Chad validates its strategy and implementation plan for the Water Convention

Chad validates its strategy and implementation plan for the Water Convention

Chad validates its strategy and implementation plan for the Water Convention

Chad validates its strategy and implementation plan for the Water Convention

Much of Chad’s water resources are shared, notably the Lake Chad basin and its many tributaries and distributaries (shared with Cameroon, Central African Republic, Libya, Niger, Nigeria, Sudan and Algeria), the Niger River basin (shared with Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Niger and Nigeria) and the Nubian Sandstone aquifer system (shared with Libya, Egypt and Sudan).

In a context of increasing pressure on its water resources due to the impacts of climate change, pollution and growing urbanization, Chad is currently facing a number of challenges, such as the need to update or develop transboundary cooperation agreements for shared basins, and the need to strengthen quantitative and qualitative monitoring of water resources to prevent, control and reduce possible transboundary impacts. The issue of adapting to climate change through innovative approaches to shared water resources management is also a priority for Chad, like for other countries in the region.

To address these challenges, the Chadian authorities, under the leadership of the Ministry of Water and Sanitation, drew up and validated an implementation plan for the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention, whose secretariat is provided by the UNECE) at a national workshop on April 4-5, 2024 in N’Djamena. The main sectoral ministries and technical and financial partners active in the country took part in the discussions, marking an important stage in the implementation of the Water Convention in Chad.

Chad became the first African Party to the Water Convention in 2018, followed by eight other countries on the continent, including Cameroon (2022) and Nigeria (2023), with which Chad shares certain transboundary basins.  In order to strengthen its legal and political framework for more sustainable and concerted management of its water resources, the strategy and implementation plan document will enable Chad to consolidate water governance on a national and transboundary scale.

The exercise enabled Chad to identify current gaps and challenges in implementing the Convention’s obligations, as well as opportunities for translating the Convention into concrete legal, administrative, economic, social and environmental measures.

Chad’s Minister of Water and Sanitation, Mr. Passale Kanabe Marcellin, pointed out that such a document could be used to explore the technical and financial support that could be mobilized, thus confirming the catalytic role of the Water Convention.

The workshop was also an opportunity to hear from technical and financial partners active in the country and in the region, such as the European Union, the Global Water Partnership-Central Africa, the African Development Bank, the French Development Agency, the Swiss Cooperation for Development and Cooperation and the regional office of the International Union for Conservation of Nature. The partners reiterated that the issue of cross-border cooperation in the water sector is one of their thematic priorities, and expressed their interest in supporting certain thematic axes of the implementation plan, once consolidated, particularly those that will also be in line with the government’s strategic development priorities.

The presence of the national focal points of the Global Environment Facility and the Green Climate Fund also served as reminders of the financial opportunities offered by these funds to support projects linked to the management of shared water resources. Close collaboration between ministries, particularly between the technical ministry and those in charge of finance and planning, is also crucial in the search for technical and financial support.

Mr. Prime Ngabonziza, coordinator of the Regional Center for Water Resources in Central Africa (CRGE-AC), also recalled the current regional political momentum in favour of the Water Convention, pointing out that one of the CRGE’s main objectives is to support the region’s 11 countries in sustainably managing their transboundary water resources, in order to make better use of their basins and sub-basins.

The 10th session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Water Convention in October 2024 will be an opportunity for Chad to present its priority needs on the basis of this plan and explore possible support from technical and financial partners.

The support provided to Chad by the Convention secretariat for the development of the implementation strategy and action plan is part of the European Union’s “Promoting accession to the Water Convention” project, which aims to support accession to and implementation of the Water Convention, thereby strengthening transboundary water cooperation and the sustainable and peaceful management of shared water resources. It was also made possible thanks to the financial support of France and the Lake Chad Basin Commission through a regional GEF/UNDP project for the Lake Chad Basin.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).