GWL in the Central African Republic: Mobilizing Resources for the Implementation of the Response Strategy

The government of the Central African Republic, through the Ministry of Energy and Resources Development in collaboration with GWP CAR, organized a round table with key technical and financial partners in Bangui to brainstorm on resource mobilization for the implementation of the National Response Strategy for the Resilient Management of Water Resources in the Central African Republic.

The round table took place in the conference room of the Ministry of Water on April 26th, 2024, and brought together representatives of international and national organizations working in the country’s water sector in the Central African Republic, like UNICEF, World Vision, UNDP, the European Union, and the Development Bank of the Central African States, amongst others.

While addressing the participants, the representative of the Ministry of Water, 𝐆é𝐫𝐚𝐫𝐝 𝐎𝐔𝐈𝐋𝐈𝐊𝐎𝐍 𝐙𝐎𝐔𝐍𝐆𝐔𝐄𝐑𝐄 said, “Water resource management in the context of climate change is at the heart of all the government's concerns. This is why the government, with the support of its partners, is constantly exploring opportunities to foster resilient water management, which is vital for the socio-economic development of the country.” He further reiterated that the response strategy is the fruit of a long consultation with stakeholders in the water and climate sectors, supported by international expertise under the umbrella of the Global Water Leadership in a Changing Climate (GWL) Program. According to him, “this strategy proposes concrete, realistic, and easy-to-implement solutions to ensure resilient management of the country's water resources”.

Following the identification of four main barriers hindering the implementation of resilient water management in the Central African Republic, stakeholders proposed solutions to address these challenges. The solutions include strengthening the implementation of existing legal documents, operationalizing the water resources monitoring system, improving the distribution of human resources, and ensuring coherence between the national budget allocated and the problems to be solved. To better present these solutions and the estimated budget, a response strategy document was developed and validated by the stakeholders and the government in February 2024. 

With an implementation cost of 3.5 million for the period 2024–2026, the government is keen on mobilizing technical and financial resources for the implementation of the strategy, and the round table is an avenue to advocate for support from key partners to achieve common objectives. Following the presentation of the strategy and plenary discussions, some organizations identified entryways through which they could support its implementation. World Vision’s ongoing program, with a WASH component, could integrate some aspects of the response strategy. Reinforcing public-private partnerships is important for resource mobilization, and the Development Bank of Central African States expressed its willingness to support the government’s actions in this regard. UNDP took an interest in the optimum water resources monitoring system and recommended that the four strategic objectives of the response strategy be developed into concept notes.

As a key player in CAR’s water sector, UNICEF focused on actions under strategic objectives 1 and 2 and reassured the government of its continuous support for fostering WASH in the country. The European Union presented an opportunity to contribute through its support to the Lake Chad Basin for transboundary water resources management. For its part, GWP-Central Africa noted that the GCF Multi-Country Readiness and the concept note on Integrated Flood Risk Management for water security in the communes of Grand Bangui in the Central African Republic, currently under development, present ideal opportunities to support the implementation.

The response strategy will facilitate the implementation of the National Water Policy adopted in July 2021 and the National Integrated Water Resources Management Program validated in December 2021. The two strategic documents recommend the development of a monitoring system for groundwater and surface water resources and the establishment of a water quality monitoring system.