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IWRM Roadmap Validated

May 7, 2009, 5:28 AM

A roadmap for Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) for The Gambia was last Tuesday validated.

The validation workshop that brought together stakeholders in water-related domain, National Assembly members and Local Government authorities was held at the Paradise Suite Hotel.

The essence of the roadmap is to tackle water resources management in the country.

The roadmap constitutes a sketch for action that moves The Gambia closer to its IWRM vision, starting with immediate improvements to the current situation.

It incorporates a set of 13 priority actions, deemed necessary to make the transition from current unsatisfactory management practices to full-fledged IWRM, which is nothing other than The Gambia's IWRM roadmap. It is grouped under five subjects; facilitation of reform process, stakeholder engagement, rejuvenation of enabling environment, capacity building, and action plans and project development.

IWRM is considered the most appropriate framework for good water governance.

Such a national IWRM roadmap describes the road to follow with milestones and timetables in order to accomplish the objectives and achieve the targets, which have been set out.

The national process is convergent with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Regional water policy and water vision, which promote equitable sharing of transboundary water resources, complementary and partnership between and among community users, decision-makers based on science, conflict prevention, gender equality, and resource conservation.

It is the road describing the IWRM process from its planning stage until its implementation in order to achieve results related to water resources required to obtain the Millennium Development goals.

The roadmap is largely supported by the EU-ACP water facility and its being implemented by UNEP-UCC in collaboration with the Danish Hydraulic Institutes (DHI).

The project is being implemented in seven other ECOWAS member states: Ivory Coast, Liberia and Togo building on earlier efforts to produce IWRM Action Plans and Guinea Conakry, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone and The Gambia embarking on developing IWRM roadmaps.

With the validation of IWRM on Tuesday, The Gambia becomes the first of the four countries to reach the stage where consensus is pursued on the steps required to produce an IWRM plan for the country.