On the 4-5 February 2018, the UNESCO Khartoum Office, Regional Center for Water Harvesting and Dams Implementation Unit of the Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR) conducted an Expert Meeting “Towards sustainable operation, maintenance, and management systems of water harvesting facilities in Sudan” in Police Club, Khartoum. More than 60 water professionals from different states of Sudan discussed different issues of Water Harvesting. The meeting was honored by H.E. Mr. Muataz Musa, the Minister of Water Resources, H.E. Eng. Khidir Gism Elseed, the State Minister and Director of Dams Implementation Unit in MoWR, H.E. Utila Uras, the Representative of UN Environment in Sudan. Different other senior professionals from the MoWR, States’ Water Authorities / Ministries, UN Environment, UNICEF, and Private Sector attended the event.
The opening session started with welcoming speech of Eng. Hatim Al-Badri, the General Director of Regional Center for Water Harvesting, where he welcomed participants and highlighted that the Dams Implementation Unit’s Zero Thirst Programme lists 7500 sub-projects, and this complexity imposes numerous management, operation and maintenance challenges. Eng. Abdelgadir Salih, the Science Programmes Officer in UNESCO Khartoum Office expressed UNESCO’s satisfaction of the partnership with the MoWR, listing achievements of the period 2016-2017, and underlining his optimism about continuity of the cooperation. H.E. Mr. Utila Uras, the Representative of UN Environment, mentioned the importance of the Zero Thirst campaign in frameworks of climate change. H.E Eng. Khidir Gasm Elseed, the State Minister and Director of Dams Implementation Unit in MoWR, overviewed the water harvesting history and progress, which Sudan made since the 1940’s. H.E Amb. Mutaz Musa expressed the MoWR’s attitude to resolving all water issues in Sudan, appreciated the Sudanese Government’s and Arab Funding Agencies’ support for water projects in Sudan, and expressed his satisfaction of the partnership with UNESCO.
The technical sessions were about:
Laws and legislations for Water Harvesting and other water issues
Water tariff and Water Economy
Institutional setup and administrative hierarchy of water facilities
Best practices of water facilities management (community participation)
Group work for modelling scenarios for Water Harvesting and selecting optimal scenario
The results of group work were presented and discussed at the closing session. Then, H.E. Eng. Khidir Gasm Elseed, the State Minister and Director of Dams Implementation Unit in MoWR, in his final speech promised more development projects for Sudanese states and MoWR’s support in coordination with state’s governments to enable sustainable running and maintaining the Sudanese water harvesting facilities.