Accra, Oct. 5, GNA – Dr Kwaku Agyemang-Mensah, Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing has inaugurated the 7th Water, Climate, and Development Programme (WACDEP) coordination meeting in Accra, to enable representatives of different African countries share ideas on water development.
The three- day workshop, which started on Monday, would also serve as a platform to discuss the key constraints and opportunities identified for implementation, and set the stage for scaling up WACDEP implementation.
Participating countries are Ghana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroun, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tunisia, and Zimbabwe.
Dr Agyemang-Mensah said the country is vulnerable to climate change and variability owing to its reliance on sectors that are sensitive to environmental changes
“We are aware that for sustainable development to be meaningful, water should be at the centre of every discussion and in every strategic plan”, he said.
He said the nation also relies heavily on agriculture, forestry and hydro energy which are completely rain-fed; and therefore severe drought emanating from climate change would affect the volumes of water in the river channels as the lakes would impact negatively on water delivery to the people.
The Minister recommended that water infrastructure is a long-term asset that needs to be resilient and monitored to ensure that it copes with climate change pressures.
This he said is because failing as a nation to adopt climate resilient strategy, makes the country lose its rich human and material capital.
He noted that the National Development Planning Commission through the initiative of the Ghana Country Water Partnership (CWP-Ghana) and the Water Resources Commission has taken a valuable step to mainstream water security, as a cross-cutting issue in the national medium-term development planning framework for the 2014-2017 planning period.
Mr Ben Yaw Ampomah, Acting Chairman of the CWP-Ghana said another reason for the technical meeting is to advance the agenda of promoting water as a key part of sustainable regional and national development, and to contribute to climate change adaptation for economic growth and human security.
Mr Ampomah told the GNA in an interview that the meeting would provide a platform to discuss how to fund projects that would consider climate change in water establishing projects in the participating countries.
Among the participants of the meeting would be representatives from Global Water Partnership Office in Stockholm Sweden, Africa Ministerial Council on Water from the various countries, WACDEP Coordination Unit in Pretoria, regional and country offices of GWP.
Other supporting institutions like Climate and Development Knowledge Network, African Development Bank, International Water Management Institute, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Infrastructure Consortium for Africa would also take in the technical meeting.
WACDEP is an African Ministers Council on Water initiative carried out by the Global Water Partnership and its regional and national branches in eight African countries and five river basins.
WACDEP-Ghana was launched in July 2014 by the CWP-Ghana with the support of the Water Resources Commission.