Archive for May, 2013

May 29, 2013

Uganda: Wetlands Demarcation Begins

By Chris Mugasha
Photos by Chris Mugasha
May 29, 2013

Uganda’s ministry of water and environment has moved in to save wetlands from being encroached on.

An exercise to demarcate major wetlands especially in urban areas in the Western region has started.

A wetland that has been encroached on in Western Uganda

Officials including surveyors from the ministry of water and environment started from Nyakabirizi Division in Bushenyi municipality by marking wetlands’ boundaries.

Benard Arinaitwe, a senior wetlands officer in charge of Western region says the move is intended to protect wetlands which benefit many people by acting as source of water for National Water and Sewerage Cooperation’s (NWSC) reservoirs.

Wetlands along the famous River Rwizi in Ankole region which originates from the mountains of Buhweju district are among the major wetlands to be demarcated.

Arinaitwe says some people who had encroached on these wetlands by establishing there farms and gardens of crops will be ordered to vacate them.

He says they have asked those who had encroached on wetlands especially the owners of gardens of crops to harvest them, refill the trenches and dams they had created there as a measure to allow the wetlands rejuvenate.

The ministry's move is to ban such activities of establishing gardens of crops in wetlands.

Arinaitwe condemns the rate at which people are encroaching on the wetlands forgetting that they are the major sources of water for agriculture and domestic purposes.

He says after the demarcation exercise, people will only be allowed to get grass and other materials like papyrus only from the neighboring wetlands.

The team however has met some resistance with residents demanding for compensation from government before they can allow the demarcation exercise to take place in their lands.

“We are not taking your land anywhere but we are trying to protect them since they are our major sources of water,” Arinaitwe explains.

He says after demarcating the boundaries, the next course of action will be done by government.

May 26, 2013

Delft Symposium to Discuss Water Sector Capacity Development

WaterSan Perspective
May 26, 2013

Water users, development practitioners, researchers, policy makers, water professionals and capacity development specialists from across the world are converging in Delft, The Netherlands this week, for the 5th Delft Symposium on Water Sector Capacity Development.

In the face of rising challenges for, and mixed experiences with, water sector capacity development, the primary aim of the 5th Delft Symposium is to address who is taking the lead in knowledge and capacity development across sectors, disciplines and other boundaries so they can be leveraged to become more effective and efficient.

Themes of Delft Symposium 2013

Themes of Delft Symposium 2013

The challenges, current realities and new opportunities for knowledge and capacity development in the water sector will be discussed during this international forum. The outcomes will make significant contributions to the debate on water-related Sustainable Development Goals.

The Symposium is being organized by UNESCO-IHE in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank, Cap-Net UNDP, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of The Netherlands and Vitens-Evides International.

In his welcome remarks, Professor A. Szöllösi-Nagy- Rector, UNESCO-IHE Institute for
Water Education says, “capacity development is more relevant than ever before if we are to avoid the same pitfalls in setting sustainable development goals beyond 2015.”

“The Symposium is meant as a contribution to the ongoing world-wide discussion concerning the development of a new set of goals, the so-called Sustainable Development Goals, beyond 2015 for the water and sanitation sector. It is, therefore, a contribution to the Budapest Water Summit, the IWA Development Congress and the process of the Seventh World Water Forum to be held in Daegu, Republic of Korea.”

According to the Symposium Organizing Committee, each Symposium day of the symposium will focus on a different theme.

Having access to safe water and basic sanitation is vital to everyone's life

Having access to safe water and basic sanitation is vital to everyone’s life

On 29 May, the challenges for water sector capacity development will be discussed, followed by panel discussions and parallel sessions on 30 May when experiences are shared on leadership in knowledge and capacity development in the water sector. The last day of the Symposium focuses on innovation and new opportunities for capacity development.

Prior to the Symposium, on 27 and 28 May, an Expert Workshop takes place at UNESCO-IHE. Almost 50 experts from all over the world will share their knowledge and experiences on critical issues that need to be addressed to make knowledge and capacity development in the water sector more effective and efficient. Outcomes of the workshop will feed into selected Symposium sessions.

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