Recent News

  • Fri
    Sep
    02
    2016

    Our project highlighted at the Stockholm World Water Week

    The IWRM AIO SIDS project took part to the World Water Week in Stockholm themed Water for sustainable development, 28 August to 2 September 2016. The Regional Coordination Unit took the opportunity to convene a seminar to highlight the ongoing work on wastewater management and reuse. The CEO of the National Agency for Water and Sanitation of Cabo Verde, Hercules Vieira, and the Director of the Water Resource Unit of Mauritius, Lomush Joggoo, where invited by the project to be part of the event.

    The session called "Using Wastewater Efficiently to Protect the Environment and Combat Poverty" promoted exchange on the value of wastewater as a resource for food production (irrigation, fertilization), employment and electricity generation. It also focused on the role of wastewater in implementing IWRM approaches in developing countries, as well as in contributing to the implementation of the SDG 6, target 6.3. UNU-Flores, FAO, UNESCO and UNEP also took part to the event. Panelists included: Hercules Viera, CEO of ANAS in Cabo Verde; Stefan Uhlenbrook, World Water Assessment Programme, UNESCO; Lomush Juggoo, Director of the Water Resources of Mauritius; Birguy Lamizana, Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities, UNEP; Marlos DeSouza, FAO; Reza Ardakanian, UNU-Flores.

    By bringing together actors working on wastewater related projects implemented by a wide range of agencies and involving different sectors of activities around the world, the event created new synergies, partnerships and avenues for exchange of experiences.

    The coordination unit also attended several other events including one organised by the Africa Minister’s Council on Water (and UNEP DGI) on "Monitoring and Reporting on Water and Sanitation SDGs". This was followed by a high level event where African Ministers of Environment highlighted their national plans towards realising water and sanitation related Goals. One key outcome of the event was a call for harmonised reporting to AMCOW, aligned to SDG reporting. The event was important for the project as it links the work done on the development of a Regional IWRM Framework, which could fall under the auspices of the AMCOW.

    UN Water also announced that the theme for World Water Day 2017 will focus on wastewater management and reuse.

    More information:

    - Geraldine Deblon at GeraldineD@unops.org

    Other Resources:

    - Agenda of the Seminar

    Presentations

    - Flickr Picture Gallery

  • Mon
    May
    30
    2016

    Small Island States Discuss Investment in Water Resources Management at GEF IWC-8 Conference

    16 May 2016, Negombo, Sri Lanka - Representatives from the UNEP/UNDP/GEF Atlantic and Indian Ocean SIDS Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) Project attended to the 8th Global Environment Facility Biennial International Waters Conference (IWC-8) in Sri Lanka. The meeting gathered over 300 delegates to discuss how to speed up and improve the world’s response to growing pressure on transboundary fresh and marine water resources.

    Oceans are vital for regulating the climate, maintaining biodiversity and for global food security. While, transboundary water resources, whether rivers, basins or aquifers, link populations of neighbouring countries and support the incomes and livelihoods of billions of peo­ple worldwide.

    Yet, today, oceans are rapidly being degraded mainly by land-based activities. Almost 60% of fish stocks are estimated to be fully exploited, while coral reefs—home to 25% of all marine species—are particularly threatened. And, our planet’s freshwater sources are being rapidly degraded by a range of global pressures such as popula­tion growth, pollution, food shortages and a chang­ing climate.

    In response to such challenges, over 80 countries met at IWC-8 in Sri-Lanka and lessons from 70 active projects were shared to help address the conference theme of Scaling Up Investments from Source to Sea in the Context of Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The UNEP/UNDP/GEF Atlantic and Indian Ocean SIDS Integrated Water Resources Management Project actively participated in the conference. It was represented by the demonstration project managers and national focal points from Maldives, Seychelles, Mauritius, Comoros, Sao Tome and Principe and Cabo Verde as well as the implementing agencies (UNEP and UNDP) and executing agency (UNOPS).

    The rationale was that Small Island Development States (SIDS)—countries with the most resource-strapped and vulnerable communities—need to respond fast and innovatively to meet the SDGs and other international commitments. Moreover, given the very clear linkages between upstream watershed management and the welfare of downstream coastal ecosystems, SIDS are leading the world in applying a source to sea approach that actively integrates the IWRM methodology.

    Through carefully crafted sessions, the 20 representatives from the IWMR AIO SIDS project explored and deliberated on a range of issues, such as cooperation frameworks, investment tools, sharing of technical and political solutions and techniques. His Excellency Hon. Mr. Thoriq Ibrahim, Minister of Environment and Energy of the Maldives was one of the guest of honour who attended the high-level segment of the conference through the support of the project.

    The UNEP/UNDP/GEF Atlantic and Indian Ocean SIDS Integrated Water Resources Management Project supports Maldives, Seychelles, Mauritius, Comoros, Sao Tome and Principe and Cabo Verde to advance on IWRM and/or integrated coastal management policy and planning. Through the International Water (IW) portfolio, the GEF has supported 34 SIDS in the world to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of fresh water and coastal resources governance.

    The GEF Biennial International Waters Conference (IWC) is the signature learning event for the GEF IW portfolio. The IWC objectives are to facilitate cross-sectoral and portfolio-wide learning and experience sharing.

    More information:

    - GEF IWC-8 Website.
    - Check out our photos from the IWC-8 Conference on Flickr.

  • Sun
    May
    08
    2016

    Highlights of the Fourth National Steering Committee of the SIDS AIO IWRM in Sri Lanka

     

    06 May 2016, Colombo (Sri-Lanka) - The fourth Regional Steering Committee of the Integrated Water Resources Management in Atlantic and Indian Ocean Small Islands Developing State project was held in Colombo, Sri Lanka,  from 06 to 08 May 2016.

    The three days meeting gathered high-level government officials from the six participating countries, national stakeholders, demonstration project managers and representatives from the UN agencies involved in the project. Important items of business discussed and approved by the Committee included: an update of the log frame and the management response to the mid-term evaluation review of the project, the revised budget for the remaining components, the exit strategy and closure plan for the component on demonstration projects and well as the work plan for the 2016.

    Because of their small size and limited landmass, many SIDS do not have large watersheds and catchment areas that allow for extensive surface water-bodies or large underground sources of water.

    Pressure on water supplies also comes from economic activities, such as tourism, urbanization, coastal area development, agriculture, and mining. The impact of growing demands for water combined with decreasing availabilities of water resources poses a great challenge to the sustainable development of SIDS.

    In response, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) has funded a full sized project to support six Small Island Developing States (SIDS) of which two are located in the Atlantic Ocean (Cape Verde and Sao Tome & Principe) and four are located in the Indian Ocean (Comoros, Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles).

    The SID AIO IWRM project aims to implement integrated cross sectorial water resource management initiatives and to contribute to sustainable development in the Indian and Atlantic Ocean SIDS through improvements in natural resource and environmental management.

    It is implemented by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the United Nations Office for Project Services UNOPS.

    You can have a look at the pictures of the meeting on our Flickr page or on our picture gallery page.

    For more information, contact:

    The SID AIO IWRM Regional Coordination Unit: GeraldineD@unops.org.

  • Wed
    Mar
    30
    2016

    IWRM Project Takes Part to the World Water Day Celebrations in Mauritius

    The Minister of Energy and Public Utilities of Mauritius, H. E. Ivan Collendavelloo, officially kicked off the World Water Day 2016 celebrations by launching an exhibition on water at the "La Marie" water treatment plant, the biggest in the country. The three-day event on the theme “Water and Jobs” was organised at the initiative of the Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities in collaboration with several ministries and departments. During the event awareness raising materials produced under the framework of the IWRM AIO SIDS demonstration project in Mauritius were distributed to the participants.

    Present at the opening, the Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Energy and Public Utilities, Mr Ivan Collendavelloo, said that although 99% of the population have access to water, some 20% do not receive adequate water because of the aging water network. Hence the need for good management and a review of organisational aspects of the CWA, he added.

    The IWRM AIO SIDS demonstration project in Mauritius was launched in oder to improve water management by adopting a coordinated approach to protect the Northern Aquifer. The aquifer contributes between 50 and 60 percent of water used for domestic purposes, such as washing and drinking, but it is susceptible to over-exploitation and pollution from agricultural chemicals, sewage and wastewater. 

    With a view to improving awareness and knowledge of the complex geological structure of the Northern Aquifer (and the quality of its water) a partnership and co-finance arrangement has been established between the United Nations Development Programme and the government of Mauritius through its Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities/Water Resources Unit (WRU). Part of the project activities seek to address the lack of awareness of the population on the treats to this precious resource and World Water Day provided a good platform to that endeavour. Overall, the project is setting up a GIS-based groundwater monitoring system to support and ensure timely decision and overall protection of the vital Northern aquifer water resources.

    During the official opening ceremony of the exhibition Mr. Simon Springett, the UN Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative for Mauritius and Seychelles, noted the progress made in the implementation of the project and highlighted its importance to enable the Water Resource Unit and the Central Water Authority of Mauritius to gauge more accurately the potential of the Northern Aquifer.

    The demonstrations project in Mauritius is part of a bigger initiative, the “Integrated Water Resource Management in Atlantic and Indian Ocean Small Island Developing States Project (IWRM AIO SIDS)”, funded by Global Environment Facility (GEF) and aiming at promoting integrated water management in six island: Maldives, Seychelles, Mauritius, Comoros, Cape Verde and Sao Tome and Principe. The United Nations Environment Programme and the United Nations Development Programme are the implementing agencies. The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) was tasked to execute the project on the ground in partnership with respective national authorities, in this case the Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities.

    Other activities organised at national level in Mauritius included:

    - A rally was organised on the 24th of March 2016 at Riviera Rampart. Students from the University of Mauritius, representatives of the Ministry of Education, members of Youth Clubs and employees from the Cooperative Society participated to the event. The purpose was to sensitise students and the public at large to the importance of water use efficiency. On this occasion students planted trees on banks of river to highlight the concept of water conservation. Some 150 students have taken part to the event.

    - From the 22nd to the 24th of March students and the public at large has been invited to come and visit the Midlands Dam and Pailles Water Treatment plant. Water Use Efficiency sensitisation activities have been organised. Pamphlets and brochures were distributed to all visitors on that occasion.

    - An awareness raising campaign aimed at sensitising the public on the need of protecting water resources has been launched at national level in Mauritius. Tv and radio adverts as well as billboards have been running from the19th to the 29th of March 2016, in parallel to the World Water Day 2016 celebrations. The materials were produced in the framework of the IWRM AIO SIDS project.

    - A fresco competition on IWRM was organised. Students from the region of Cascavelle (West coast of Mauritius) have been invited to paint the surrounding walls of nearby reservoir. The activity provided an excellent opportunity to insure visibility to the project as it is situated in an area which is widely visited in the region. The first prize was awarded to Swami Sivananda SSS and the team received Rs 20,000, shields and certificates. The second prize went to Collège du St Esprit which received a cash prize of Rs 15,000, shields and certificates. Quatre Bornes SSS bagged the third prize and was awarded a cash prize of Rs 10,000, shields and certificates. The remaining non-winning teams received Rs 5,000 and certificates. The prizes were awarded on the day of the opening of the exhibition at La Marie Water Treatment Plant, i.e. 22 March 2016. Materials for painting, refreshments, t-shirts and caps were provided freely to participants.

     

    Read the article on the activities on the Government website.

    Have a look at our picture gallery on Flickr.

  • Wed
    Feb
    24
    2016

    The President of the Republic of Maldives Launched A New Integrated Water Supply System on AA. Thoddoo Island

    24 February 2016, Aa. Thoddoo Island (Maldives) - His Excellency Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom, President of the Republic of Maldives, is launching a new integrated water supply system on AA. Thoddoo island today. The system will harness harvested rainwater and water desalination to meet the domestic water demands of the island, helping to protect the island fragile freshwater lens by reducing over-extraction of groundwater. The infrastructure work was contracted to the Male Water & Sewerage Company (MWSC) by the Government of Maldives, which co-financed the venture with GEF under the framework of the Integrated Water Resource Management Project.

    In common with low-lying islands around the world, the Maldives is not gifted with an huge resources of freshwater − inhabitants of the archipelago depend on rainwater and groundwater aquifers to meet their needs. In the capital city of Malé desalinated water is supplied to households via a metred network, but on the most of the outlying islands water is drawn from shallow, hand-dug wells and household or community-owned rainwater tanks. The transportation of water is also common in the Maldives, especially during the dry months of March and April.

    On Thoddoo, an island located 67 km from the Maldivian capital of Malé, groundwater is heavily exploited for agriculture; about 75 percent of the land is used for the cultivation of papaya, watermelon, betel, chillies and leafy vegetables. Approximately 100 farmers tap into Thoddoo’s freshwater lens on a daily basis, using the water to irrigate their crops. However, the groundwater aquifer is extremely susceptible to contamination from wastewater and agricultural chemicals: it is often foul smelling and discoloured, and in some areas farmers have abandoned fields because the salinity of the groundwater makes it unsuitable for irrigating crops.

    Both farmers and citizens of Thoddoo have expressed concern about the contamination of the island’s freshwater lens and an Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) demonstration project has been initiated to resolve the freshwater pollution and over abstraction on the island, and ultimately address the challenge of saltwater intrusion.

    The demonstrations project is part of a bigger initiative, the “Integrated Water Resource Management in Atlantic and Indian Ocean Small Island Developing States Project (IWRM AIO SIDS)”, funded by Global Environment Facility (GEF) and aiming at promoting integrated water management in six island: Maldives, Seychelles, Mauritius, Comoros, Cape Verde and Sao Tome and Principe. The United Nations Environment Programme and the United Nations Development Programme are the implementing agencies. The United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) was tasked to execute the project on the ground in partnership with respective national authorities, in this case the Ministry of Environment and Energy through its Water and Sanitation Department.

    A major constituent of the demonstration project was establish an integrated water supply system harnessing harvested rainwater and water desalination to meet the domestic water demands of the island. The initiative is expected to provide a yearly mean rainwater supply of 8619m 3 to the each and every 2,000 inhabitants of the island, helping to reduce over-extraction of groundwater.


    Watch the video of the opening ceremony:


    The GEF kick started the construction of the water supply system by providing the initial funding. It is worth noting that the Government of Maldives invested the remaining 70% of the budget needed, almost 1 million USD, and insisted on extending the reach of the system to all inhabitants of the island, demonstrating great ownership in the project.

    During the inauguration ceremony His Excellency Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom, the President of the Republic of Maldives, pointed that international organisations assisted in financing the project in collaboration with the Government. He added“We want to express our gratitude to the UN for their continuous support and assistance to the Maldives.”

    Aside from the infrastructure development component, the project also has a “soft” component that will educate and sensitise the people of Thoddoo Island, especially farmers, about the fragile nature of the freshwater lens and the need to protect its integrity. A Water Committee for Thoddoo Island has been created to this effect and gathers representatives from every walk of island life, from the chairperson of the Island Council to farmers, women, schools and non-governmental organisations. The Water Committee is expected to play a key role in the management of water resources on Thoddoo in the future. One of its biggest challenges is to address the excessive abstraction of water from the freshwater lens, which is causing its depletion and increased salination. Another challenge is to curb the irresponsible use of chemicals and fertilizers: these are sometimes mixed inside wells which makes it easy for farmers to dispense them to their crops, but causes serious contamination of the lens.

    For more information about the project, please contact:

    - Geraldine Deblon, Communication Officer for the GEF/UNDP/UNEP Integrated Water Resource Management in Atlantic and Indian Ocean Small Islands Developing States project: GeraldineD@unops.org 

    - Aminath Sheron , Project Manager, Ministry of Environment & Energy, Male, Maldives: aminath.sheron@environment.gov.mv.

    Other resources:

    - You can have a look at the pictures of the project on our Flickr page or on our picture gallery page.

    - Visit the website of the Ministry of Environment and Energy.

  • Mon
    Jan
    25
    2016

    Meet Nourddine Mirhani, the man behind the project logo

    As the regional project coordination unit we would like to officially acknowledge Nourddine Mirhani for designing the official project logo that we now use on a daily basis. We also wanted to give him an opportunity to write about his involvement in the project and what inspired him to design the logo. Here is what he had to say:

    My name is Nourddine Mirhani and I was born in the town of Mutsamudu, on the island of Anjouan, in Comoros. I hold a phd in physical, human, economic and regional geography since June 2014. I am also a Science and Environmental Technician specialized in Environmental Impact Assessment and Plant Ecology since September 2003. From 2010 to 2014, I was responsible for the biodiversity portfolio at the Directorate of Environment and Forestry in Anjouan. Since late 2014, I was appointed Director of Land-use Planning. In parallel to this function, I was also tasked to monitor projects on behalf of the governor of the autonomous island of Ndzuwani.

    I got familiar with the IWRM project because of my professional activities and the scientific researches I am working on. I was working at the Directorate of Environment and Forestry in Anjouan, when I signed up for a doctoral thesis on the écogéography of forests galleries in Anjouan in September 2010. The idea was to understand the fundamental role of these riparian formations on maintaining water flows in order to provide a stream restoration and management plan. This topic was later updated to include the dynamic evolution of geosystems. The change in topic provided an opportunity to better understand the functioning of the watershed of Anjouan and to determine the factors of disturbance. An integrated watershed management model was elaborated based on the research. It is thanks to these activities that I was invited to participate at one of the IWRM project presentation meeting organized in partnership with the Department of the Environment and Forestry of Anjouan, UNOPS, UNEP and UNDP. Right after its launch, the IWRM AIO SIDS country project team was temporarily hosted in the offices of the Directorate of Environment and Forestry where I was working. During that period of time, lots of ideas and dialogues took places. At the end of the first Regional Steering Committee meeting of the IWRM AIO SIDS project that was organized in Seychelles in 2013, a call for project logo proposals was issued. Participants all agreed that the proposal that would get the majority of votes will be selected as the official project logo. With this in mind, I worked on a logo and submitted it to the then regional project coordinator, Dr. Simonetta Siligato. My concept was selected by the majority of the steering committee members and became the official project logo.

    After defending my PhD on the issue of river watershed disturbance in Anjouan in June 2014, my relationship with the IWRM project became stronger. Indeed, the project was a direct response to the research I had been working on. For this reason, I voluntarily agreed to go to the field with the project team, to do presentations at workshops and to provide free training sessions to the newly formed watershed management committee of Mutsamudu. Finally, following a call for consultation on the mapping of the Mutsamudu basin, my file was selected by the National Selection Committee. The validation of the final report was done in September 2015. Currently, I am part of an Interim Committee for the national coordination of the IWRM AIO SIDS project in my capacity of Director of Land-use Planning in Anjouan.

    Having acquired basic knowledge in the field of environmental science, geography and watershed systems, I already had many ideas for the IWRM project logo design. My first intention was to retain only the concepts that fitted the objectives of the project. I also paid special attention to design a logo that would be universal and easily interpretable. The choice of the color palette and icons has been made based on these criteria. Here is my interpretation:

    - Two main colors were chosen: green to refer to nature as a whole and blue to represent water;

    - A hand in reference to a plea for actions in support of integrated water management;

    - A globe symbolizing the universal character of such actions (for water conservation); 

    - A drop in the center of the globe to illustrate that water has always been at the heart of development issues in all societies.

    You can now download our logo in different formats: click here.

  • Mon
    Dec
    21
    2015

    School Painting Competition Concludes in Mauritius

    A painting and poster competition for primary and secondary schools was launched on 04 March 2015 by the Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities as part of the awareness campaign under the demonstration project “Integrated Management of Northern Aquifer of Mauritius”. The competition aimed at providing students an opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of the water cycle including underground water system, associated threats and prevention measures.

    The painting competition was open to the primary school students of Standard IV to V and was evolving around the theme: “The Water Cycle including Underground Water and Threats to Underground water”.

    The poster competition was targeting lower secondary school students – i.e. secondary school students of Form I to III; and upper secondary school students – i.e. secondary school students of Form IV upwards. Students could choose between two themes: “The Water Cycle including Underground Water and Threats” and “How to preserve Water from the Threats”

    closing date for the submission of paintings and posters was on the 28th May 2015. The paintings and posters were received at the Ministry of Education and Human Resources, Tertiary Education and Scientific Research and were forwarded to the Water Resources Unit for evaluation.

    A total of 69 entries were received at the Water Resources Unit comprising 24 paintings from Primary Schools, 19 posters from Lower Secondary Schools and 26 posters from Upper Secondary Schools. The evaluation exercise was carried out in two main stages. The first stage consisted of a preliminary evaluation of the submitted paintings and posters with respect to the rules and regulations of the competition. The second stage was the final evaluation of the paintings and posters retained from the preliminary evaluation. The Panel of Jury set up a list of criteria/marking scheme for the preliminary and final evaluation.

    Based on the evaluation exercise, the Panel of Jury concluded that the first, second and third prizes for Primary Schools and Lower and Upper Secondary Schools respectively be awarded as mentioned:

    In the primary schools category the first price for the painting competition was awarded to Shrivram Dev Gooneardy from the Permal Soobrayen Government School; the second price was given to Shwetvarni Ramkorun from the M.D. Saraswati Government School; and the third price to Yekata Joyram from P.C.K Aryan Vedic Hindu Aided School.

    In the lower secondary schools category the first price for the poster competition was awarded to Kavi Ramdass from the Royal College Curepipe; the second price was given to Imaan Khaleck from the Mahatma Gandhi Institute Secondary School (MGI); and the third price to Lonika Keshinee Nundoo from Gaetan Raynal State College.

    Finally, in upper secondary schools the first price for the poster competition went to Lau Kuen Wing Christian from the College du St. Esprit; the second price was given to Maximilien Chong Lee Shin from the John Kennedy College; and the third price was given to Chadee Mohammad Muntasir from the Aleemiah College.

    The price giving ceremony took place in the Voila Hotel in Bagatelle on 25 September 2015 and was organized by the Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities of Mauritius and the UNDP country office for Mauritius. The minister of minister of energy and public utilities of Mauritius, Mr. Ivan Collendavelloo, attended the event and congratulated all winners personally.

    The “Integrated Management of Northern Aquifer of Mauritius" demonstration project is one of the components of the wider regional UNEP/UNDP/GEF Atlantic and Indian Ocean SIDS Integrated Water Resources Management Project that is currently being implemented in six island countries: Cape Verde, Sao Tome & Principe, Comoros, Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles. The overall objective of the regional project is to strengthen the commitment and capacity of the participating countries to implement an integrated approach to the management of freshwater resources, with a long-term goal of enhancement of the capacity of the countries to plan and manage their aquatic resources and ecosystems on a sustainable basis.

    You can have a look at the winning paintings and the pictures of the prize winning ceremony on our Flickr page or on our picture gallery page.

    For more information, contact:

    - M. Caullychurn from the Water Resources Unit of the Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities of Mauritius: mcaullychurn@govmu.org
    - G. Deblon, IWRM AIO SIDS Communication Officer: GeraldineD@unops.org

  • Mon
    Nov
    23
    2015

    Representatives of UN agencies and governments visit demonstration project site in Maldives

    27 Octobre 2015, Aa. Thoddoo Island (Maldives) - During the Third Regional Steering Committee meeting of the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in the Atlantic and Indian Ocean (AIO), Small Islands Developing State (SIDS) project, a field trip was organized to one of the IWRM demonstration project sites supported by the project. High-level government officials from the six participating countries, national stakeholders, demonstration project managers, and representatives from UN agencies including UNEP, UNDP and UNOPS had the opportunity to get a guided tour of the site and meet local community members benefiting from the project.

    Many small islands do not have large watersheds and catchment areas that allow for extensive surface water-bodies or large underground sources of water, as a result of their small sizes and limited landmass. The impact of growing demands for water, combined with the decreasing availability of water resources, poses a great challenge to the sustainable development of these countries.

    In response to the challenge, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) launched a project to support six countries, two of which are located in the Atlantic Ocean (Cape Verde and Sao Tome & Principe) and four of which are located in the Indian Ocean (Comoros, Maldives, Mauritius, and Seychelles). =

    In Maldives, the project is supporting the government and the Aa. Thoddoo Island Council to reduce pressure on the groundwater lens by investing in the establishment of integrated water supply systems. The lens has been suffering from over-extraction, pollution, and saltwater intrusion. The new water supply systems will harness harvested rainwater and water desalination to meet the domestic water demands of the island. The initiative is expected to provide a yearly mean rainwater supply of 8619m 3 to the 2,000 inhabitants of the island, helping to reduce over-extraction of groundwater.

    Aa. Thoddoo is one of the islands across Maldives where groundwater is heavily tapped for agriculture (75% of the land) and these activities has resulted in high levels of agro induced land-based pollution due to heavy use of fertilizers and pesticides without proper management. A number of sensitisation and training activities are planned to improve agricultural practices and reduce the contamination of the lens. The use of pesticides and fertilizers will be monitored as a proxy measure to assess the reduction in the use of these chemicals that have been reported as a cause of skin diseases and other health risks for the island's population.

    During the visit, the participants were updated on the progress of the project. A guided tour of the facilities was provided by the engineers in charge of the construction of the water supply systems. They also met with members of the Aa. Thoddoo Island Council. The headmaster of the local primary school warmly welcomed all guests, thanking the project for improving the lives of the inhabitants of the island. He added that sensitisation programs related to water will be organised in the school.

    The field trip was organised by the government of Maldives, the official host of the Third Regional Steering Committee Meeting.

    You can have a look at the pictures of the field trip on our Flickr page or on our picture gallery page.

  • Sun
    Oct
    25
    2015

    Highlights of the third National Steering Committee of the SIDS AIO IWRM in Maldives

     

    25 October 2015, Male (Maldives) -  The Republique of Maldives has hosted the third Regional Steering Committee of the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in Atlantic and Indian Ocean (AIO) Small Islands Developing State (SIDS) project, from 25 to 27 October 2015, on the island of Lankanfinolhu, in North Male' Atoll.

    The meeting gathered high-level government officials from the six participating countries, national stakeholders, demonstration project managers and representatives from the UN agencies involved in the project. Important items of business discussed and approved by the Committee included: an extension of the project, the annual budget and workplan, stress reduction objectives, outcomes of the national IWRM demonstration projects and operational and financial modalities for the project implementation.

    Because of their small size and limited landmass, many SIDS do not have large watersheds and catchment areas that allow for extensive surface water-bodies or large underground sources of water.

    Pressure on water supplies also comes from economic activities, such as tourism, urbanization, coastal area development, agriculture, and mining. The impact of growing demands for water combined with decreasing availabilities of water resources poses a great challenge to the sustainable development of SIDS.

    In response, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) has funded a full sized project to support six Small Island Developing States (SIDS) of which two are located in the Atlantic Ocean (Cape Verde and Sao Tome & Principe) and four are located in the Indian Ocean (Comoros, Maldives, Mauritius and Seychelles).

    The SID AIO IWRM project aims to implement integrated cross sectorial water resource management initiatives and to contribute to sustainable development in the Indian and Atlantic Ocean SIDS through improvements in natural resource and environmental management.

    It is implemented by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with the United Nations Office for Project Services UNOPS.

    You can have a look at the pictures of the meeting on our Flickr page or on our picture gallery page.

    For more information, contact:

    The SID AIO IWRM Regional Coordination Unit: GeraldineD@unops.org

  • Tue
    Jun
    02
    2015

    Regional Workshop on Knowledge Management and Communication in Implementation of IWRM Demonstration Project

    SIDS Group

    This workshop was organised in June 2015, in Nairobi Kenya, under the framework of the first component of the project “Demonstration of IWRM and WUE based on demonstration projects”. It gathered representatives from the UNEP, UNOPS and UNDP, the national focal points for the project and project managers from the participating countries. It gave the meeting participants the opportunity to meet and exchange experiences with people who have worked on similar projects in other regions of the world (Caribbean).

    The workshop aimed to train the meeting participants to the fundamentals of communications. They learned how to improve their writing and photography skills amongst other things. Team building exercises also took place. One of the meeting main outcome was the identification of the challenges that had been hindering the project implementation, and the subsequent elaboration of mitigation measures.

  • Sun
    Apr
    06
    2014

    Workshop On Integrated Water Resource Management Project Of Alifu Alifu Atoll Thoddoo Island Inaugurated

    A two day workshop on groundwater protection through sustainable integrated water supply and management project was inaugurated in Nasandura Palace Hotel.

    The project,  which is to be implemented in Alifu Alifu atoll Thoddoo island will establish and an integrated water supply harnessing rainwater and desalination to reduce overreliance on vulnerable groundwater while also promoting good practices to reduce and control groundwater pollution by agrochemical inputs.

    In addition to addressing the key issues on water supply and pollution in Thoddo, the demonstration project seeks to show case the benefits of adoption of integrated water management involving all stakeholders. The two days workshop was planned to share information about the project and initiate participatory planning and implementation based on integrated water resource management approach.  Participated by 25 participants of relevant fields from Male and Thoddoo island, the workshop was inaugurated by the Minister of Environment and Energy Mr. Thorig Ibrahim. It was also graced by Minister of State for Fisheries and Agriculture Ms. Zaha Waheed, Minister of State Mr. Abdul Matheen Mohamed, Deputy Minister Mr. Athhar Haleem and heads of the ministry participated.

    The project is within a framework of Regional UNEP/UNDP/GEF full scale project focusing on six Island States. The demonstration project is funded by the government and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) through UNDP and executed by UN Office for Project Services based on Project Cooperation Agreement with the Ministry of Environment and Energy as the implementing Government agency. The workshop is expected to come up with a clear way forward implementation of the project based on integrated water resource management approach. The project would establish sustainable water resource management plans and provide awareness raising, training and facilities including a desalination plant that is expected to be established by end of this year 2014.

    Speaking at the ceremony, Hon. Minister Mr. Thorig Ibrahim highlighted on the importance and urgency of establishing the integrated water supply which is expected to start immediately. During the inauguration ceremony, the Director General Ministry of Environment and Energy Madam Shaheeda Abraham noted that “the traditional fragmented approach in water management was no longer viable and a more holistic approach is essential. The UNDP Assistant Resident Representative, Mr Mohamed Inaz highlighted the need for multi-sectoral approach in addressing water challenges in the country.

    The demonstration project is expected to be completed in the year 2015.