African Water Facility Team Missioned to Assess Water Problems in the Central Rift Valley

Professor Negusssie Reta (2rd from left) and Mr. Hollhuber on behalf (3rd), AWF, after siging Aide Memoire
Professor Negusssie Reta (2rd from left) and Mr. Hollhuber on behalf (3rd), AWF, after signing Aide Memoire

A team of five from the African Water Facility (AWF) of the African Development Bank Group visited Ethiopia to appraise a future project in the Central Rift Valley (CRV). Taking place from 4 April – 3 May 2017, the mission aimed at exploring water management, specifically, “challenges and opportunities for integrated water resources development in the CRV.”

The project, which is titled, “Improving Climate Resilience of Communities and Ecosystems through Integrated Water Resources Management in the Central Rift Valley of Ethiopia,” seeks to address the CRV’s water resource challenges, in general, with an added focus on Lake Abijatta. In December 2016, AWF pledged to support the project proposal, which was designed and submitted by HoA-REC&N earlier the same year.

The AWF team consisted of Mr. F. Hollhuber, Water and Sanitation Engineer and Team Leader, Mr. Hebart-Coleman, Water Resources and Climate Change Specialist, Mr. Sisay Woldetensay, Procurement Officer, Mr. Melaku Tadesse, Financial Management Officer, and Mr. Tefera Woudehen, Water Resources Management Specialist.

During its visit to CRV, the mission team assessed the development needs and challenges of the CRV basin and held discussions with several stakeholders including the Rift Valley Lakes Basin Authority (RVLBA), federal and regional government institutes, development partners and HoA-RECN.

As part of the visit, an Aide Memoire was signed between Professor Negusssie Reta on behalf of HoA-REC&N and Mr. Hollhuber on behalf of AWF. The unbinding document elaborates findings of the mission and areas of common understanding, agreement, and follow-up process.

In the CRV, water demand is rising due to increased irrigation. The CRV’s water resource also suffers from agro-chemical pollution and other contaminants, but the region has not yet developed an efficient water management system. Coupled with climate change, water resource management has become a serious issue in the CRV.