Facilitating Water Policy in Cameroon

The Ministry in charge of water resources in Cameroon organized a workshop in collaboration with UNICEF Cameroon to formally launch the process of elaborating a National Water Policy. The workshop was held in Yaoundé on 20 February, and brought together key stakeholders of the water sector in Cameroon.

Since the beginning of 2016, GWP Cameroon has been supporting UNICEF Cameroon and the Ministry of Water Resources and Energy (MINEE) in the process of conceptualizing the National Water Policy elaboration process in Cameroon. This collaboration resulted in the creation of a technical working group for the elaboration of the National Water Policy document by ministerial decision of 10 August 2016, with GWP Cameroon as a member. GWP Cameroon was further designated as lead for the thematic group on “Water Governance”, which is one of the six thematic groups established by government for the process.

In his opening address to stakeholders at the launching workshop, the Minister of Water Resources and Energy, Dr. Basile Atangana Kouna, while thanking partners and participants, traced this process back to the IWRM planning process in Cameroon which produced four high quality baseline study reports of the water sector which identified the need for a national water policy for the country. He expressed the deep appreciation of his ministry and the government to the Global Water Partnership for the high quality of technical support provided the government in the National IWRM planning process, which helped the government to objectively assess and identify major problems of the water sector.

During the launching workshop, GWP Cameroon representative, Mr. Hycinth Banseka, delivered presentation on the IWRM planning process in Cameroon in which he introduced the IWRM principles and pillars, explained the road map for the national IWRM planning process in Cameroon, and evaluated the progress so far in implementing IWRM in Cameroon.

Key recommendations from the workshop of interest to GWP Cameroon called on the Ministry in charge of water to work with partners to finalize the national IWRM planning process and to ensure integration of early warning systems for water related disasters in the national water policy document.

The launching workshop brought together representatives of the central and decentralised services of government ministries, councils, technical and financial partners, the private sector, parastatals institutions and civil society organizations.

After the workshop, meetings between the “taskforce” members and the consultant responsible for guiding the process took place in the offices of GWP Central Africa from 21st to 27th February.