Today the Water Secretary, Eng. Samuel Alima chaired the 1st Implementation meeting for the Horn of Africa Groundwater for Resilience Regional Program held at Maji House.
The Project focuses on interventions in aquifer systems with regional and transboundary implications in the Kenya ASAL areas and drought affected communities within NEDI counties bordering Ethiopia and Somalia.
Horn of Africa Groundwater for Resilience Regional Program aims to increase the sustainable access and management of groundwater in the Horn of Africa borderlands.
In the Arid and semi-arid lands(ASAL’s) of the Horn of Africa (HoA), groundwater plays a critical role in building drought resilience. The drought situation is compounded by borehole failure which calls for mainstream operation and maintenance (O&M) and development of rural water supply schemes.
The Ministry of Finance from Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia made a communique where they committed to continue investment and policy action with a request to development partners to expedite preparation and approval of the project.
Five counties will benefit from this project, they include: Turkana, Wajir, Garissa, Marsabit and Mandera.
The programme is being implemented by the Ministry of Water Sanitation and Irrigation in collaboration, Water Resources Authority, National drought management authority, Water sector trust fund., Regional center on groundwater.County water departments of the 5 counties. The project will be closely coordinated with IGAD and other participating countries.
The project will be financed by the world Bank together with the Government of Kenya.
The Ministry of Water, Sanitation and irrigation (MoWSI) will be responsible for the overall project coordination and also in charge of implementing related activities related to transboundary and national groundwater policies and dialogues; and groundwater capacity building activities along with the Regional Center on Groundwater.
The Water Resources Authority(WRA) and the Water Sector Trust Fund (WTSF) will be the main project implementers. The WSTF will work together with the counties of Turkana, Marsabit, Mandera, Wajir and Garissa through their County Water Departments and the Water Service be mobilized and supported under the project.
The project scope includes; rehabilitation of approximately 400 rural water schemes and drilling of new boreholes where necessary. Upon successful implementation, approximately 1.5 million people will benefit from this project.
The project will develop stakeholder’s capacity and strengthen the enabling environment (plans, regulations and guidelines) for the sustainable management, access and use of groundwater resources.
The project will leverage on the regionality of the program by coordinating with IGAD and other country projects.
The project will conserve groundwater resources and build resilience against drought. It will also enhance monitoring, information and knowledge systems in groundwater management.
In attendance were; Irene Rehberger and Victor Vazquez representing the World Bank among others.