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By Isaiah EsipisuDAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania (PAMACC News) – Use of mobile telephone technologies and community radio services has been cited as some of the best methods of sharing and disseminating climate information for effective early warning, and adaptation.Experts attending the sixth session of the Africa Water Week (AWW) in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania have pointed out that early warning systems can be set up to avoid or reduce the impact of hazards such as floods, landslides, storms, and forest fires. However, the significance of an effective system lies in the recognition of its benefits by local people.According to Dr Abdourahman H-Gaba Maki, of the IGAD Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC), early warning system is a major element of disaster risk reduction, and helps in preventing loss of life and properties. “This also ensures there is a constant state of preparedness,” he told the AWW.To make the system effective and relevant to the people, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has developed a mobile telephone application (app) known as “IGAD-ASIGN”, through which mobile phone owners have an opportunity to contribute towards disaster preparedness by taking and sending photos of given geographical situation, in relation to an impending, or a particular disaster.“The IGAD-ASIGN is an important smart-phone application because it facilitates interaction and feedback from the ground,” said Maki.The photos taken by volunteers are used as field validation of IGAD and other partners’ satellite image analyses, thus contributing to accurate and efficient disaster risk reduction solutions. This has helped vulnerable countries in the Greater Horn of Africa region to make better and faster decisions.In the same vein, Maki pointed out the RANET radio networks operated by the Meteorological Department in Kenya, through which farmers and residents are able to access climate related information via community based radio stations, which usually broadcast in local languages.‘RANET’ is an international collaboration of meteorological and similar services working to improve rural and remote community access to weather, climate, and related information.Less than two years after it went on air, Nganyi RANET Community Radio in Western Kenya for example, has become a valuable asset to the community, where many people keep glued on their radio sets listening to different programs, while other access the signal via mobile phones.Through this radio station, the community served by the station can now understand when it is likely to rain, whether the rainfall will be heavy to cause floods, when the dry spell is likely to begin, hence, helping them prepare for the eventualities.It helps farmers know when to plant and the type of seeds to plant depending on the amount of rainfall expected.The Horn of Africa region has been noted to be one of the most vulnerable regions to climate change in the world (IPCC, AR5, 2014) due to the inadequacy of resources to adapt socially, technologically and financially.Use of radio and mobile phones therefore ensures that the required information reach the people on the ground, as a way of reducing the negative impact of climate change.According to…
By Isaiah EsipisuDAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania (PAMACC News) A conceptual structure agreed upon by Nile Basin riparian countries for organising policies, strategies and guidelines for sustainable management and development of the Nile River Basin some five years ago has enabled speedy development within the basin region.Talking to journalist members of the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PAMACC) at the sixth session of the Africa Water Week (AWW6) in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, John Rao Nyoro, the Executive Director for the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) said that the Nile Basin Sustainability Framework (NBSF) is now benefiting all the 10 riparian states.This comes after government officials from other countries attending the AWW6 confessed that developing projects over trans-boundary shared resources was proving to be difficult, given the political landscapes, frequent changes of power due to democracies in the neigbouring countries, and different prevailing policies.“While it is not a legal framework, the NBSF which is a suite of policies, strategies, and guidance documents – functions as a guide to national policy and planning process development and seeks to build consensus among countries that share the resource,” Nyaoro told the journalists.The sceptical leaders at the AWW6 singled out the longstanding dispute between Tanzania and Malawi about Lake Nyasa, in which an agreement for a project on the shared water resource has lasted over 40 years without a deal, and the grand mega power generating project in the Democratic Republic of Congo known as INGA, which has stalled for over 40 years.“What we did at the Nile Basin was to bring together all the stakeholders, and then we asked them to develop a framework that was going to govern activities along the basin, with reference to existing policies at country levels” said Nyaoro.As a result, the Nile Council of Ministers approved the NBSF in 2011, which has laid down NBI’s approach to developing guiding principles for water resource management and development across the Nile Basin countries.“Today, a country like Uganda, which previously imported rice from Kenya may soon start exporting the product to Kenya after it developed its wetlands, and is now farming rice more than before,” said Nyaoro.He said that the most important thing was to have all the riparian countries benefit from the basin.“Without the NBSF, there would be no consistent guidance for the sustainable development of new investments and no coherent guidance for the achievement of cooperation in sustainable water management and development,” he said.The Nile River Basin covers 10 countries, namely Burundi, DR Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, The Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. Eritrea participates in the NIB as an observer.The Nile River basin, which covers about one-tenth of the area of the continent, served as the stage for the evolution and decay of advanced civilizations in the ancient world. On the banks of the river dwelled people who were among the first to cultivate the arts of agriculture and to use the plow.The basin is bordered on the north by the Mediterranean; on the east by the Red…
By Elias Ntungwe NgalameDAR ES ALAAM , Tanzania (PAMACC News) – Africa is experiencing water crisis, with scientists saying there is strong evidence of decreased water flow and water quality in many countries. Scientists, researchers and drivers of water policy have also warned that continued population and economic growth, combined with climate change, could result in serious water shortages in some parts of the continent by 2025.These challenges are coming at a time many African countries are mapping pathways towards the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs.It is against this backdrop that the African Ministers attending the sixth edition of the Africa’s Minister’s Council on Water,AMCOW, have called for increase self-driven innovative approach to address the water challenges.The AMCOW flagship water event, “the Africa Water Week “from the 18th to 22nd of July 2016 in Dar es Salam, Tanzania; the ministers agree provides the unique opportunity to pathways to address water challenges.“We need new ideas and self driven approaches to addressing the issues of water in Africa,” noted Gerson H Lwenge, Tazanian minister of water and irrigation, at the opening of the conference on Monday July 18,2016.In a pre-conference statement AMCOW officials said there was a range of actions – besides investments into large inter-basin transfer schemes – that could be taken to improve the prospects for quality water supply and quality.“The Africa Water Week accordingly, represents a political commitment at the highest level for creating platform to discuss and collectively seek solutions to Africa's water and sanitation challenges. It is organised by the African Minister's Council on Water (AMCOW) in collaboration with the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union Commission alongside regional and international partners, “ the statement noted.Speakers at the opening of the conference emphasized on the need to better address issues related to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals with emphases on using local approach adapted to the African reality.“ The SDGs is all about using local initiatives by both the private sector and the government working hand in glove. Wter resources is vital in realizing these goals,” says H.E Mwai Kibaki former President of Kenya at the opening of the conference.The biennial water conference hosted at the Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre (JNICC), Dar Es Salam by the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania, represented by the Ministry of Water and Irrigation brought over 1000 participants from governments, regional institutions, international partners, the private sector, the scientific community, civil society and the media from all over the world.The conference accordingly is in keeping with the decision of the AMCOW Governing Council“to institutionalize the water management body as a way of building momentum on achieving the Africa Water Vision 2025”.It equally represents AMCOW’s belief that effective and efficient management of water resources leads to the provision of adequate and equitable access to safe water and sanitation as well as makes a critical contribution to Africa’s progress towards sustainable growth and development, the officials said.The Africa Water Week series accordingly began in Tunis, Tunisia in 2008.…
DAR ES SALAAM (PAMACC News) - Nigeria's Minister of Water Resources, Eng. Suleiman Adamu has restated Federal Governments’ commitment towards increasing access to potable water for all Nigerians by 2030.Adamu said this in an interview with PAMACC News at the recently concluded Africa water Week in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.He said that without universal access to safe water and sanitation, poverty and inequality cannot be eradicated in any country.``We are working to ensure that all Nigerians have access to potable water by 2030 through urban water sector reform programme.”``We realise that implementing the first and second urban water reform programmes have resulted in moderate success and improved piped water supply, if we put more efforts, we can achieve more.’’Adamu said that the results from the Millennium Development Goals, showed that Nigeria was not able to meet its target due to sole reliance on budgetary allocation. He said Nigeria would soon launch the National Programme on Partnerships for Extending Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, aimed at meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs 6) of universal access to water.This programme, the minister said, was a partnership between the three tiers of government, the development partners and communities to commit funds and mobilise towards meeting the SDG 6 by 2030.``We have also realised that one of the reasons why Nigeria failed to meet the MDGs was because we have been relying only on budgetary allocation from the three tiers of government.``Due to dwindling resources, there is a huge challenge of scaling up; this is why we must include all other stakeholders.He said Nigeria needed to take the lead on its issues, rather than relying also on development partners.He said Nigeria would do everything possible to reform the water sector because of its centrality to health, agriculture, and others.He said the ministry has created a data bank and census for water supply and sanitation for all water infrastructures in the country. Adamu emphasised the need for attitudinal change toward public utilities, saying Nigeria must begin to see the importance of paying for water consumed.He stressed the role of political will and commitment from state actors and chief executives in funding water, saying they are the decision makers in parts of the country.He said the ministry would continue in its advocacy to ensure that governments begin to allocate more funds for such projects.The minister commended the World Bank and other development partners for funding water projects in the country and pledged government`s commitment to increasing fund allocation to water.The 6th Africa Water Week aspires to lay the building blocks for Africa to achieve the SDG 6 as well as other inter-linking SDGs connected with water resources management. The week represents a political commitment at the highest level for creating platform to discuss and collectively seek solutions to Africa's water and sanitation challenges. 
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