On 26 August 2020, a grant agreement worth $USD 2,118,960 was signed between the Sahara and Sahel Observatory (OSS), Global Water Partnership Eastern Africa (GWPEA), and Global Water Partnership Southern Africa (GWPSA).
The Horn of Africa, where the IGAD region is located, is home to one of the world’s largest concentrations of pastoralists and is also one of the most vulnerable regions to climate-related risks, affecting a population of about 230 million people. The vulnerability of the region and its people to climate change is further exacerbated by the fact that a significant portion of the population derives its livelihood from and depends on rain-fed agriculture systems.
The USD $2 million targets the promotion of investments in Early Warning Systems (EWS) and improves on the existing ones. The DRESS-EA project is composed of the following four phases:
Component 1: Promoting investments in Early Warning Systems (EWS)
Component 2: Strengthening capacities of key stakeholders at regional, national and local levels
Component 3: Supporting innovative drought adaptation actions
Component 4: Knowledge management and information sharing
The DRESS-EA project builds on existing initiatives within the Eastern Africa region such as the Integrated Drought Management Programme (IDMP) and the Africa Water Investment Support Programme to Water Climate and Gender (AIP WACDEP-G) – which both focus on enhancing drought resilience within the region.
Mr. George Sanga, GWPEA's Interim Regional Coordinator, emphasised that the DRESS-EA project is a timely intervention targeting one of the world's largest pastoralist populations in a region that is particularly vulnerable to climate-related risks.
For implementation of the DRESS-EA, GWPEA and IGAD are collaborating with the governments of Djibouti, Kenya, Sudan, and Uganda through the following national executing agencies:
- Djibouti: Ministry of Agriculture Water Fisheries and Livestock/Directorate of Rural Hydraulics
- Kenya: Ministry of Environment and Forestry/Directorate of Climate Change
- Sudan: Ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources
- Uganda: Ministry of Water and Environment/Directorate of Water Resources Management
Speaking on behalf of the Global Water Partnership, Mr. Peter Repinski, the interim Executive Secretary, noted that the virtual signing ceremony indicated that neither of the participants had left a carbon footprint. He also acknowledged the efforts of Djibouti, Kenya, Sudan, and Uganda on their efforts in "combating climate change in a moment where the twin challenges of drought-related risks and COVID-related economic and health shocks are affecting all countries in the region."
Photo: GWPEA 's interim Regional Coordinator, George Sanga, holding up the DRESS-EA Grant Agreement.