Saturday, July 13, 2024

Global experience set to shape Ethiopia’s water action agenda


Recent series of global summits on water will provide instrumental input for the upcoming national Multi Stakeholders Forum (MSF) that will be held towards the end of this month, experts opine.
The reflective success elements drawn from the UN 2023 Water Conference and All System Connect (ASC) Symposium, which this year were cited as fruitful, have been stated as a good drawing board for Ethiopia to propel its water and WASH sector development.
In a workshop held on Friday June 2, which reflected on the outcomes of the two international events, which kicked off late March in New York and early May in The Hague, it has been noted that Ethiopia took several lessons whilst also getting an opportunity as a nation to disseminate its position and interest.

(Photo: Anteneh Aklilu)

Abera Endeshaw, Senior Advisor to the Ministry of Water and Energy (MoWE) said that the outcome of the two international events and the reflection workshop on post UN2023 Water Conference and ASC Symposium is a key component for the upcoming MSF, the biggest national water event that will gather government, partners and private stakeholders at the end of June.
As he explains, there were gaps faced with regards to disseminating Ethiopia’s side of the water issues like the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) at the international stage, “It can be recalled that the hydropower project of GERD was tabled at the Security Council like an issue of nuclear war. We have limitations on public or political diplomacy and related areas but such international events provide good opportunities for us to show our concern.”
He stressed that the COP27 event, which was held at Sharm El-Sheikh, as well as the latest UN2023 Water Conference held from March 22-24 at UN Head Quarter were good opportunities for Ethiopia to state its position, directly from the horse’s mouth to its relevant partners.
“For instance at the ASC and the UN conference, we had several bilateral and multilateral meetings that created conducive environments to get visibility as well as in mobilizing resources,” he added.
At the UN conference, the head of the delegation, Habtamu Itefa, MoWE, addressed issues pertinent to Ethiopia including the climate change effect and prolonged drought existence, multi sectorial coordination platforms, the Green Legacy Initiative and its impact on decarburization, and regional cooperation and integration for mutual benefits on trans-boundary water resource management.
At the conference, Ethiopia also got a chance to be part of an indoor side event on climate resilient ground water as a catalyst for Sustainable Development Goals in Africa’s Borderlands.
“We have gained valuable lessons on who is doing what and the positive outcomes that Ethiopia can adopt. Our learning curve has expanded exponentially and this will be integral to our future successes and implementations process,” the Senior Advisor explained.
“Regarding funds, we have signed agreements with bilateral and multilateral partners to support the water sector developments and we have also been able to return on truck deals that were suspended,” he added.
At the workshop those who attended the two international water and WASH conferences added that ample preparation at least for one year was crucial to place the nation in a good position on such kind of global events.

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