The Nyimur multipurpose project is a NELSAP project shared between Uganda and South Sudan funded by the African Water Facility of the African Development Bank. NELSAP signed a grant agreement with the African Development bank on 4thMay 2015 of euros not exceeding one million nine hundred seventy five thousand one hundred and two (Euros 1,975,102) to undertake the feasibility studies and Environmental and Social Impact Assessment studies for the project.
The NELSAP held a task team meeting with the project task team members in Uganda on the 7th August 2015 in Kampala, Uganda. This was a follow up on the project launch that took place the previous month in Juba, South Sudan, since the majority of the members did not participate in the launch. The meeting was presided over by the Ag. Commissioner Transboundary Waters in the Ministry of Water and Environment, Mr. Jackson Twinomujuni (Figure 1) and was attended by the Assistant Commissioner for Irrigation in the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) among others. The Ag. Commissioner requested the task team members to look closely at the interest of the country and ensure successful implementation of the project. He informed members that they have all the government structures to support them but they have to communicate well and timely. He requested the task team to find mechanisms to protect the consultants from undue influence that may derail the project.

Ag. Commission Transboundary Waters addressing the Task team membersFigure 1: Ag. Commission Transboundary Waters addressing the Task team members

The NELSAP team made a presentation on the African Water Facility of the African Development Bank, and the Nyimur project. The aim of the presentation for the Africa Water Facility was to inform the task team what the project should expect from the Africa Water facility funding, how the grant was acquired and how the African Water Facility manages the fund, and general awareness about the facility. This presentation was made by Mr. Arséne Mukubwa on behalf of the Principal Water and Sanitation Engineer from the African Water Facility, Mr. Francis D. Bougaire.
The Nyimur Project coordinator made a presentation on the Nyimur project aimed informing the task team members the physical description of the project, its components, estimated cost for the feasibility and Environmental Impact assessment studies. He also presented the terms of reference for the task team, its composition, the team’s relation to other administrative structures, how the project reports to them, the project schedule and milestones among others. He informed meeting that NELSAP is partnering with the Nile Basin Discourse to develop a communication program for the project. The program will aim at ensuring that the primary stakeholders and other interested parties accept and participate in the project.

Discussions during the Nyimur Task Team Meeting in Kampala Uganda at Silver Springs hotel
Figure 2: Discussions during the Nyimur Task Team Meeting in Kampala, Uganda at Silver Springs hotel

The following are the summary recommendations and agreed actions from the task team meeting:
(i) Communication between stakeholders should be designed and implemented very early in the project phase.
(ii) The task team, NBD and NELSAP should sit together and develop a plan for stakeholder engagement and communication taking advantage of national staff in the area who are conducting similar assignments.
(iii) There is a need to carry out a stakeholder mapping exercise to know who would be influential and what the likely problems would be.
(iv) The project should make an effort to ensure that all accounting officers in the other relevant ministries are in the know of the project and expected outputs/outcomes.
(v) NELSAP will prepare a project brief that the Task Team Members will use to promote the project to the relevant ministries.
(vi) The Ministry of Water, throughout the department of Transboundary Waters will follow up the issue of acquiring equipment to create an access road to the dam site.
(vii) A Stakeholders’ team comprising the task team, NELSAP staff and other officials from relevant ministries like Prime Minister’s office, Ministry of Lands, District officials and representatives of the project affected people should be created that will be responsible for making decisions and planning on behalf of the stakeholders.
(viii) All relevant activities should be clearly identified and for those that do not have funding, the Stakeholders’ team will be tasked to plan for and look for the relevant funding as may be appropriate.
(ix) The roundtable will be very important in ensuring implementation funds are secured to avoid shelving the project. It was proposed that during the roundtable, other projects that are yet to get funding should be promoted too.
NELSAP and the Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE) will follow up the recommendations from the task team meeting as indicated above. It is expected that the next task team meeting will include the Nile Basin Discourse and it will discuss and design the communication and stakeholder engagement plan.