Session FT 2.35
Implementing the 2002 Johannesburg Commitments - African Civil Society in IWRM
- Mvula Trust on behalf of African Civil Society Network on Water (ANEW)
- Freshwater Action Network
- Rwanda Wildlife Clubs
One of the primary objectives of civil society is to design and facilitate meaningful participation in water resources management and governance, so that the voices of marginalised communities and stakeholders are heard in the management, protection and allocation of water resources. In order to undertake this role effectively, civil society needs to ensure working partnerships with both government and community groupings.
The objective of this session was to provide a platform for African civil society organisations to share their experiences and lessons from public partnerships for effective participation in implementing IWRM and to strengthen :
- The linkages and partnerships between African CSOs towards national and regional strategies
- Lesson learning and sharing regarding partnerships with government towards scaling up the facilitation role of African CSOs in IWRM -- in order to replicate good practice
- The implications of local actions and case studies for influencing national and regional IWRM policies, legislation and practices
- There is a need to foster collaboration and partnerships between governments and communities
- Collaboration and partnerships between governments and communities is important and need to be fostered
- Local government presence on the ground, in contact with communities, fosters trust
- Civil society teams add value through their commitment to meaningful participation and partnership, in development and conservation
- targeted sensitisation and awareness building, Design initiatives that address their needs and priorities, as well ad a illingness to reflect, take on new ideas, admit errors and learn lessons strengthens initiatives, especially where there are diverse stakeholders
- To foster behaviour change, address felt needs and priorities, offer alternatives that are easy to implement, involve people in identifying local solutions and targeted awareness building
- Water conservation is everyone’s responsibility
- Government commitment to environmental and resource conservation is critical and needs to be a primary focus of advocacy agendas at all levels
- Local people are able to solve local development and conservation problems with support
- Factors that facilitate meaningful participation in IWRM include decentralisation, effective partnerships and effective methodologies
- A collaborative, partnership driven process is key to success
- Appropriate low cost or no cost technologies are crucial – solutions need to be easy to implement or they will not be implemented
- Effective participatory methodologies involve people in designing solutions that address their needs, ensure the active participation of women, and address priority felt needs and issues
- National conservation and efficiency strategies can be implemented by local people at local level (river basin)
Orientation for Action
- There is a need for buy in from all stakeholders to the principle that meaningful participation of water users (including marginalised groups) is crucial to implement integrated water resources management, which is necessary to meet the MDGs. This will require the development of an advocacy strategy and agenda, possibly at the regional level.
- There are a number of factors that facilitate meaningful participation in IWRM, including decentralisation, effective partnerships, effective methodologies. Lesson learning and knowledge sharing is required to strengthen NGOs role in facilitating and implementing IWRM.
- There is a need for a forum or mechanism to enable ongoing lesson sharing from public participation initiatives undertaken by African CSOs in partnership with government, communities, private sector partners, or donors.
Local Actions presented
Participatory community based water sources conservation
Pitio Ndyeshumba, WATSANET
The project aimed to mobilize communities to develop strategies to manage catchments and conservation. Participatory methods were used to assist communities to identify local problems, solutions and plan for implementing conservation measures towards rehabilitating and conserving sustainable water supply. Programme facilitators provided technical support and facilitation. The project is expected to benefit more than 6740 people.
Key messages: water conservation & protection of the water resources in rural areas, demand driven approach, targeting areas & addressing priority issues, role of women, low cost technologies, partnership approach, implementing the national water conservation strategy at the local level (there is no IWRM strategy yet in Tz)
Integrated watershed management through progressive terracing techniques
Frank Habineza, Rwanda Wildlife Clubs
The project aimed to engage local people in addressing soil and water erosion through community based environmental education and sensitizing local authorities and technicians to eco tourism, environmental conservation and agro forestry techniques. The project is a demonstration site, which will act as a model for the use of progressive terracing to avoid soil erosion.
National community water conservation programme
Essam Nada, AOYE
The project aimed to address the problem of potable water loss, mainly through conservation activities at national and local level. These activities demonstrated the social, technical and economic feasibility of water conservation. A range of stakeholders and decision makers (NGOs, private sector, industrialists and religious leaders and government) in steps to reduce water losses.
Key messages: Partnership approach, community participation, water conservation, low cost technologies & appropriate level of service, commitment by government to water conservation, focus is use of water in urban & peri-urban.
Community based water leaks project
Thabang Ngcozela, EMG
The project aims to address social, environmental and political issues associated with water scarcity. The goal is develop and implement a model for community based water management that can be replicated.
Key messages: water leaks project is community based and works in partnership with local government to fix leaks by training people, water committees whereby local people can be involved in governance.