Inception workshop for the project on mapping, assessment and
Management of transboudary water Resources in the igad sub-region
26-28 November 2007 Nairobi, Kenya.
The IGAD sub-region represents one of the marginal regions of the world in terms of rainfall available for natural vegetation growth and crop production. It has a population of 140 million people in an area of 5 million km2. or 16.5% of Africa encompassing the Eastern African highlands, the source of the Nile, the two branches of the Great Rift Valley and the Eastern limits described by the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. Its northern limits include semi arid and arid lands going into Sahara desert. While it is the poorest region on earth not least because of absence of mineral oil and steel, both human and natural forces have conspired to further impoverish it. The most obvious manifestation has been periodic droughts and desertification that have consigned millions to perpetual poverty and deaths. The populations derive their livelihoods from water and land based primary production activities such as nomadic pastoralism and subsistence agriculture in a region where rainfall variability is high and soils are poor. Dependable water availability is therefore vital to the development of the region.
Four-fifths of the sub-region consists of dry lowlands comprising of arid, semi arid and dry sub-humid areas. About 12 million people live in these areas as nomadic and semi nomadic pastoralist, making the sub-region the home of the greatest numbers of pastoral communities estimated to be 2.4 million households. IGAD arid and semi arid lands are distinct and unique in that they are the home of 60% of the world’s camels and a home for diversity of wildlife that roam the vast dry lands oblivious of the artificial political borders that divide them. The availability of water in IGAD region is highly variable because of pronounced differences in distribution of rainfall, evapo-transpiration and hydrogeology. Some areas of the region such as the Northern Sudan and Ogaden in Ethiopia and Northern Kenya have a limited supply of water while other areas particularly the humid tropical zone in Central Uganda and Ethiopian Highlands have abundant water. Even within individual countries, the availability of water varies considerably due to the influence of physical characteristics and seasonal patterns of precipitation.
While it is a fact that water occupies pivotal position in development in the IGAD region, none of the member countries has adequate information to manage their water resources for the attainment of economic efficiency and equity in water allocation for different uses. Yet, four IGAD countries namely Eritrea, Kenya, Djibouti and Somalia are in the category of those experiencing water scarcity i.e. with less than 1000 m3 per person per year or less. Indeed by the year 2025 even Ethiopia and Uganda, which are presently with adequate water will be water stressed (500-2000 m3/person/year) while Djibouti, Eritrea, Kenya, Somalia and Sudan will be in water barrier situation «500 m3 per person per year» and therefore water will be limiting any sustainable development. None of the IGAD Member States has at the present time water per capita necessary for industrial development (2400 m3/day). This lack of water will severely constrain food production, ecosystem maintenance and economic development among other needs and uses.
Water resources link the IGAD states internally and externally with adjacent regions. Existence of the Great Rift Valley from Djibouti and dissecting the Ethiopian highlands through to Kenya, and the Eastern branch delineating the eastern border of Uganda from central Africa maps out a close hydrological map that determine the water flow. There are however specific problems that call the need for adequate knowledge of surface and underground waters:
In respect to shared hydro geological resources, no single country was able to manage its resources without the support and cooperation of other neighbouring state. Unfortunately, both surface and underground water potentials in the sub region are scarcely understood and very little information exists that could be used for sustainable management of these shared resource.
Consequently, IGAD approached OSS to include in its activities program a project on assessment and mapping as had been done for South West Sahara and Illumiden Aquifers projects. The programme was formulated and presented to the African Water Facility.
The Africa Water Facility located at the African Development Bank is financing the programme in the amount of € 1.86 million.
3. Inception Workshop
The Inception workshop composed of member states hydrological experts, partner organisation and several institutions dealing with water sector will be held at ICPAC in Nairobi.
4. Objectives of the Inception Workshop
- To put key stakeholders at the same level of understanding of project components/activities and the management requirements (technical and financial)
- To define and/or clarify the roles of key stakeholders (IGAD, member states, OSS, AWF/AFDB) in the implementation of the project
- To define/clarify the technical and scientific roles of national project teams in the implementation of the project
- To finalise project implementation matrix (Log Frame with activities, timeframe, budget, etc.)
- To establish national coordinating offices and Steering Committee (SC) and define/clarify their roles and responsibilities as well as the coordination and communication mechanisms among key stakeholders
5. Expected Outcomes:
1. A sound and common understanding of the project objectives, activities and the implementation requirements as well as, the roles and responsibilities of the key stakeholders
- Project components/activities, timeframe and budget are finalised
- The management (technical, financial, procurement, supervision) and reporting requirements are well understood
- The year (2008) work programme and budget are validated and endorsed by the SC
- Project management and implementation mechanisms are well defined
- The first year work programme and budget are endorsed by the Steering Committee