In an interview, Sarra Touzi Senior Programme Officer GWP-Mediterranean said the main challenge that had to be overcome was convincing the national and international decision-makers of the water sector's vulnerability caused by climate change.
“Many were sceptical, so to combat the disbelief, GWP implemented a programme called Water, Climate and Development Programme (WACDEP) that generated and presented scientific knowledge by collaborating with research and scientific partners,” she noted
WACDEP’s main goal is to promote water as a key part of sustainable regional and national development and contribute to climate change adaptation for economic growth and human security.
Sarra said the overall objective of WACDEP is to support countries in integrating water security and climate resilience in their development planning and decision making processes, through enhanced technical and institutional capacities and predictable financing and investments in water security and climate change adaption.
Sarra was speaking in Pretoria where she represented GWP Mediterranean at the Global Water Partnership African Program Team Meeting.
She said that the outcomes of this program were twofold – both providing further proof of its success. The first outcome was getting all stakeholders and decision makers fully aware of, and proactive in mainstreaming climate change and development planning. The second outcome was the engagement of stakeholders at all levels, from the top most decision makers to the individual farmers who are now more water and environmentally conscious in their operations.
Sarra noted that the three day GWP Africa Program Team Meeting was held for two main purposes.
The first purpose was to enable a consultative approach to planning new continental and regional programs that incorporated the experience and knowledge of people who had implemented such programs previously, while the second was to allow for knowledge sharing and open brainstorming, allowing the experiences of others to help guide, and minimise the risk of new programs.
Sarra Touzi shared her knowledge and experience gained from implementing and running the WACDEP program in North Africa for the past four years.