Results of the DAAD Alumni Summer School on Topics of Integrated Watershed
Onywere, S. M.
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Managing watersheds is a process, which requires integrated concepts, skills and planning. This is pursued as an ongoing process demanding regular monitoring and evaluation for sustainable utilisation of natural resources. Success in integrated watershed management (IWM) depends on participation of stakeholders and empowerment of local institutions with autonomy at the catchment level to balance demand for water resources. The 2005 DAAD Alumni Summer School on Topics of Integrated Watershed Management, University of Siegen, proposes an approach that addresses issues of equity and implementation of the “user pays principle” at all levels. A practical example is that of stakeholder co-operation in IWM for water supply at the Bigge Dam (Ruhrverband) and the Historical Community Forest Resource Management called “Haubergwirtschaft” at Siegen. In these two sites the attitude of stakeholders towards resources and policies as well as dialogue on water issues is important for the change that has taken place. Human resources development and institutional capacity building are essential in IWM. The East African Region can borrow from the European Union Water Framework Directive (EU, WFD) programme which can serve as a useful reference tool. The Siegen Summer School 2005 recommended institutional harmonization through inter-agency cooperation for efficiency and effectiveness using a participatory approach. Linkages between regional and national level institutions are required in setting up policy and institutional framework as well as sharing of country or regional experiences, best practices, research findings, capacities and indigenous knowledge in watershed management. The Summer School also recognised the need to transform national water policies to promote water as an instrument of peace. Capacity building in maintenance, monitoring and evaluation of water management systems is required. The International Masters Programme on Integrated Watershed Management that is proposed to be launched at Kenyatta University - Nairobi in September 2005 is geared towards sustainable watershed management.