Achievement at a glance
The GEF financed, UNEP and UNDP implemented project on Integrated Water and Wastewater Resource Management (IWRM) demonstration is piloting IWRM implementation through demonstration project in six SIDS. In Mauritius, the project has successfully put a groundwater monitoring system in the Northern Aquifer, a vital source of fresh water for the country. Cabo Verde is upgrading a wastewater treatment plant in Tarrafal and connecting a 500 households to the sewerage system in order to increase the reuse of wastewater in agriculture and improve sanitation. Maldives has launched a brand new integrated water supply system that is coupling desalination and rainwater harvesting to provide clean fresh water to all the inhabitants of Aa. Thoddoo island and reduce the pressure on the water lens. In Comoros, the local community of Mutsamudu now an active committee in charge of watershed management plan; in this framework cleanup activities as well as reforestation and anti-erosion measure have been taken. In La Digue, one of the most popular tourism destination in Seychelles, improved waste management, rainwater harvesting, wetland protection and water use efficiency measures have led to reduce pressure on the island groundwater resource. Finally, in Sao Tome and Principe the people of the city of Neves have taken action to protect the River Provaz. A river basin committee and watershed management plan was put in place. In all countries, awareness raising campaigns on water use efficiency, gender balance, best agricultural practices and pollution prevention have taken places at local and national level. Monitoring activities are now taking places and laboratory equipments have been provided to this end. Video documentaries are being produced to highlight challenges and success stories related to this component of the project.
Challenges faced in implementation
The project has been delayed for three years and an extension of one year until 2017 was granted by the regional steering committee. A turnover strategy was drafted and the project coordination unit was strengthen in order to fast track the implementation. Here where the biggest challenges faced: Human resources remain a key challenge in most of the countries. It has not been possible to find qualified candidates to support project implementation at national level due to limited human resources. In some cases there was a high turnover of focal points at country level resulting in discontinuity in project management.Small islands from the Atlantic and Indian Ocean have 3 different languages, have different cultures and face different water issues. These difference are a very concrete challenge that the project is still facing in implementing the project today, especially the language barrier. National elections in countries significantly affect and in some case delay the delivery of some components of the projects. Engaging the private sector is proven to be challenge. It is a process which takes time to bring them on board as they are driven by long term focus as opposed to projects that are limited and constrained by time.
The project will work on improving institutional frameworks and water policies in all 6 islands. To this effect a regional workshop bringing together all key stakeholders was organized in Naivasha, Kenya. As a result all the beneficiary countries submitted a budget and work plan for 2017, identifying key water priorities to address at national level. Funding mechanism through the Project cooperation agreements were signed and funds disbursed to the countries. The IWRM road mapping process will start on 1 July and by December 2017, all countries should have an IWRM plan in place. Multi-stakeholders consultations have already been organised In Sao Tome and Principe and Comoros. In parallel to the policy work, all six small island states are about to develop indicator frameworks to monitor the impact of the planned IWRM reform. The indicators will help the countries to report and monitor progress on international commitments such as the Sustainable Development Goals and the Samoa Pathway. Countries are also looking at replicating and up scaling success experiences stories from the demonstration projects. Mauritius is exploring opportunities to extend the monitoring and GIS system developed for the Northern Aquifer to all the other aquifers of the countries, this will help inform policies at national level. Maldives has secured USD 23.6 million from the Green Climate Fund to scale up the integrated water supply system launched in Aa. Thoddo into a low-cost delivery system that will provide clean freshwater to vulnerable households on 49 outer islands during the dry season. Cabo Verde, in collaboration with UNEP and FAO is looking at replicating the wastewater reuse initiative currently implemented in Tarrafal to several other locations in an effort to boost agriculture, reduce wastewater discharge in the sea and improve sanitation. Seychelles is looking at developing a copyright free water harvesting blue print and promote it in the entire country. Last but not least, several capacity building initiatives and training of trainers are planned at regional and national level in order to support the countries in their efforts to have a more coordinated approach to water resources management.\r\n
Women, Farmers, Local Communities, Governments
2000 people of Aa. Thoddoo island now have access to clean and safe drinking water during the dry season thanks to the project, the water lens will also be protected from over abstraction and pollution from farming activities in the ling run. Another 150 000 people will access the same benefits thanks to the GCF funded project. 500 additional households are now connected to the sewerage systems in the town of Tarrafal, Cabo Verde. 50 farmers have been trained to the reuse of treated wastewater in agriculture. In Comoros, the 30 000 people from Mutsamudu benefit from a cleaner environment thanks to the waste management system that was put in place (17 742 kilos of waste are removed everyday from the city). There was also a decline in conflict about water resources thanks to the establishment the integrated watershed management plan and committee. Hundred of thousands of people across the six islands have been targeted in awareness raising activities on IWRM, water use efficiency and the importance of water for small islands, especially with regards to the threats posed by climate change. In Mauritius, the 11,000 people of Grand Baie will eventually benefit from better water quality thanks the monitoring system that was put in place to the inform decision making. Additional household connection to the sewerage system will help increase the wastewater reuse for irrigation.Significant reforestation activities have taken place in Sao Tome and Principe and Comoros, thousand of trees have been planted.