By Isaac Vuni
August 7, 2007 (JUBA) – There has been no a coherent regulatory framework to guide utilization and management of water resources in southern Sudan, president of southern Sudan has said.
However, president Kiir says the interim constitution of southern Sudan provides the government of southern Sudan with basic regulations and strategies to guide aspects of resources mobilization for the welfare of the people without jeopardizing enviromental integrity.
In a speech read on his behalf by Dr. Luka Monoja, Goss minister of cabinet affair, today at Juba Hotel, Kiir said water resource mobilization is vital for realization of peace dividend that puts the government commitment to reconstruction and promotion of economic growth of southern Sudan.
Kiir said that development of water policy through workshop that brings all governors and ministers from both the Government of national unity (GOSS) and of the ten states of southern Sudan, is a major step forward roadmap policy and institutional development in the water sector, adding that his government is committed to allocate reasonable funds for the harnessing and tapping potentialities of water resources, supply of safe and reliable water to rural and urban residents including delivery of sanitation and hygiene services.
He called for a strong sustained political commitment at all levels of governments including working in partnership with private sector, NGOs, communities and water users so as to build consensus and raise awareness on their respective roles and responsibilities.
Therefore, coordination between sectors involved in water is necessary in order to ensure rational use of resources and effective service delivery to be achieved through harmonized scrotal policies, the statement emphasized.
The two day workshop’s main objectives are to raise awareness of water issues and the importance of policy development, to ensure the final policy adequately addresses issues raised during stakeholder consultation and to review technical and legal aspects where possible, recommend improvements to the proposed policy document.
In presenting position of the federal ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources, Mr. Mayom Kuoc Malek, State federal Minster of Irrigation and Water Resources, said his ministry in collaboration with UNICEF have developed a document entitled Country Policy on Integrated Water Resource Management and that it was based on motto of “Assured Water Resources is managed for sustainable development, poverty alleviation and peace in Sudan”
He went on saying that Sudan which is recovering form long wars, need a well planned water policy for sustainable development, poverty alleviation and peace; adding that southern Sudan ought to have its own comprehensive water policy.
He further revealed that the first water policy was formulated by colonial administration in 1913 to allow construction of Sennar Dam and Gezira irrigation scheme and it was followed by Nile water policies and plans of 1952 to 1956 to govern new irrigation scheme of Managil.
The Nile water agreement between Sudan and Egypt that led to establishment of Roserries and Al Girba Dams for irrigation of Managil extension, sugar projects in al Girba and al Geneid areas was signed in 1959 while Nile valley master plan was prepared from 1977 to 1978 following Addis Ababa agreement of March 1972, Malek assured.
Adding that the ministry of Irrigation and Water Resources decided to review the integrated and updated existing water policy of 1992 with support from FAO and the UNDP that resulted in preparation of draft policy of year 2000
Mr. Malek also reminded the participants that the River Nile is shared by ten riparian countries of Burundi, DRC Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. Meanwhile the main tributaries of the Nile include Blue Nile, Rahad, Dinder, White Nile, Bahr el Ghazal, Bahr el gebel, Sobat and Arbara.
The Goss minister of Water Resources and Irrigation, Joseph Duer Jakok, urges the participants to seriously scrutinize the drat policy to pave way for final adoption that will add to the tools needed for the governance and guidance of the management and development of water resources across southern Sudan.
The first water policy for Goss was held last year in September in lakes state capital Rumbek resulting to a draft policy for southern Sudan, Jakol reminds.
The presentation of working paper are based on southern Sudan water policy ,by Mr. Tom Slaymaker, water Resources Management policy by Mr. Alier Oka, Rural water supply and sanitation policy by Mr. Manchiem Bol and Urban water supply and sanitation policy by Mr. Morris Lomodong.
Mr. Martin Okerruk, minister of Housing Land and Public Utility say water is every thing in human and animals live therefore greater importance must be give to water resource and irrigation development and its utilization be made available to benefits people in southern Sudan. He Appeal for corporation than quarreling among ministries having connection over water utilization.
Mr. Okerruk say water resource should be develop and manage properly through provision of clear policy that will open opportunity for growth that will lead to pouring in of investors into southern Sudan.
The overall goal of the Water Resources Management policy is to promote effective management of quantity, quality and reliability of available water resources in order to maximize social and economic benefits while ensuring long term environmental sustainability, declared Okerruk.
Minister Okerruk said water is a limited resource which forms an essential basis for human and animal life, for maintaining ecological balance and for social and economic development. Effective management of the quantity, quality reliability of available water resources is vital in order to secure long term social and economic benefits for the people of southern Sudan.
Dr. Samson Kwaje, Goss minister for Information and broadcasting said a clear policy on water is vital for effective development and utilization of water for the benefit of the people of southern Sudan. On my part as the minister of Information and broadcasting, we will work in collaboration with all those ministers and departments involved in water resources and irrigation by creating awareness to the masses through print and electronic media and reminded the participants of common saying that, “All roads leads to Rome”.
The GOSS Minister of Cooperatives and Rural Development, Mr. Philip Yona Jambi, observed that absence of water result to loosing life and hence he appeals for coordinate on issues concerning water and sanitation in southern Sudan government and disclosed that his ministry is going to provide 3000 boreholes in the entire ten states of southern Sudan in this year budget.
The workshop is organized by Government of southern Sudan in collaboration with Unicef and it brought together over 100 participants from government of national unity in Khartoum, the ten states of southern Sudan governors, ministers and director generals, international and local NGOs representatives dealing with water and sanitation promotion.
Southern Sudan covers an area of about 640,000 square kilometers distributed in the northern plains of the White Nile and its tributaries.
At the signing of the CPA in January 2005, only 27% population in southern Sudan had access to improved water supplies and 15% had access to basic sanitation.
Among participants were: Governor Daniel Awet Akot, of Lakes state, Governor Samuel Abujohn Kabasi of Western Equatoria state, Dr. Hassan Mar, Deputy Governor of Jonglie state, Victor Deng Ngor, Deputy Governor and minister of Local government and Law enforcement Agencies, Upper Nile state, Henry Kuany Aguar, Deputy Governor and minister of Local government and Law enforcement Agencies, Warrap state and Mr. Douglas Graeme Higgins, senior programme officer Unicef.