The seventh technical coordination meeting of the Water, Climate and Development Programme (WACDEP) opened yesterday with a call on participants to share ideas, experiences and suggestions that would lead to the reduction of the impacts of climate change on the West African sub-region.
Making the call, the Minister for Water Resources Works and Housing, Dr Kwaku Agyemang-Mensah, suggested the inclusion of the adoption of buffer zone policies, reafforestation and the conservation of water bodies in deliberations during the three-day meeting.
He said national policy responses to water security and climate change should include climate change adaptability programmes and actions, which should be mainstreamed into annual work plans, the national budget and be effectively implemented by sector agencies.
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The technical meeting, which is being attended by the eight countries that are rolling out the WACDEP and other representatives from the Africa Ministerial Council on Water (AMCOW), the WACDEP Coordination Unit in South Africa and the Global Water Partnership (GWP) among other sector agencies in Ghana, would discuss the progress made so far, approaches adopted and lessons learnt in the programme.
Organised by the Ghana Country Water partnership (CWP-Ghana), the technical meeting would also discuss the key constraints and opportunities identified for implementation, and set the stage for scaling up WACDEP implementation to include at least 10 countries in Africa.
NDPC works with WACDEP
Stating that “failing as a nation to adopt a climate-resilient strategy, we stand to lose our rich human and material capital,” Dr Agyemang-Mensah said the National Development Planning Commission (NDPC) had, under the WACDEP through CWP-Ghana and the Water Resources Commission (WRC), incorporated water security in the National Medium-term Development Planning framework for the 2014-2017 planning period.
In his welcome address, the acting Chairman of CWP-Ghana and Executive Director of the WRC, Mr Ben Ampomah, said the Ghana WACDEP team and the CWP-Ghana had benefitted immensely from delivering the WACDEP outputs from the lessons shared and the outcomes from the past six coordination meetings.
The Executive Secretary of GWP, Mr Rudolph Cleveringa, said the partnership would strengthen the institutional capacities of about 18 countries to respond to their governmental projections of the SDGs, especially around water, and also start an associated programme on crop management, all of which could benefit from WACDEP.
“Our last challenge is moving from advocacy to action and with that I feel very confident that the WACDEP vehicle is a proper choice,” he stated.