Over 35 stakeholders, mainly local government representatives, community representatives, technical officers from the governments of Rwanda and Burundi, and local implementing partners for Water Climate Development Programme agreed on priority interventions in the Cyohoha water catchment—a transboundary lake for the two countries.
The meeting held on 25th July 2013, in Kirundo Province, Burundi aimed at agreeing on immediate response measures, specific sites for implementation, responsible lead implementers, collaboration mechanisms, and a timeframe. Officiating the meeting, Nzigamasabo Reveriens, Governor of Kirindo Province, Burundi urged stakeholders to commit their participation for effective implementation of WACDEP. “It is time for everyone to be ready and actively participating in the implementation of WACDEP activities in Lake Cyohoha catchment,” Kirundo Governor said.
The meeting prioritised key activities based on the results from the situational analysis —formerly conducted by a team of multidisciplinary experts from both Rwanda and Burundi. Subsequent consultations did specify activities, location timelines, responsible lead institutions collaborators and implementation mechanisms for WACDEP at community levels.
Using the local map, potential beneficiaries of the Programme identified and pointed out clearly the locations where interventions should be focused. GWP Eastern Africa praised the initiative of citizens and local representative selecting locations where WACDEP should be based as indication of citizen participation and ownership of the programme.Governor Nzigamasabo further noted that with the prevailing political will, expertise and citizen will, WACDEP objectives will turn into results.
During the national consultative workshop in October 2012, the Administrator of the Commune where the Programme will be located (Burundi side) had advised: “to maximize the programme’s outcomes, it is recommendable that the project focuses on priority activities in one area and thereafter scale up to other areas. ”Historically, Busoni, Bugabira (Burundi’s communes) and Bugesera District (Rwanda’s) face persistent drought brought by climate changes resulting from unfriendly human practices such as over-cultivation, deforestation and unregulated livestock farming methods.
The Water, Climate and Development Programme (WACDEP) was developed following 2009 African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) decision to fast-track the implementation of the Sharm el-Sheikh Declaration on Water and Sanitation. WACDEP seeks to support the integration of water security and climate resilience in the development planning and decision-making processes through investment in water security and climate change adaptations.
In Eastern Africa, WACDEP will be implemented at Kagera basin, Rwanda-Burundi national level and Bugesera Transboundary water catchment. The Bugesera project’s main activities will include among others:
- Establishing a framework for implementing climate adaptive measures at various levels;
- Providing training and demonstrating climate responsive agricultural and natural resources management practices,
- Strengthen capacities of key stakeholders and local communities through behavior change awareness campaigns.
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