[WLRC, Mar 2024]: Water and Land Resource Centre (WLRC) Water Security and Sustainable Development Hub Project disseminated the project outputs at a workshop entitled, “Nurturing water secure future in the Central Rift Valley: insights from water security research”, which was held 11th and 12th of March 2024 at South Star International Hotel, Hawassa, Ethiopia. The aim of the workshop was to share the findings of the hub project with relevant stakeholders operating in the Central Rift Valley (CRV) sub-basin and encourage them to implement insights of research outputs in view of realizing a water secure future in sub-basin.

The Deputy Director of WLRC Dr. Tena Alamirew explained that the Water Security and Sustainable Development Hub (2019 – 2023) engaged in research and capacity building components and the creation of knowledge-sharing platform in the Abbay, Awash and Central Rift Valley basins. He further elaborated that the activities in the CRV sub basin focused on water security, ground-surface water, hydrology, water values, water allocation and use, water governance and management, and other issues related to water security. He said that the insightful research findings can inform policies and strategies; some warrant to be fused into practice for water secure future, and hence, those findings deserve to be shared with the concerned stakeholders.

In his closing remark, the State Minister of Water and Energy Dr. Abreha Adugna outlined the contributions of WLRC through projects such as the Water Security and Sustainable Development Hub Project, in creating conducive environment to engage and mobilize all stakeholders from the federal to the woreda levels to work together on water security issues. H.E. Dr. Abraha indicated that the project organised a number of capacity-building and knowledge-sharing engagements such as trainings, workshops, and data generation tasks; that it supported PhD researchers, and designed knowledge sharing platforms that inspired MoWE and its stakeholders to embark on the Integrated Water Resources Management Program at the national level. Dr. Abreha hence acknowledged WLRC for establishing a platform whereat practitioners that have the potential to bring a substantial change on the water Security issues in the CRV come together and discuss mechanisms of joint action.

The presentations included findings on geology and hydrology, ground water modelling, water allocation and management, community perception and trade-offs of water management, and intersectionality. Besides, eight posters were presented/displayed and role plays, panel discussions, and interactive virtual activities.

The role-playing game as an active learning technique is intended to illustrate the importance of stakeholders’ communication and cooperation when making decisions to address public water use and management issues. In the role play, participants represented different sectors were requested to take on an active role in a simulation of a round table discussion that involves interaction, presenting their arguments, and put forward self-centered recommendations to influence decision making. The breakaway group discussion session took place in five groups from Ketar Watershed, Meki Watershed, Langano-Abijata-Shalla Watershed, Research and Universities, and Private sector, unions and public Enterprises and then presented their ideas. Furthermore, in the dissemination workshop, two rounds of interactive virtual activities were conducted using mentimeter.

The workshop was attended by 67 participants drawn from the MoWE, CRV Basin Administrative offices, research institutions, regions, zones, woredas, community associations and private companies.