Water and Land Resource Centre (WLRC) and the Ministry of Water and Energy (MoWE) organized a three-days workshop, April 15 – 17, 2024, held at Haile Grand Hotel Addis Ababa that focused on introducing the BRIGHT Project and aligning IWRM-related projects and activities in the five basins in Ethiopia. According to the organisers, the objectives of the Workshop were to: 1) introduce the design, objectives, work packages, management structure and implementation strategy of the BRIGHT Project to the key partners and stakeholders; 2) solicit inputs useful to further workout the details of the project proposal; and 3) align activities of BRIGHT and other IWRM-related projects within the rubrics of the National Integrated Water Resource Management Program (NIWRM) in Ethiopia.

While opening the Workshop, H.E. Dr. Abraha Adugna, State Minister of the FDRE Ministry of Water and Energy, said the Ministry, together with its partners such as WLRC, has secured two grants that reinforce one another and strengthen the National Integrated Water Resource Management Programme (NIWRMP). He specified that one of those grants is the ‘Basin Management Support for Resilient, Inclusive Growth and Harmonized Transformation BRIGHT project for the National IWRM implementation in Ethiopia, which is funded by the Netherlands Government and EU, and going to be implemented in partnership with the Water and Land Resource Centre (WLRC) and other key actors of IWRM-related projects. Dr. Abraha called for the implementing partners and participants to actively participate and contribute inputs useful to further expand, during the inception phase, the key issues outlined in the project proposal..

Dr Tena Alamirew, Deputy Director General of WLRC
H.E. Dr. Abrha Adugna, State Minister of MoWE, giving Opening Specech at the Workshop
Participants of the Workshop

Dr. Gete Zeleke, Director General of WLRC presented about the BRIGHT project, focusing on its objectives, work packages, the theory of change, project management set-up, inception phase activities and progress made thus far, the key actors and collaborators in the project; and overall expectations from the workshop. Building on that, Dr. Amare Bantider presented on the human, institutional, and infrastructural capacity building components of the BRIGHT project, followed by a presentation by Dr. Ermias Teferi on the scope of BRIGHT on WRIS/BIS support and another one by Dr. Tena Alamirew focusing on Basin Management Plans and choosing among candidates for high-impact areas to be proposed. The NIWRMP Coordinator Dr. Bizuneh presented the National Integrated Water Resource Managemner Program and clearly established the relevance, complementarity and integration of the BRIGHT Project to the NIWRMP. The alignment of the BRIGHT Project with the other IWRM-related projects and programs of MoWE was further demonstrated by the presentations made by Directors at MoWE, namely: Mr Debebe Defersho’s presentation of the ‘National Basin Information system: Status and intention’; Mr. Belayneh Yirdaw’s on ‘National IWRM: Initiatives and Intentions: Including Omo-Gibe and Tekeze Basins’; and Mr. Teketel Tadesse’s on ‘Water Resource Management issues, ongoing activities and priorities in Omo-Gibe and Tekeze Basins’. Also priorities and the currently active projects in the Abbay, Awash and Rift Valley Basins were presented by prefessionals from the respective basines and a summary of recently completed & ongoing IWRM projects across basins & regions was presented by Dr. Ermias Teferi.

Dr. Gete Zeleke, Director General of WLRC
Dr Ermias Teferi

Through plenary and group discussions and presentations, the participants assessed institutional capacities of the MoWE, Basins authorities and related actors; mapped IWRM-related projects in each basin and identif lessons that the BRIGHT project might draw from them; and identified and prioritized, using some indicative criteria, candidate hotspot sub-basins and watersheds for demonstration of IWRM in practice.

Participants holding Group Discussions

The workshop participants included: the State Minister and Directors of MoWE; Basin administrators from Abbay, Awash, and Rift Valley basins; and heads of regional Bureaus of Water and Energy and Irrigation and Lowlands, and Agriculture; Water Bureau of Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa city administrations; and the Management and Staff of WLRC. They affirmed that the BRIGHT Project with all its components and workpackages is an indispensable initiative to facilitate integrated and harmonized IWRM engagements within the framework of the NIWRM Programme, and thus they all vowed to join hands in implementation of the Project.

At the closing of the workshop, Dr. Gete underlined the future courses of action and called for continued engagement of all the actors and stakeholders in implementing the BRIGHT Project and making it a success. He finally thanked all the participants and organisers for their hard enthusiastic engagements during those three days. He closed the workshop with votes of thanks to Athlet Major Haile Gebresellassie and the Management and Staff Members of Haile Grand Hotel Addis Ababa for the excellent accommodation and hospitality they accorded to the workshop participants and organisers.