Participants to the Communications & Visibility Workshop, Acacia Premeir Hotel, Kisumu, Kenya, 9th February 2021
Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) and technical teams from the Development Partners, specifically KfW and European Union held a workshop on Communication and Visibility of the Lake Victoria Basin Integrated Water Resources Management Programme (LVB-IWRMP), 9th February 2021.
The Workshop held in Kisumu, Kenya aimed at sharing information on how to harmonize communication and visibility requirements of different partners, fast-tracking IWRM Communication Strategy/plan development, identifying key audiences, messages and tools to be used throughout IWRM Programme implementation, monitoring and evaluation. Workshop participants emphasized the effective communication of High Priority Investments (HIPs), IWRM achievements, impacts, prospects for sustainability and visibility of partners.
Anne Marie Ran from KfW noted the Workshop is timely and relevant due to delays occasioned by COVID-19. She applauded the format of the workshop—virtual and physical—enabling participation of people from EAC Partner States, Europe and beyond. She recommended enhanced communication and visibility of IWRMP processes for diverse audiences—internal and external. She stressed, enhanced communication of IWRM’s good practices will enable emulation and replication by other actors in Lake Victoria Basin and beyond.
Opening the Workshop, Arsene Mukubwa, the Regional IWRM Programme Coordinator presented to the participants the programme’s key outputs which include establishment of the IWRM Unit at LVBC; a regional IWRM Strategy for LVB including a Communication and Visibility Strategy; a regionally agreed and accepted Investment Pipeline with priority projects; a computer based IWRM Model; Database to support future investment decisions; construction of 4 High Priority Infrastructure/Investments (HPIs) and finally building capacities for National Project Executing Agencies to enhance sustainable operations and usability.
“In Mwanza, for instance, the High Priority Investment will increase connectivity with at least 1,600 households connected to the existing sewer system,” Mukubwa noted, referring to the planned High Priority Investment in the United Republic of Tanzania. Similarly, it is envisaged that within 10 years of the operations of High Priority Investment in Kigali, Rwanda, at least 1,836,685 Rwandans will be benefiting from the intervention.
According to Joanne Martin, an International Expert for Communication and Visibility of IWRMP, emerging issues, programme actions and impacts will need to be effectively communicated through people-centered communication tools and messages. To ensure delivery of the foregoing, the workshop facilitator took the workshop participants through elements of impact stories, story-packing techniques, among others.
The presentation titled: ‘Communication and Awareness in Lake Victoria Basin,’ the Regional Communications and Development Awareness Officer for Lake Victoria Basin Commission, Dr. Willy Mugenzi highlighted the committees under the Sectoral Council of Ministers for Lake Victoria as potential audience for policy-related information from the implementation of IWRM in EAC Partner States. “Communication of outputs and outcomes of programmes and projects of LVBC exemplifies the people-centered aspiration of the EAC Development Strategy,” Mugenzi said. He recommended urgency in implementation of IWRMP communication and visibility plan and systematic documentation of IWRM processes. Closing the Workshop, IWRM Regional Programme Coordinator lauded its participatory process, and noted that its success lies in how it generated a lot of experience sharing, learning and clarity of the way forward. IWRM is funded by the Federal Republic of Germany through the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and European Union (EU) and it is coordinated by LVBC.