In December 2019 representatives of NBI Member states teamed up with NELSAP-CU senior staff on a mission to Lyon, France for experience sharing on ‘Institutional Sustainability for River Basin Planning and Management.’ The objective of the mission was to strengthen NEL region member countries capacity and provide fundraising guidance to NELSAP-CU aimed at sustaining the institution and at the same time attracting more finances required to implement the NELSAP strategic plan. Member States who participated in the mission to France were Burundi, DR Congo, Kenya, and Uganda. A delegation of 10 experts took part in the mission.
NELSAP-CU SENIOR STAFF TOGETHER WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF NBI MEMBER STATES DURING A VISIT TO AGENCE DE L‘EAU IN LYON, FRANCE FOR INSTITUTIONAL CAPACITY BUILDING FOR RIVER BASIN PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT
As a follow-up to the mission in France, in January 2020 representatives of the NEL region member states (two per country) from DR Congo, Kenya, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda together with NELSAP-CU senior staff participated in a three-day resource mobilization training workshop, held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. About 16 experts participated in that important workshop that was aimed at updating on the ongoing implementation of the NELSAP strategic plan in terms of priorities, estimating costs of projects and attracting finances to implement projects.
Both the mission to France and the training workshop in Tanzania were supported by funding from Agence française de Développement (AFD) and Agence de l'eau Rhône Méditerranée Corse (AERMC). The events were coordinated by NELSAP-CU with technical support from BRL Ingenierie, an international consulting firm offering specialized engineering services in areas related to water, environment and regional land-use planning.
AFD support was to the tune of 1Million Euros (200,000 to NileSec and 800,000 to NELSAP-CU). NELSAP-CU received an additional 400,000 Euros from AERMC for capacity development to strengthen NELSAP capacity for river basin planning and management. Among others, this support has generated NELSAP Strategic Plan 2017-2022, NELSAP Resource Mobilization Strategy and guidelines, NELSAP Communication Strategy, trainings on Dam Safety related issues in the NEL region, and procured key analytical tools to enhance NELSAP-CU planning process. Further there is ongoing modelling activity which is aimed at updating the Multi-Sectorial Investment Opportunity Analysis (MSIOA) and assessment of the NELSAP current capacity to deliver given mandate. The mission to France was part of implementation of some of the recommendations in the NELSAP Resource Mobilization Strategy. Both of the sub-activities are expected to be completed by June 2020.
During the nine day experience sharing mission to Lyon, France that was hosted by AERMC, the delegation had useful deliberation on river basin management, learning from the Rhone River Basin, which is one of the major trans boundary rivers in the European Union shared between France and Switzerland. The team shared experiences on institutional arrangement of the Rhone River basin management. AERMC shared on its mandate of overseeing the revenue collection; from penalties, water user fees and water abstraction fees across the Rhone River Basin. The river’s Board of Directors is technically guided by the Rhone River Basin Management Committee, which acts as Parliament for the water users Associations (stakeholders) who discuss all technical issues before the board makes decisions. Part of the river basin management functions are; water quality, biodiversity conservation, aquatic life, river basin water balance assigning roles to all stakeholders (water user).
During the mission, delegates visited the Campagnie Nationale du Rhone (CRN) a French electricity generation company mainly supplying renewable power from hydroelectric facilities on the Rhone River Basin. At the CRN they learned about optimization of investment across a river basin (water-food-energy nexus). Delegates visited the Comite Intersyndical por l’Assaissement du Lac du Bourget (CISALB) an inter-community syndicate for the sanitation of Lake Bourget, which is one of the drainages of the Rhone River. At CISALB, delegates visited sites at which biodiversity conservation interventions were executed around the Lake.
The team also visited the organizer’s (BRL Ingenierie) headquarters in Nîmes City. The BRL Group Chief Executive Officer, Jean-Francoise Blanchet shared with the team key aspects of management and sharing of water resources in the context of climate change and demographic growth of territories bordering large rivers and lakes. After briefing on the BRLi work and portfolio, delegates visited the Regional Hydraulic Network (RHR) managed by BRLi, which supplies water to 1.5 million people and serves two thirds of irrigated areas of the Mediterranean Coast of France.
The delegates had a chance to attend the Rhone Mediterranean Basin Committee parliament session and learnt on the composition of members and how the Committee President guided the discussions. They witnessed presentation of the Master Plan for Water Development and Management in the Rhone River basin and the 2019 State of the Basin Report. The mission discussed with AFD and AERMC on continued collaboration and support to the NELSAP program. The interactions were positive and both AFD and AERMC indicated their openness to future engagements.
REPRESENTATIVES OF NBI MEMBER STATES TOGETHER WITH NELSAP-CU SENIOR STAFF DURING A VISIT TO BRL INGINIERIE IN NIMES, FRANCE FOR INSTITUTIONAL CAPACITY BUILDING FOR RIVER BASIN PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT