FAO and Italy Launch New Initiative to Enhance Watershed Management in Somalia

Mogadishu, Somalia – A new project to enhance the overall Somalia water and land resource information management within government institutions was launched today by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the Embassy of Italy in Mogadishu and the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS). The project, "Strengthening Capacities of Integrated Watershed Management (SCIWM)," was officially signed in Mogadishu by representatives from the institutions.
The main component of the project will focus on Qardho town in Puntland State. The goal is to reduce flash flood risks and improve the productive potential of the Kubo River and surrounding pasture lands. The Kubo River boasts the largest water catchment area in the region, but rapid urbanization has drastically reduced its water flow capacity, increasing the flood risk. The project is set to strengthen local and regional government systems to better participate in resilience-building efforts.

The project will support water resource information management by weekly monitoring of key boreholes across the country and conducting a hydrogeological study in Galmudug State to map the potential of groundwater aquifers. These studies are vital for effective water resource management, especially in regions where groundwater is a primary source of drinking water and irrigation.

As part of its capacity building plan, FAO through the Somalia Water and Land Information Management (SWALIM) is working on modalities to transfer water and land information management functions to the government of Somalia. In line with this key objective, the project will build capacity within the Somali Federal and State Governments to support the transition of SWALIM’s functions to the Somali Institutions, including the newly established Information Management Centers (IMCs).

Through this project, and thanks to the funding from the Italian Cooperation, SWALIM will enhance land and water information generation and analysis for evidence-based interventions, especially in Puntland and Galmudug.

FAO Country Representative, Etienne Peterschmitt, remarked, "This project shows FAO's mission to transform agrifood systems in Somalia, making them more resilient, sustainable, inclusive, and efficient. It will support the critical functions of SWALIM, directly assisting the Federal and State governments of Somalia. Additionally, it ensures that SWALIM can continue to provide essential water, land, and natural resource information to the broader humanitarian and development community, aiding in informed decision-making and effective intervention design and implementation”.

The Ambassador of Italy to Somalia, Pier Mario Daccò Coppi, stated: “Italy's longstanding support for this initiative underscores our dedication to providing our Somali partners with the essential tools and knowledge for proactive and informed decision-making. The threats posed by climate change and water scarcity grow: these global challenges demand collective efforts to be faced effectively. Today, Italy reaffirms its commitment to standing by Somalia in this crucial endeavor”.

The Head of the Nairobi Office of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation, Giovanni Grandi, said: “When it comes to use environmental and natural resources sustainably, AICS shares the same interests as Somalia. By enhancing local capacities, we aim to foster sustainable development and resilience in the region. This project represents a significant step towards ensuring water and land resources are managed effectively, benefiting communities today and for future generations”.

Media contact:

Name: Masimba Nyamanhindi
Title: Communications Specialist
Office: FAO Somalia
Email: Masimba.Nyamanhindi@fao.org
Phone: +252 770812119
X: @faosomalia

Mirko Di Benedetto
Second Secretary,
Italian Embassy in Mogadishu,
Aden Adde International Airport,
Mogadishu, International Campus,
T. : +252 61 65 84 765
C. : +252 77 090 84 37
Email: mirko.dibenedetto@eseri.it

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