Credit: Michael Tsegaye

Cooperation in International Waters in Africa: Annual Report FY2018

Results by Project or Basin – IGAD


Shared information boosts riparian trust and confidence and forms the basis of transboundary cooperation.

OUTCOME AREA 2. Shared data, knowledge, and analytical tools enable timely, transparent, and regionally beneficial decision making.

Regional Groundwater Initiative: The Regional Groundwater Initiative (RGI) targets the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) region covering Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda. A significant part of the IGAD region is characterized by an arid and semi-arid climate. The region is home to a rapidly growing population of over 251 million people, with 30% of the population currently living on arid and semi-arid land. Most of the population is poor and relies on rainfed agriculture for its livelihood. Groundwater is the largest water resource in these areas and, if sustainably managed, has the potential for providing water security and socio-economic benefits. CIWA’s support has been requested to strengthen the knowledge and analytical foundation for sustainable development of groundwater resources in the Horn of Africa region and to support transboundary cooperation for groundwater management in the region. The project will focus on four areas including (a) expanding the knowledge base on regional groundwater resources; (b) strengthening capacity in groundwater development and management in IGAD member countries; (c) maximizing the benefits of groundwater to strengthen resilience to drought and economic development in the region; and (d) project management, monitoring, and evaluation.


Effective regional and national institutions enable riparian states to manage shared risks and harness net benefits of cooperation.

OUTCOME AREA 1. Strengthened, adaptable, institutional structures enable robust water management amidst growing uncertainty due to climate change and competing demands for water.

Institutional Strengthening: The RGI will include an institutional component to support regional capacity in groundwater development and management by identifying institutional needs and regional cooperation opportunities. The institutional component will identify institutions with responsibility and interests in groundwater management along with any associated capacity gaps. Weaknesses identified therein will be targeted, and capacity building and regional cooperation will be promoted by facilitating activities such as pilot programs, study tours, and inter-institutional engagement. Some activities under this component will focus specifically on the nexus between groundwater and drought resilience and on transboundary cooperation. Some capacity building activities proposed will be more tailored to state-level needs. The institutional component will also include different sub-activities that aim to strengthen capacity of the IGAD Water Unit for the overall coordination of the project.

OUTCOME AREA 2. Financially and institutionally sustainable regional organizations provide effective water management services to countries

Protocol Development: The IGAD Regional Water Resources Protocol will be the regional framework for the promotion of peaceful co-existence in the utilization of shared water resources in the region. The scope of the protocol includes transboundary shared water resources in the IGAD region and their dependent ecosystems. Through the Regional Negotiations Committee, member states have engaged in discussions for the development of the protocol. With support from other partners, representatives of member states have visited other countries to see the values of water management protocols among riparian states. With support from CIWA, the IGAD regional water protocol discussions will be advanced.


Regionally beneficial investments generate socioeconomic benefits and gender-inclusive poverty reduction.

OUTCOME AREA 2. Coordinated investment planning and inclusive stakeholder engagement ensures equitable benefit sharing and effective risk management.

Socio-economic Assessment and Communication: Only a small portion of drought relief budgets focus on improving access to high quality and reliable water points. This is despite the largest economic impacts of drought often being on the livestock sector as a result of inadequate access to water and fodder. The activities under the CIWA project aim to strengthen the profile of groundwater in the drought resilience agenda through support to IGAD in developing a communication strategy.

Building drought resilience is the most efficient way to protect economic activity in rural areas, mainly in the livestock sector, and to reduce the need for people to migrate after losing their livelihoods. Through a socio-economic assessment, the CIWA program will help IGAD to identify with greater precision the most vulnerable groups in each country that require support and investments to build resilience to climate shocks.