UCC-Water recently participated in a joint UNESCO/UNEP fact-finding mission on water management to Kabul.
More than twenty years of war and destruction - and not least two recent years of severe drought – has clearly emphasized the huge needs for rehabilitation of the water resources sector in Afghanistan. Many water infrastructure facilities are destroyed or damaged while the remaining are under tremendous pressure from thousands of returning refugees. Under such conditions, efficient water management becomes even more necessary, and this has been clearly acknowledged by the Afghan Government. The Government is establishing a National Water Policy Commission to outline the future management framework and important donors like EC, ADB and USAID are expressing their willingness to support these efforts.
Through meetings with key ministries, international organizations and other stakeholders, it was clearly stated that there is a huge need for capacity building support to the water management sector. But also that the staggering needs for support calls for a comprehensive and coordinated effort by both UNESCO and UNEP in association with other UN agencies. Specific ministry departments was recommended to be assisted by a specific UN partner organization, while cross-cutting issues such as water sector capacity building and environmental management could be handled by UNESCO and UNEP respectively.
The mission recommended that UNESCO and UNEP, in coordination with UNICEF and FAO, jointly consider how such a support program could be promoted and implemented.