CEDARE Conducts a Training on Addressing Challenges in Allocating Irrigation Water Report, 15-19 September 2019

CEDARE Conducts a Training on Addressing Challenges in Allocating Irrigation Water Report, 15-19 September 2019.  The training was inaugurated by Dr. Abdessalam Ould Ahmed, Assistant Director General for the Near East and North Africa (FAO), H.E. Dr. Nadia Makram Ebeid, CEDARE Executive Director, Dr. Hussien Jadeen, FAO Representative in Yemen (FAO-Yemen), and Ms. Nina Stuuman, Regional Emergency and Post Crisis Specialist (IOM).

Dr. Abdessalam Ould Ahmed, FAO’s Assistant Director General for the Near East and North Africa, highlighted the issue of Water scarcity in Yemen remains one of the main challenges in the agriculture sector.   Ould Ahmed stressed on the need to combine immediate responses to people’s basic needs, with a long-term approach aimed at building resilience to shocks and protracted crises.  “Working together within countries and across borders is essential. Collective action and partnerships are essential given the scale and commonality of the challenges,” he added.

H.E. Dr. Nadia Makram Ebeid, CEDARE Executive Director noted that delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 will be difficult unless agricultural water management issues are addressed, and progress is made on the water-related SDGs.  Also, she had noted that this water scarcity challenge affects not only development, but also the sustainability of economic and social activities, especially given the competition for available water resources, which may generate conflicts at the international, regional and local levels.  She emphasized the strengthening of the role of women and the challenges in water conflicts resolution and climate change mitigation.

Dr. Hussien Jadeen, FAO Representative in Yemen, notes that 70 percent of the Yemeni population live in the rural areas and relay on agricultural livelihoods to survive, and water scarcity represents the main challenge to households to restore this vital sector. FAO is working tirelessly with the Ministry of Agricultural and Irrigation in Yemen, international and local partners to alleviate households suffering by providing needed equipment and new technologies for sustainable agricultural development.

Nina Stuurman, IOM ‘s Regional Emergency and Post Crisis Specialist for Middle East and North Africa lauded FAO for bringing all stakeholders to discuss ways of improving sustainable water and agriculture sector management in Yemen.

Dr. Khaled AbuZeid, Regional Water Resources Director, CEDARE and Coordinator of the training course, noted that the theme of the training is the challenges of optimal distribution of irrigation water and dispute resolution mechanisms between users at the local level. He stated that the course will address the foundations of the design of terrace irrigation systems and irrigation systems in Yemen, the assessment of water resources available in the valleys using GIS, problems of sedimentation in canals and storage lakes, and the motives of local water disputes and mechanisms for resolving irrigation disputes at the level Local, water rights, water rationing and water re-rationing, the role of water users’ associations in avoiding water disputes, agricultural drainage, reuse of drainage and joint use of groundwater and surface water to mitigate opportunities for conflict over limited water, water ethics, and the role of laws Legislation in water management and in the reduction of disputes and their importance in resolving disputes.  The course topics also includes modern technologies to measure behaviors and uses, the foundations of optimal water distribution, water accounting, water indicators for the optimal use of water, and economic tools required to increase water productivity.  The training coordinator also stated that Egypt was selected to host the training course to see also through field visits the Egyptian experience in the irrigation improvement and the institutional mechanisms and technical, social and economic to be followed in irrigation improvement projects, to benefit from it in the irrigation improvement systems in Yemen

Dr. Walid Saleh, Chief Technical Advisor, FAO Representation in Yemen, closed the training in the presence of Dr. Khaled AbuZeid, CEDARE, Dr. Hussien Jadeen, FAO Representative in Yemen, and Dr. Mohammed AlHamdi, Senior Land and Water Officer, FAO Regional Office. Dr. Walid expressed his gratitude and appreciation for the wonderful organization by CEDARE and FAO Regional Office in Cairo to host the training and the trainees as well.  The closing session’s chairmen distributed the certificates to the participants.