May 12, 2015

Water governance high on agenda in MENA region

The launch of SIWI’s Capacity Building Programme on Water Integrity in the Middle East and North Africa enshrines a firm commitment by countries in the region to improve the quality of life through better water management.

The Capacity Building Programme on Water Integrity in the Middle East and North Africa project has been launched in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, during the regional Water and Nature Knowledge Sharing Forum, organized by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature-Regional Office for West Asia (IUCN-ROWA).

The Programme, managed by SIWI, aims to strengthen regional-level dialogue and advocacy on how integrity, transparency, accountability and corruption can be addressed in water resource management.

The project seeks to raise awareness and foster high-level political dialogue on water integrity at the inter-governmental level.

It also aims to enhance the skills and increase the capacity of members of civil society, so that they are able to demand a higher level of transparency and accountability in the management of water resources and services.

The Programme targets a broad range of beneficiaries, including water officials, mid-level water managers, farmers’ organizations, water-user associations, media, students, women groups and other civil society actors in Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Morocco and Tunisia, with the potential to expand to more countries in the future.

National partners, universities, and research centres will also be equipped with the state-of-the-art knowledge on water integrity and skills to include modules of water integrity in their curricula.

The project is financed by the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and project partners include Global Water Partnership – Mediterranean (GWP-Med), Arab Integrated Water Resources Management Network (AWARENET), International Union for the Conservation of Nature – Regional Office of West Asia (IUCN-ROWA),

In December 2014, the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) member countries approved the labelling of the programme. The political endorsement for this programme is a significant step towards achieving a water wise world that is resistant to corruption. It reflects both an increased awareness of the importance of water integrity as well as a willingness by governments to tackle the issue.