The Water and Land Resource Centre Project

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Six model learning watersheds have been established in the Abbay Basin (Blue Nile) to serve as live learning platforms where lessons can be drived. Photo: WLRC

Background

The Water and Land Resource Centre (WLRC) Project concerns two transboundary river basins in the Horn of Africa and East Africa: the Blue Nile/Eastern Nile Basin in Ethiopia, and the Ewaso Ng’iro Basin in Kenya/Somalia. In these river basins, negotiations and decision-making on transboundary and trans-contextual hydropolitics are extremely challenging and often stall due to uneven political and economic power among the parties involved. WLRCs aim to help overcome these obstacles by facilitating evidence-informed negotiation and knowledge-based diplomacy, ultimately contributing to sustainable water and land governance.

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Photo: Blue Nile Falls by Giustino/Wikimedia Commons

Project approach

The project is designed to systematically collect, integrate, and share data that are otherwise highly fragmented, incomplete, or not available at all. Indeed, cross-sectoral and cross-scale knowledge generation and dissemination are essential preconditions for integrated regional management of water resources and resulting sustainable use of water and land.

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Examples of homestead initiatives by two farmers in Debre Mewi, Ethiopia Photo: WLRC

Results

Since 2011, CDE and its local partners have worked to establish two WLRCs in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia, and Nanyuki, Kenya, each with a different status. The WLRC in Ethiopia is a fully-fledged centre, while the WLRC in Kenya is a project housed at the Centre for Training and Integrated Research in Arid and Semi-arid Lands Development (CETRAD). Both WLRCs have established rich data and information repositories, produced tailor-made products for various stakeholder groups, and implemented activities on the ground. Both have been consolidated institutionally and now serve as knowledge platforms for cross-scale policy dialogue, learning, informed action, and improved decision-making on water and land management and governance.

Duration: 2011 – 2013 (Phase I), 2013 – 2015 (Phase II), 2016 – 2018 (Phase III)

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