Newly Launched Groundwater Facility Would Enhance Livelihoods Resilience in Horn of Africa: UN Agencies

Mekelle፡26 May 2024 (Tigray Herald)

Newly Launched Groundwater Facility Would Enhance Livelihoods Resilience in Horn of Africa: UN Agencies

The Groundwater Access Facility (GaFa), launched early this month will improve access to clean drinking water and enhance the resilience of livelihoods around borderland areas in the horn of Africa, UN agencies said.

On 7th May 2024, IGAD Water Ministers, along with UN officials launched the GaFa initiative in Somali Region, Ethiopia that the initiative is anticipated to address water scarcity affecting millions in the Horn of Africa.

Moreover, the representatives of the agencies believe that this Ground Water Access Facility can create a platform for IGAD member states to collaborate on groundwater mapping, data sharing, and other related activities.

UNDP Resident Representative in Ethiopia, Samuel Doe told ENA that the GaFa project will be playing a paramount role in enhancing access to clean drinking water as well as water for agriculture in the Horn of Africa region.

Particularly, the representative noted, people on the borderlands areas of the initiative will have access to adequate potable water.

Doe added that such water projects like GaFa can be a resource for advancing sustainable peace in the Horn of Africa region as people share water and it enhances transboundary social cohesion.

“We are very pleased to be a part of this very important initiative; we believe in access to groundwater with advance, resilience and sustainable agriculture that we hope for food sovereignty in the horn of African region.”

Senior Land and Water Advisor at FAO Somalia, Paolo Paron said the GaFa water initiative is very important for water management especially in drought affected areas.

The advisor also pledged to plan additional projects and execute it for sustainable use of water in various countries of the IGAD region.

“We want to have pilot examples of projects especially in the borderland. Most of the water resources are moving from one country to the other, they are transboundary resources. So, if we can measure and manage one of this, we can give an example to other context in the region and the livelihood of the people much more resilient”

For instance, FAO has been already doing a lot of measurement to maximize the water availability from rainfall and groundwater in Somalia, he said, adding that it has 20 years of experience in this regard.

He also appreciated Ethiopia’s water project initiative in its Somali region, very important for water management especially in drought affected areas, said the advisor.

Chief of WASH Program at UNICEF Ethiopia, Victor Kinyanjui said WASH is deeply involved in the country’s water sector and it has been working closely with the Ministry of Water and Energy.

GaFa initiative, an untapped transboundary deep water resource is indispensable to secure sustainable water resources for communities in lowland areas that are affected by climate change, the chief added.

“The Ethiopian government is moving very fast and put a lot of resources on major water resources management and we are working together by supplying clean water to communities and UNICEF is providing full support to these activities when it deems necessary,” he said.


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