WACDEP: Rwanda-Burundi Team of Experts Team Discuss Water issues

Posted: 2012-12-20

Team Experts from Rwanda and Burundi discussed water and climate adaptation and resilience issues in the drier Nile Basin, specifically around Lake Cyohaha trans-boundary water of Bugesera region for the two East African countries.

The discussions held 20th December 2012 on Rwanda-Burundi Border, Bugesera District, Eastern Province of Rwanda centered on the research findings from the Situational Analysis: current challenges, potential resources, best practices and priority recommendations.

The study commissioned by Global Water Partnership Eastern Africa (GWPEA) seeks to draw evidence to inform the implementation of the Water, Climate and Development Program (WACDEP) in Bugesera region—formerly characterized by severe seasonal droughts, floods and food insecurity.

The multi-disciplinary Team of Experts used guided interviews, questionnaires, observations, document reviews and community consultations to generate data in Rubuga, Kigina, and Gaturanda for Bugabira Commune of the Kirundo Province, whereas in Rwanda, the study was conducted in Kamabuye Sector of the Bugesera District, the Eastern Province.  

GWPEA prioritized WACDEP intervention in this region to increase its climate resilience, adaptation mechanisms and stimulate wise community practices favoring the sustainable management of Burundi-Rwanda shared waters of Lake Cyohoha.

Similarly, the situational analysis identified severe drought, persistent floods and unfriendly human practices such as fishing, farming methods, lack of integrated water resource management approach and citizen mindset as some of the key challenges.

Other critical challenges include limited participation of women in the management of water resources in Bugesera region.

“Given the fact that women are the vast majority in Burundi their  limited participation in managing Lake Cyohaha can be a potential constraint for equitable and sustainable management of water resources in Burundi,” said Ange Kigeme, a member of the Burundian Team of Expert.

The Vice Mayor for Socio-Economic Affairs for Bugesera District, Julius Rukundo who welcomed participants had earlier said that collaborative efforts between development partners and government saved Bugesera from the desertification to naturalness.

The Governor of Kirundo Province, Burundi, Mr. Nzagamasabo Révérien said that such a situational analysis focused on climatic, hydraulic, socio-economic, environmental situation of Bugesera Region is an indication of “sustained collaborative efforts to turn severe seasonal droughts and floods that formerly characterized Bugesera a thing of the past.”

The Regional Coordinator, Patrick Safari for GWPEA briefed participants about the background, objectives and intended outcomes of WACDEP-Rwanda-Burundi Water catchment project.

He illuminated the linkage between increased severe climate conditions, water scarcity and food insecurity in Bugesera region.

 He commended the existing political will as demonstrated by the participation of local and central government actors from Rwanda and Burundi right from initial phase up to current stage of obtaining data from the field.

To build a water and climate secure region, GWPEA Coordinator added the “it was critical to base WACDEP implementation on insightful evidence from the field, thus the rationale for commissioning such a situational analysis study in Bugesera.”

GWP seeks to build a water secure world. 

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