AICS Addis Ababa at the 9th World Water Forum

AICS (Italian Agency for Development Cooperation) Addis Ababa is taking part in the 9th World Water Forum, in Dakar on the 22nd of March. Under the theme “Water security for peace and development”, the forum addresses the global challenges for people and nature, today and tomorrow, and accelerates the effective implementation of the global water agenda, which is a prerequisite for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. 

The Dakar Forum reinforces actions in the world for universal access to water and sanitation to give hope to those hundreds of millions of people currently deprived of the essential basic services. The Horn of Africa in particular, with a population of 230 million people, of which some 80 per cent are economically dependent on agriculture, is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change such as droughts and floods. 

In this occasion, Isabella Lucaferri, AICS Addis Ababa Head of Office, and Elena Lovat, WaSH, Energy and Environment Programme Coordinator, presented, during the thematic group on migration and water nexus in the context of rural development, the project “Drought resilience and sustainable livelihood programme” “implemented in the Afar Region, in North-eastern Ethiopia. 

“The project through the provision of WaSH services, aims to support pastoralist and agropastoralist communities, especially the young generations, in developing sustainable livelihood opportunities while maintaining traditional lifestyle” explains Elena Lovat, WaSH programme coordinator. 

In Ethiopia, in fact, pastoralists are amongst the most poorly served population in a country that has extremely low levels of access to water, sanitation and hygiene services when compared to international standards. 

The principle rainy season, known as ‘Karma,’ is when communities in the Afar region have sufficient water to meet their needs. In recent years, the rainfall situation has been erratic and the impact on the communities significant. The lack of water did not allow pastures to properly regenerate. 

Worsening livelihood conditions have already resulted in increased migration and displacement. These risks are domestic and transnational and could affect the probability of tensions and conflict within and among countries. 

In this context, the project wants to promote local structural economic growth through the development of value chains that adapt to local needs and promote resilience to climate change. 

“Water, sanitation, hygiene, are, among others, pillar sectors of the international development cooperation for the significant contribution to reduce the environmental-health risks and allow people to live in a condition of dignity and to contribute to economic development also in rural areas” says Isabella Lucaferri. 

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