Improved water resources management for resilience building in Karamoja

Karamoja, a vast semi-arid landscape in northeastern Uganda, is the country’s most disadvantaged region. The area has high levels of poverty and the lowest level of access to or use of basic health, nutrition and education services. Karamoja is known as pastoralist area, with nomadic herders, however around 90% of the population also lives from crop production. Chronic poverty is largely attributed to drought, climate variability, disease outbreaks, social insecurity and conflict.

Resilience building programs

Resilience building programs have proven to reduce disaster risk, through risk mitigation, adaptation, preparedness, early action and adequate response in case of stress. Cordaid, with her local partners, has been one of the development partners implementing resilience projects in north-east Uganda since 2009. Together we give support to, among others, enhance livestock management, crop production, alternative livelihoods, natural resources protection and restoration, access to water for consumption and production, access to information e.g. on agricultural practices and climate information, community organization for disaster risk management and multi-stakeholder collaboration.

In a recent cooperation with support of DFID and GIZ, Cordaid and her partners Caritas Kotido, Socadido, TPO Uganda and Caritas Moroto worked together with Acacia Water, RAIN and Wetlands International to reduce disaster risks in Karamoja and Teso Regions in Uganda by supporting the Uganda Ministry of Water & Environment to develop Catchment Management Plans for Lokok and Lokere Catchments, set up Catchment Management Organizations and by implementing measures for Integrated Water Resources Management.

Integrated Water Resources Management

Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) is a process that promotes the coordinated development and management of natural resources to balance demand with availability to maximize economic and social welfare in an equitable way without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems. In the project Cordaid facilitated the participatory process for developing Catchment Management Plans (CMP) which describe the available resources, users, demand, as well as the results of the analysis and the selected interventions for management and protection of the resource base that supports economic and social benefits. These CMPs are now available to further guide investments in the catchments and to sustainably manage the available resources.

In the same trajectory Cordaid supported the establishment of Catchment Management Organisations (CMO). These CMOs include different bodies. The wide group of different stakeholders meet in the Catchment Stakeholder Forum. A representation of the stakeholders is selected to become member of the Catchment Management Committee (CMC). Cordaid trained the CMC members on multi-stakeholder collaboration by using Serious Gaming.

Upscaling

Cordaid local partners Caritas Kotido, Socadido and TPO Uganda implemented several resilience measures. Though a guiding CMP was still under development, the measures were selected based on previous positive experience and offered another opportunity to test their suitability for further upscaling. 20,745 direct and 53,750 indirect beneficiaries were supported with improved natural resources management, restored natural environment, increased access to water and enhanced livelihoods.

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