The EU Delegation to the Federal Republic of Somalia jointly with the Government of Puntland and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) today launched in Garowe the Integrated Land and Water Resources Management (ILWRM) Project. The event was attended by representatives of the Ministries of Planning, Agriculture and Environment, Livestock, Water and the Agency for Disaster Management as well as other Somali and International partners and stakeholders.
The ILWRM Project will strengthen the capacity of all responsible Government institutions creating an Information Management Centre (IMC) able to provide all the information and services required to design strategies, plans and infrastructures to improve access to water and sustainable use of land resources, especially for rural communities.
Water and land are critical resources for the economy and livelihoods of Somali people. These resources are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters and climate change. While access to water needs to increase, required infrastructures are to be designed and managed in a sustainable way on the basis of adequate plans and information. "This project was designed with this purpose" said The EU Chargé d'Affaires, Mr. Fulgencio Garrido Ruiz
The projects builds on the expertise and information accumulated during over 15 years by FAO Somalia Water And Land Information Management (SWALIM) programme and will create the conditions for a progressive transfer of capacity and responsibility to the Government. "ILWRM project work as a pilot for further expansion to the whole Country" expressed Mr. Etienne Peterschmitt, Head of Programme of FAO Somalia.
The Minister of Planning, Economic Development & International Cooperation for Puntland, Hon. Abdiqafar Hange, appreciated the support from EU and the partnership with FAO, highlighting the importance of the project to improve access to water for local communities in a context like Puntland constantly affected by drought and where natural resources are scarce and progressively deteriorating.
ILWRM, with an overall EU contribution of 3.2 millions Euro, is shared with Somaliland, where the same activities are to be implemented in Puntland are foreseen, including a pilot project to be designed and implemented by the Information Management Centre in collaboration with local communities in a selected water catchment areas.