From 2013-2016, GWPEA has been implementing the Water, Climate and Development Program (WACDEP) in Rwanda and Burundi. From 2017, GWPEA will expand the program in Kenya and Burundi

What is WACDEP?

The Water, Climate and Development Program (WACDEP) is a five-year program (2011-2016) implemented by GWP on behalf of the African Ministerial Council on Water (AMCOW). It is a direct response to the commitments expressed by African Heads of States in the Sharma el-Sheikh Declaration on water and sanitation in 2008.

WACDEP  was  formed to formulate adaptation measures to improve the resilience  of countries to the increasing threat of climate change and variability to water resources and Africa‚Äôs capacity to meet the  water and sanitation targets. It is  implemented in eight pilot countries: Cameroon, Ghana, Burkina Faso, X, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Tunisia, Burundi and Rwanda and four river basins: Volta Basin, Lake Chad, Lake Victoria-Kagera and Limpopo Basin.

In Eastern Africa, WACDEP is being implemented at trans-boundary river basin-Kagera Basin, specifically in Busoni and Bugabira communes (Burundi) and Bugesera District (Rwanda). WACDEP-Bugesera Project seeks to respond to critical climate-related challenges faced by the three districts and contribute to building sustainable livelihoods, poverty reduction, -Burundi national levels and Bugesera trans-boundary water catchment by GWP Eastern Africa.

In the long run, WACDEP seeks to achieve a higher level of water security and climate resilience in the countries of Burundi and Rwanda. WACDEP also aims to integrate water security and climate resilience in developing planning processes, building climate resilience and supporting countries to adapt to a new climate regime through increased investment in water security.

Overall Goal

To promote water as a key part of sustainable regional and national development and contribute to climate change for economic growth and human security.


To support integration of water security and climate resilience in development planning and decision making processes, through enhanced technical and institutional capacity and predictable financing and investments in water security and climate change adaptation.

Expected Outcomes:

  • Water security and climate resilience integrated in development planning and decision-making processes in Burundi and Rwanda;
  • Capacities of partnerships , institutions and stakeholders in Burundi and Rwanda enhanced for climate change adaptation and sustainable water resources management in a trans-boundary setting in Bugesera catchment , and at higher level in Kagera Basin;
  • No regrets investment and financing strategies for water security , climate resilience and development formulated and governments of Burundi and Rwanda begin to implement them;
  • Community based climate adaptation and water security actions defined and implemented for demonstration or piloting purposes in Bugesera catchment
  • Useful knowledge and information on climate resilience and water security generated and disseminated among stakeholders in Eastern Africa

Achieved Results:

 The main results include:

  • Awareness-raising about sustainable water resources management and climate change adaptation
  • Participatory catchment-wide assessments
  • Priority interventions to enhance water security and climate resilience identified and agreed upon by stakeholders
  • Catchment Plan prepared for integrated water resources management (IWRM) and climate change adaptation
  • Catchment management structures (and broader stakeholder platforms) being established
  • Communities supported in taking local adaptation actions :
  • Demarcated and managed the buffer zone along the lake shorelines (60 ha), planting conservation and fruit trees (60ha),
  •  Demonstrated biogas facilities as energy sources (12 units), for 118 family members, plus 12 rain water harvesting tanks
  •  Extended water supply systems (for about 3000 people)
  •  Introduced improved cooking stoves (200 households), rain water harvesting (12 households), and rehabilitated upper catchment areas.
  • Strengthened partnerships between local government, local implementing actors and communities
  • Water supply, trained, committees set up Gardens
  • WACDEP program activities are integral parts of the Bugesera District Development Plan, but WACDEP has also facilitated joint actions by other actors on the ground in Bugesera.  

Way forward

Lessons from WACDEP in Lake Cyohoha will be used to influence policies and practices. As the programme is being implemented within the national frameworks of water management and climate change adaptation in Burundi and Rwanda, it will be much easier to scale up lessons.

The WACDEP program, in addition to demonstrations in Lake Cyohoha catchment, has also other components at national level. The management of the program is very much linked to the national level programs and multi-stakeholder coordination arrangement. This arrangement provides an opportunity for scaling up or replicating experiences from the program. Moreover, as Lake Cyohoha catchment is trans-boundary, the experiences from its management will inform management of bigger trans-boundary basins.