At the West Africa Conference on Integrated Water Resources Management in Ouagadougou 1998, the Ministers and Heads of delegations in charge of water resources urge their governments to “implement in their respective countries, an Integrated Water Resources Management process, based on a National Action Plan”.
In Mali, the elaboration of the National Action Plan for IWRM started in the year 2004 and came to an end in December 2007. This process was financed by CIDA through he Canadian Initiative for Africa Development and Water Management Program, World Bank thru the National Rural Infrastructures Programme and Netherland through Upper Niger IWRM Project.
A project team and a Steering Committee were set up to define, in each participatory approach, the management and steering framework of the project. Political commitment of the country guaranteed the success of the process and this commitment led to the elaboration and adoption of a water policy code document by the Government in February 2006.
A situation analysis was developed and discussed with broad stakeholder groups, which allowed for producing the first part of the Action Plan Document relating to “the status of water resources and the relevant management framework required”. Based on problems identified during the situation analysis, a multi-actors planning workshop was organized during which water resources management strategies were chosen.
Following the strategic planning workshop, the project team, with the assistance of external experts, prepared the provisional Action Plan submitted to the criticisms and amendments of actors in a validation workshop.
The Action Plan Document was adopted by the Government in April 2008. A round table for the financing of the Action Plan is planned for 19th of February 2009 in Bamako.
The approach consisting in identifying the key moments and events of the process of elaboration of the AP/IWRM favours the capitalization on and sharing of good practices in the IWRM Plans development exercise. In addition, with the identification of the weaknesses of the phase of preparation of the AP/IWRM, one has more chances for success for the implementation phase of the Plan.
The conduct of a study for defining the process and the participatory adoption of the road map of the process were decisive in the success of the initiation phase of the process.
The number and diversity of exchange forums such as regional consultations, and statements at the International Water Show, together with the conduct of thematic studies for better grasping the development problems and priorities of the water sector, allows reflecting the concerns of many actors in the AP/IWRM.