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Local stakeholders in the Koshi basin receive training on WUMP facilitation

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A four-day training on Water Use Master Plans (WUMPs) facilitation was jointly organized by HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation and ICIMOD at Babarmahal, Kathmandu from 10–13 March 2015. More than 30 participants from the three WUMP piloting sites, i.e., Sindhupalchowk, Sindhuli and Saptari, attended the training. The training aimed to enhance the stakeholders’ capacity to understand the WUMP approach in the Koshi basin and to provide them a platform for exchanging ideas and experiences gathered from different agro-ecological zones of the Koshi basin. More than 15 experts from HELVETAS and ICIMOD facilitated the training.

During the opening session, Dr Bharat Pokharel, Country Director of HELVETAS, said that local level planning is important for sustainable resource management and livelihood improvement in the Koshi basin. Dr Shahriar Wahid, Coordinator of the Koshi Basin Programme (KBP) at ICIMOD, summarized the information KBP has generated over the last two years, stressing that such information could help improve people’s livelihoods in the basin.

The training was a good mix of theory and practice consisting of presentations, group discussions and fieldwork. The sessions covered the technical, socioeconomic, ecological and political aspects of WUMP. Discussions on the first two days revolved around the concepts of WUMPs and 3R; gender, participation and equity in water use planning; agricultural drought monitoring; water availability, water flow measurement, and various types of demand for water. Sessions on the next two days focused on early warning system and GPS measurement in the field. To stress the importance of upstream-downstream dialogue in WUMP, participants were divided into groups representing upstream and downstream communities during one of the activity sessions.

At the end of the workshop, the participants came up with a one-year action plan for each of the WUMP piloting sites. In their training evaluation, they mentioned that the training had improved their understanding of WUMPs, and that they were satisfied with the course content and facilitation. Posters on WUMPs developed by ICIMOD and HELVETAS were handed out to the participants representing each VDC in the pilot areas.

In the closing session, Dr Eklabya Sharma, Director of Programme Operations at ICIMOD, expressed appreciation for the collaborative effort of HELVETAS and ICIMOD in the Koshi basin. He commended the participants for their strong motivation to work at the local level and assured them that ICIMOD is ready to support them in preparing and implementing effective WUMPs. In her closing remarks, Mona Sherpa, Deputy Country Director of HELVETAS Nepal, encouraged them and wished them the best for their future endeavours.

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