On initiative of the Integrated Management Water Resources Programme (Bam-Gire), funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Mali, Wetlands International Mali has strengthened the capacity of civil society organizations in Upper Niger and Inner Niger Delta on communication and advocacy as regards issues related to planning and water resources management. This training workshop (21th to 23rd October 2015), brought together 50 stakeholders of the civil society from Mali and Guinea, with representatives of the Coordination of Associations and Women ‘s Organizations (CAFO), the National Youth Council (CNJ) , NGOs and the National Commission of Users and-using water resources of the river basin.
”It is more than necessary to promote a dynamic civil society network which supports the project throughout its implementation on communication and advocacy on the issue of equitable water sharing in particular between the different sectors and users, the challenges and issues related to its use and sustainable management ‘‘, said Dr. Mohamed Gareyane, Programme Manager of Wetlands International Mali Office, in his welcome address. On behalf of the organization, he thanked participants for their effective stake as he hailed the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Mali for its financial support for the implementation of the Integrated Management Water Resources Programme in Mali (Bam-IWRM).
Mr. Moumouni Damango, the Regional Executive representative, magnified the relevance of the initiative of Wetlands International to strengthen capacity building in communication and advocacy around this strategic resource which is water. After welcoming the representatives of civil society of Guinea Conakry and Mali, two sister countries, he invited the civil society to take ownership of the theme and play its full role in the field of integrated water management resources.
The three-day training workshop enabled participants to learn about the BAMGIRE program; improve their knowledge of the Inner Niger, Delta’s water resources on legislation and regulations of water management (water code, national water policy), on the integrated water management resources (concepts and principles, planning processes, roles and responsibilities of actors, economic instruments, etc.); and to become familiar with the concepts of communication and advocacy including communication for behavior change, key elements, steps, advocacy objectives.
The representatives of civil society from Mali and Guinea unanimously welcomed the initiative of Wetlands International. They pledged to work on communication and advocacy in improving knowledge of water resources in the upper Niger and the Inner Niger Delta, to increase national funding in the water sector and adoption of individual and collective behavior and rational use and sustainable management of water resources.