“Addressing Tigray’s Water Crisis: Drawing Insights from Zambia and India”

Mekelle:  4 February 2024 (Tigray Herald)

“Addressing Tigray’s Water Crisis: Drawing Insights from Zambia and India”

In Zambia, each household benefits from dedicated water wheel supply systems, backed by government support. The document explores a comprehensive water management strategy for Tigray, emphasizing the lessons learned from Zambia and India, along with local adaptations.

1. Introduction:
Tigray grapples with challenges like drought, heat, and water scarcity. The document underscores the importance of integrating rainwater and groundwater wells to ensure a sustainable water supply.

2. Groundwater in Peri-Urban Areas in Zambia:
Examining Zambia’s success in peri-urban areas, the focus is on the pivotal role groundwater plays in meeting water demands. The aquifers beneath settlements constitute the primary source, accounting for up to 100% of the water supply.

3. Lessons from Zambia:
The recommendation is to replicate Zambia’s effective groundwater management policies in Tigray. A priority is placed on well maintenance to guarantee access to safe and sustainable water for both urban and rural areas.

4. Rainwater Harvesting in Tigray:
To recharge wells in Tigray, there is a proposal to implement rainwater harvesting initiatives in both urban and rural areas. The aim is to make rainwater the primary source, promoting self-reliance.

5. Exemplary Water Wells Policy from Zambia:
The suggestion is to adopt and adapt Zambia’s water wells policy. The emphasis is on integrated water management, community involvement, and regular maintenance for long-term sustainability.

6. Indian Water Management Model:
Drawing insights from India’s water management practices, the document recommends implementing efficient water management policies tailored to Tigray’s unique needs.

7. Unlocking Existing Water Wells:
The strategy involves activating all existing water wells in Tigray to enhance water availability. The focus is on proper infrastructure and maintenance to transform dormant wells into operational water sources.

8. Professional Strategic Suggestions:
Tigray authorities are advised to prioritize water management and involve universities in research to develop sustainable practices. The goal is to educate communities on water conservation.

9. Addressing Failed Leadership:
The document highlights the importance of a transparent and accountable approach to water management. Tigray authorities are encouraged to rectify past shortcomings and ensure a clean water supply.

10. “Unlock Tigray Now” Slogan:
Promoting the motto “Unlock Tigray Now” symbolizes a collective effort towards leveraging existing water resources and ensuring access to clean water for all.

11. Collaborative Water Management:
The call is to collaborate with relevant stakeholders, including government bodies, NGOs, and local communities, to formulate and execute a comprehensive water management strategy.

Role of Tigray Universities:
Tigray universities are urged to engage in research and development of sustainable water technologies. Partnerships between universities and local authorities are proposed for knowledge exchange and practical implementation of water conservation initiatives.

Continuous Monitoring and Adaptation:
Implementation of a robust monitoring system is suggested to assess the effectiveness of water management strategies. Continuous adaptation of policies based on real-time data, community feedback, and changing environmental conditions is emphasized.

Investment in Capacity Building:
The document recommends investing in capacity building and awareness programs to empower the local population in water conservation and management.

A comprehensive strategy, integrating insights from Zambia, India, and local adaptations, is deemed essential for addressing Tigray’s water crisis. The focus is on unlocking existing water wells and implementing sustainable practices to achieve self-reliance in water supply and improve the lives of the people.

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