The launching ceremony of the National Water Resources Management Strategy was held on the 3rd of October 2021 in Mogadishu-Somalia, with the presence of delegates from the Federal Government of Somalia, Federal Member States, Private Water Supply Companies and other Stakeholders in the water sector. The ceremony was preceded by a virtual event held in August 2021 in which the strategy document was presented to a large number of stakeholders including international partners. The national strategic plan aims to provide the necessary structure and direction to a sustainable water sector development and to list priority actions that should be promoted as a matter of urgency and to address the existing crises.
In his opening remarks , The Minister of Energy and Water Resources, H.E. Hassan Abdinur, stressed on the importance of this Strategy for the Somali Government as a tool enabling the apt management and utilization of the country’s water resources. “*Water is invaluable to the socio-economic development of the Somali people, improving the governance and institutional frameworks for managing the water sector are essential for enabling the development of the water resources, and this is what the National Water Resources Strategy is focusing”* said the Minister of Energy and Water Resources.
The Minister further elaborated on the need for establishing able and competent institutions at the Federal, State and Municipal levels, for the purpose of efficiently addressing current issues in the water sector and enabling further development in a collaborative manner.
The Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation, H.E. Said Hussein Eid, has underlined the need to adopt an holistic approach in developing the sector as water is the most crucial resource for the national productive sectors. The Minister underscored that the Strategy will be of a paramount significance for designing interventions that address risks related to the water sector that effect the productivity of Somalia’s agriculture.
The National Strategy for the Water Resources Management is built upon the developmental goal stipulated in the National Development Plan 2020-2024 (NDP9). The Strategy is the outcome of a broad-based consultative process. The 1st technical workshop on the National Water Resources Strategy was held in March 2020 in Mogadishu, which focused on recognizing the need for unified action towards developing the water sector. A number of consultation meetings were held ever since for government ministries, donors, sector professionals, experts, international and local non-governmental organizations, to the end of identifying key priorities relevant to the development of the national water resources.
A comprehensive field data collection was conducted in all Federal Member States to identify main principles and goals for the water sector development frameworks.
The 2nd consultation meeting was held in Mogadishu on October, 2020 to conclude the Strategy goals which was finalized early this year in a meeting attended by all stakeholder institutions including Federal and State Ministries and representatives from local and international organizations.
The water vision for Somalia is:
“Sustainable, equitable and secure water for national unity, growth and well-being, for all and in harmony with nature”
The above strategic vision is brought to life through four core mission statements intent, namely:
· To enhance the role of water in unity, growth, and well-being.
· To enhance integrated water resources management.
· To build resilience by promoting sustainable development.
· To ensure equity, productivity, and sustainable services.
During the launching event, the Minister of Energy and Water Resources of Galmudug State, H.E. Mohamoud Karshe, have indicated that the focus should be given to the implementation framework of the strategy, while catering for efficient attainment of data necessary to all developmental projects in the sector. Speaking on behalf of the Ministy of Energy and Water Resources of Jubaland State, H.E. Ahmed Hussein, stated that the National Water Resources Strategy will be crucial to facilitate action that address the water scarcity in Jubaland State.
The Director General of the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources, Mr. Abdirazack Mohamed, further explained the implementation roadmap of the Strategy which provides for a blueprint towards the achievement of the key strategic goals and objectives, as well as the main flagship projects that will expedite the implementation of the strategy which are up to thirteen projects that will foster the realization of plans and sub-strategies stipulated in the Strategy.
During the virtual launching event of the strategy in August 2021, H.E Amb. Gamal Hassan, the Minister of Planning, Investment and Economic Development, stressed on the importance of this strategy to attain the targets of the National Development Plan. He also noted the pivotal role water plays in realizing the national aspirations of reducing and alleviating poverty. His Excellency also expressed the Ministry’s readiness to collaborate with all partners to mobilise resources for water infrastructure financing and the sector’s development at large.
Speaking also in the virtual event, the A.I Resident Coordinator Mr. Cesar Arroyo reaffirmed the United Nation’s commitment to support the Government in implementing the national strategic plans and the efforts to meet the commitments to the Paris Agreements and the coming COP26 in Glasgow. Mr. Cesar stressed the need to redouble the efforts in funding the regeneration of the natural environment and climate adaptation, such as Nature-based Solutions and reforestation in riverine and forested areas.
The representative from the UNDP, Ms. Jacqueline Saline Olweya, also spoke during virtual event and highlighted their continuous support to the Somalia Government through on-going and new initiatives. She stressed the importance of advocating for working with the national institutions to materialize the national vision by establishing a strong Water Management Governance Framework, opertionalising Integrated Water Resources Management and improving provision of priority Water Services across Somalia.
Concluding the ceremony, the State Minister of Energy and Water Resources, H.E. Shukri Mohamoud Afrah, underlined the importance of the Strategy for securing sufficient clean water for the Somali people. The State Minister, further thanked the attendees and encourage all institution to collaborate with government institutions at all levels towards the implementation of the Strategy.