water Resources Management Programme (INWRMP) areas of activities. “This INWRM Programme is the first programme on water within IGAD, and it is meant to assist member countries in shared water management across boundaries, but also within a country”, he said before stressing the importance of Karamoja region to IGAD. “This workshop will contribute to water security in Karamoja, Uganda”, he concluded.

Dr. Callist Tindimugaya thanked IGAD for giving professionals in water management in the Ugandan Karamoja region the opportunity to come together and to learn from each other. “During the workshop, we will come to a common understanding of water harvesting and how it contributes to water security and social development at the local level”’ he said. He also thanked the water professionals from Ethiopia for sharing their experience in this matter in the Tigray region of Ethiopia. He finally declared the workshop officially open.

The objectives of the workshop are to:

• show the full potential of water harvesting sites within the Karamoja area fit for the location as developed by a consultancy firm;

• Promote the case of water harvesting as a sustainable and cost effective water supply system as an effective tool against drought in Uganda;

• Learn from past experiences. What are the good practices.

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