On 25 April, GWP Rwanda took a first step to implement the Water Resources Management (WRM) Strategy of Rwanda by holding a workshop, jointly organized with the Netherlands Development Organization under the theme: "Towards IWRM through collaboration and partnerships between all actors at all levels".
"The workshop came after the launching of the WRM policy and strategy last March", said Mr Kabalisa, Deputy Director General of the Rwanda Natural Resource Authority responsible for WRM . In relation to the objectives of the workshop he said: “We need to look at how to increase the participation and involvement of the stakeholders in the implementation of the WRM strategy”.
The Chair of GWP Rwanda, Patrick Safari [now GWP Eastern Africa Regional Coordinator] said that “the workshop was intended to increase the stakeholders’ involvement in IWRM and improve the coordination of interventions of actors including civil society, private- and public sector organisations and national and local level. The implementation of Rwanda IWRM Policy and Strategy requires very strong and robust collaboration, partnership and synergies between various actors”.
The Deputy Director of the Rwanda Natural Resources Authority presented the WRM policy and strategy. The participants were impressed by the comprehensiveness of the policy but were also aware of the critical steps of translating it into practice. Workshop discussions included:
- Greater involvement of stakeholders and coordination around the implementation.
- The IWRM concept in relation to water security with key messages such as: IWRM is everybody’s business. IWRM can be implemented in fully fledged way as institutional reform or in a simpler partial form by each stakeholder, making reference to experiences from Bolivia with the National Catchment Plan and from Zimbabwe with the set-up of Catchment councils.
- helping the Bugesera Pilot Project to increase resilience of the communities to climate change in the Bugesera sub river basin.
- Vulnerability and strengths of children in relation to water.
The general conclusion of the event was that everyone, from decision makers to the people in the catchment, has to know about and be involved in IWRM. Existing networks and fora such as GWP Rwanda as well as Joint Action Development Forum should be enabled to exchange and dialogue around all water actors.