Water resources play a vital role in development and are critical to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on poverty, hunger, health and environment. However, the water forecast for Eastern and Southern Africa region is bleak as a number of basins within the region are already suffering from water scarcity or water stress.
This is due to increasing population pressure leading to overexploitation; depletion of water resources through pollution; deforestation, environmental degradation; extreme climate variability and climate change; and inadequate investment in water resource assessment, management, conservation and development, among others. Despite their valuable role in the ecosystem, the rate at which wetlands are being degraded, claimed and converted to other uses such as agriculture, urban and industrial development in the region is alarming.
ESARO’s Water & Wetland programme, which is a component of the IUCN Water & Wetlands Global Programme, is facilitating the planning and implementation of various projects to address the region’s problems:
The projects include the Pangani River Basin Management Project (PRBMP), Tanzania, the Global Water Initiative (GWI) - Running Dry, Tanzania, Lake Tanganyika Project (Burundi, Zambia, DRC and Tanzania) and Strengthening Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in Eastern Africa (Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania).