Posted on January 17, 2020 by Lillian Holmes
|Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
|Mar 2, 2024
Water challenges, even when experienced locally, often require solutions that address a greater catchment area. If a project is implemented locally, it may be unable to address the source of the problem. When scoping a project, anticipate both the hydrological and administrative boundaries of the water challenge, and consider expanding the partnership to engage other regions if necessary.
Environmental impacts cross administrative borders. For example, bad actors may pollute upstream water bodies if environmental compliance is less enforced, even when the consequences are felt by a much wider population downstream of the pollution. Through joint efforts across regions, environmental protection can be better enforced, preventing issues such as pollution from migrating to other locations in the watershed. Furthermore, the project is more likely to be sustainable when all those who benefit from the resource are engaged in its protection.
In Uganda’s Kiiha watershed, a partnership between GIZ IWaSP, DWRM, Kinyara Sugar Ltd and Ugandan NGO EcoTrust represented both business and local interests to address issues of wetland degradation near Kinyara’s plantations. Members of the local community had begun using the wetlands for agriculture. During previous efforts to protect the wetlands, the community members using harmful agricultural practices would simply move to areas with less enforcement on environmental protection. The partnership created joint efforts between the districts of Masindi and Hoima to tackle the problem of wetland degradation across the entire area, which was more successful than previous efforts. As one project leader described the issue, “If one district is against encroachers, they go to the next district. Through the partnership there was a common goal that compelled both districts to prevent encroachment.” This joint approach contributed to the project’s success.
This lesson learned reflects the beliefs and experiences of the author, not necessarily the Pacific Institute, CEO Water Mandate, or UN Global Compact.