At end of 2009 the IWRM Action Plan was completed and disseminated to the broader stakeholders. The Action Plan clearly documented 95 actions/project portfolios that address the identified gaps in enabling environment, institutional framework, and management instruments.
The Action Plan has focused on seven thematic/action areas:
1) Water resources assessment, development and protection;
2) Water resources allocation and water use;
3) Disaster management;
4) Enabling environment;
5) Implementation and financing mechanism;
6) Research and information exchange; and
7)Basin Management Plan.
The full commitment of the CWP technical and core teams with regard to managing the project resulted in securing the role of the leading Ministry in fulfilling its obligation through involvement in the IWRM planning process and facilitating the stakeholder’s participation.
As a result of IWRM planning process a major regulatory instrument (Water Proclamation) was amended and several new regulations were adopted. As the capacity building component was a critical part of the planning process, as a result, decision makers’ (Ministers, Director Generals and Directors) are fully aware of IWRM planning process, concepts, and principles. Up to 80 decision makers, water professionals and experts of relevant stakeholder institutions at national level and over 700 stakeholders at sub-national level undertook extensive capacity building programs in their own institutions.
Securing political commitment and maintaining it to the required level to implement the proposed reform on institutional and legal framework is still a challenge that continues to confront the IWRM process. Even though there have been significant sensitization and awareness programs undertaken as key step to secure political commitment from policy and decision makers and achieved significant achievements, government ministers change, leadership evolves and more fundamentally, the ultimate benefit of political will is best brought to test in the implementation phase of the Action Plan. In other words, the “paperwork has been done” but there is still a long way to the impact that “IWRM is influencing conditions on the ground and objectives for water resources are achieved fully or in part”.