Inception Workshop, Water Resources Management in Afghanistan (WRM-A)

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Afghanistan is a landlocked mountainous country with a population of 33 million. In spite of abundant natural water resources, 35.8% of Afghans live under the national poverty line. Twenty-seven percent of the population is undernourished, and the under-five child mortality rate is 101 per 1,000 live births. The 2015 Gender Inequality Index (GII), which reflects gender-based inequalities in three dimensions (reproductive health, empowerment, and economic activity) for Afghanistan is also very low, ranking 154 out of 159 countries. Although located in a semi-arid environment, Afghanistan is still rich in water resources, mainly because of its high mountain ranges. Over 80% of the country’s water resources originate in the Hindu Kush Himalaya (HKH) functioning as natural water storage, with snow during the winter and snowmelt in the summer that supports perennial flow in all the major rivers. However, water resources in Afghanistan are not utilized optimally.

This two-year project, Water Resources Management in Afghanistan (WRM-A), supported by the Government of Australia, will be implemented through ICIMOD in collaboration with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), and relevant Government organization in Afghanistan. This project aims to strengthen Afghan capacity for water resources management by assessing water resources, developing and using water information system, enhancing capacity for water management planning, and boosting Afghanistan’s regional engagement with its HKH neighbours. It will do so by closely engaging with the three Ministries with substantial WRM or WRM-related responsibilities:  Ministry of Energy and Water (MEW), Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL), and Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA). 

In this regard, ICIMOD, together with CSIRO, is organizing an inception workshop from 9 to11 March 2018 in New Delhi, India to launch this project with support from the Government of Australia.

Rationale

The workshop brings major stakeholders working in and for water resources management in Afghanistan to share and discuss the programme concept, which needs to be turned into a project document and implemented. In addition, this workshop will contribute to raising awareness, developing a common understanding, obtaining commitment, and creating a sense of ownership among different partners and stakeholders.

Workshop Objectives

Objectives 

  • Increased clarity among project partners on project concept and implementation modality.
  • Shared understanding of roles and responsibilities of different actors and clarity on strategies of engagement.

Outputs

  • Increased clarity on project design and components.
  • Action plan for two years drafted, with detailed plan for the first year developed.