Water, climate and Development Program(WACDEP) seeks to support the integration of water security and climate resilience in the development planning and decision-making process through investment in water security and climate adaptation.-By Diane Uwimana
“Nobody else is better placed to know citizens’ challenges, needs and interests than local government officials”, says Christophe Gahungu, Burundi WACDEP Coordinator in his remarks during a two-day workshop organized by Global Water Partnership Eastern Africa in which WACDEP is included. He indicates that the project comes to solve many problems related to climate changes. “Regarding what has recently happened in our country, it is high time we put our heads together in order to lighten our work. As the participants of this workshop are high officials, they are going to put into practice what we are going to convene after this meeting”, points out Gahungu. It is worth noting that the program will start in Kirundo province as a sample. Busoni and Bugabira Communes and Bugesera District in Rwanda face persistent drought brought by climatic changes and unfriendly human practices such as over-cultivation, deforestation and unregulated livestock farming methods. In Eastern Africa, WACDEP will be implemented in Kagera Basin at the national level of Rwanda and Burundi and Bugesera Trans-boundary water catchment. The Bugesera project will include the establishment of a framework for implementing climate adaptive measures at various levels. It will train and demonstrate climate responsive agricultural and natural resources management practices, strengthen capacities of key stakeholders and local communities through behaviour change awareness campaigns, and reinforce communities’ local early warning and flood management systems.
“Promote water as a key of sustainable national development”
WACDEP seeks to improve water management and put into practice Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) to help countries grow and become water secure, encourage good governance ad advocating infrastructure and sustainable financing. Through high officials from Ministries in charge of Energy and Mines, Environment and Sanitation, Finance and Agriculture, actors must set up an action plan in order to bridge the gaps. Ir. Anicet Nkurikiye, the Chairman of the National Water Partnership mentions that many activities are organized in Kirundo Province. “ We have created a buffer zone of Lake Cohoha which borders Rwanda on Kigina and Gaturagana Hills where the Lake has withdrawn from 20 to 30meters, cultivated agro-forestry and fruit plants , collected rainwater, improved households… in the context of adapting, securing water and climate change resilience and development in that region”, highlights Nkurikiye. Jean Claude Nduwayo, the Minister of Water and Environment states that this program will be helpful for the country. “Thanks to this program, we are going to adapt to the new circumstances along with the investment increase in favour of water security. At the end of this workshop, we are expecting to have a good plan and investment project which is aware of the climate changes,” adds the Minister. It is worth mentioning that the WACDEP project is operational in eight countries i.e. Burundi, Rwanda, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Tunisia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.