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Groups to tackle water security challenges in Lake Chad

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Civil society organisations have kicked off a pilot project aimed at promoting sustainable water management in the Lake Chad Basin and creating a multi-stakeholder platform for advocacy.

The preliminary meeting held at the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) office in Yaoundé, Cameroun explored the complex landscape of political actors and civil society directly or indirectly involved in the management of the Lake Chad.

It is also aim to gain an initial assessment of the needs and challenges in the region and the opportunities and tools of environmental peacebuilding can offer to strengthen their role.

The two-day capacity building workshop on Supporting Civil Society Organizations from the Lake Chad Basin in Building Peace and Social Cohesion through Cooperative Water Resource Management was facilitated by EcoPeace Middle East with the Support of Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS).

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Participants included representatives of the civil society, in particular non-governmental organizations focused on environment, sustainable development and community work from Cameroun, Chad and Nigeria. The groups include Pan African Vision for the Environment (PAVE) and Cameroon Network of Human Rights Organizations (CNHRO).

Anja Berretta, Resident Representative and Director, KAS and Giulia Giordano, Head of the Program on Water Security, EcoPeace Middle East, gave opening remarks. Other presenters are Gidon Bromberg, Co-Director, EcoPeace Middle East and Rana Qaimari, Educational Manager, EcoPeace Middle East and Zahed Yousuf.

The project is based on the recognition that climate change, water insecurity and conflict are strictly interwoven and that equipping civil society’s capacities with means of environmental peacebuilding will translate into increased societal resilience to climate change and conflict.

The project aims to strengthen the participation of civil society organizations in the national and cross-border governance of the Lake Chad Basin. It intends to fill an important gap existing between communities and institutions involved in the water sector.

The proposed project aims at furthering mutual understanding to mitigate and prevent inter- and intra-community tensions on the one hand while promoting strategies for sustainable water management and for tackling environmental degradation on the other hand.

Ultimately, the project will aim to strengthen the capacity of civil society organizations, by providing them with new environmental peace building tools and skills to empower local communities, create opportunities for dialogue and cooperation among relevant political stakeholders, promote awareness and public participation, and contribute to water governance.

According to the organisers, there is great need to further facilitate the capacity development, engagement and participation of Civil Society Organizations in the challenges of Water Security issues in the Lake Chad Basin by promoting constructive broad based, open dialogue, discussions, and sharing of views on all issues, between all role – players, stakeholders and affected parties including civil society, academia, NGOs, the private sector, communities, women groups, youths including students and governments.

This becomes very imperative since multidisciplinary approaches that take into account different stakeholder levels and/or collaborations are key in the achievement of the SDGs. Gaining the long-term support and acceptance of Civil Society Organizations through an efficient outreach is vital for addressing the challenges of Water Security issues in the Lake Chad Basin.


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