Speaking during her opening speech, Dr. Grobicki congratulated the Country Water Partnerships implementing the Water, Climate and Development Programme (WACDEP) on their progress in delivering results in the 8 African countries as well as in four transboundary basins and one transboundary aquifers where the project is under implementation. Her speech emphasized on the importance of the year 2015 - a year in which GWP hopes will be a game-changer in the context of international agreements.
In her speech, Dr. Grobicki reminded participants on the need to reflect on the broader global context in achieving water security by continuing with the established linkages and synergies with key partners in reaching binding international agreements on 3 major fronts in 2015. These are a dedicated water goal within the Sustainable Development Goals; negotiation for our climate future through the COP21; and influencing the outcomes of the 3rd World Congress on Disaster Risk Reduction.
Dr. Grobicki further said “Taken all together, 2015 will be a year of great potential for our work. Our water community will be called upon not just to identify the challenges of water management, but to put forward realistic, implementable pathways and models for enabling water security in the context of immense vulnerability and change. Through our WACDEP partnerships and engagements, we stand to be in very good shape to build upon our shared results and achievements to be both prepared for and responsive to the outcomes of these three global processes.”
These sentiments were equally highlighted by the Minister of Environment, Water and Climate Honourable Saviour Kasukuwere when he officiated the workshop. In his opening remarks, Mr. Kasukuwere also called for better water resource management. He further noted that while the Government played a key role in securing water for competing demands, requests for a water secure world was a joint responsibility. This he noted, could only be achieved through water co-operation at national, regional, continental and global level but through partnerships with the multitudes of stakeholders ranging from citizens, policy makers and the private sector.
Ms Laila Oualkacha, the WACDEP focal point person from African Ministers' Council on Water (AMCOW) noted that climate change poses serious threats to sustained economic growth, quality of life and political stability. She further noted that the situation is further aggravated by various multi aspects compounded by low adaptative capacity. It was also noted that although the African Heads of States have shown commitment by adopting a response to climate change throught the Sharm el Sheikh declaration in July 2008, more still needs to be done. The workshop comprised two meetings catering for different participants. The first meeting which was the WACDEP Africa Technical Coordination and Annual Programming which was held from the 15th – 17th of September, 2014. The meeting came at a time when the WACDEP project has gone past the halfway mark. Presentations shared by the implementing regions and countries showed that the process had made progress as a result of the support from government institutions. This component of the programme was aimed at sharing information and building the capacity of the managers on a number of technical issues related to programme implementation. 53 participants coming from East Africa, West Africa, Southern Africa, North Africa, Caribbean, AMCOW Focal Point and GWPO attended.
The second component of the meeting was An inception Workshop on Project Preparation which was held from the 18th – 19th of September, 2014. A Finance Expert took WACDEP national consultants and project managers through a sharing and training workshop aimed at supporting the implementation of Project Preparation and Financing. 35 participants attended this workshop.
GWP and partners were tasked by the AMCOW in 2010 to operationalise WACDEP. The programme supports the implementation of climate change commitments in the Sharm el Sheikh Declaration and is part of AMCOW’s work programme aiming to integrate water security and climate resilience in development planning processes, build climate resilience and support countries to adapt to a new climate regime through increased investments in water security. The programme runs from May 2011 to April 2016.
For more information on WACDEP, view website on: http://www.gwp.org/wacdep
Photo: Minister of Environment, Water and Climate Honourable Saviour Kasukuwere & GWP Executive Secretary, Dr. Ania Grobicki