Horn of Africa

The IDMP also established regional programs in 2015 to support the practical application of its principles at the regional and national level in the Horn of Africa and West Africa. Both programs are aiming to close the gap of current efforts and provide an impetus to existing drought management initiatives in these regions. These regional initiatives use the institutional capability of GWP through the GWP country water partnerships to bring together the key actors not only from the water community but also from the agriculture and energy communities. The IDMP regional initiatives thus liaise with existing institutions and activities to further promote integrated drought management.

The Greater Horn of Africa is at high risk to extreme climate events such as droughts and floods. Before the HMNDP and the establishment of the IDMP, this region had developed an innovative way to address these issues at a regional level. In 1989, 24 countries across eastern and southern Africa established the Drought Monitoring Centre, with headquarters in Nairobi. In 2003, the Eastern African Regional Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) adopted this center as a specialized IGAD institution. In 2007, the name of this institution was changed to the IGAD Climate Prediction and Application Centre (ICPAC) in order to better reflect its mandates, mission, and objectives within the IGAD system (ICPAC 2016; UNW-DPC 2015b).

This center is responsible for the 11 countries in the Greater Horn of Africa (Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda) and works closely with the NMHS of member countries as well as regional and international centers for data and information exchange. Its main objectives are to provide timely early warning information on climate change and to support sector-specific applications for the mitigation of poverty and the management of environment and sustainable development in relation to the impact of climate variability; to improve the technical capacity of producers and users of climatic information; to develop an improved, proactive, timely, broad-based system of information/product dissemination and feedback; and to expand the climate knowledge base and applications within the subregion in order to facilitate informed decisionmaking on climate risk-related issues (ICPAC 2016).

One of the outputs of the IDMP Horn of Africa (IDMP HOA) regional project was the publication of the "Assessment of Drought Resilience Frameworks on the Horn of Africa" (GWP EA 2015). This publication provides an overview of drought policy and institutional frameworks for Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda.

After the severe regional drought in 2010/2011, the Summit of Heads of State and Government of the IGAD and the East African Community (EAC) met in Nairobi in September 2011. This summit decided to address the effects of recurring droughts on vulnerable communities in the IGAD region, calling for an increased commitment by affected countries and development partners to support investments in sustainable development, especially in arid and semiarid areas. According to the assessment (GWP EA 2015), Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda have national policies on disaster risk management while South Sudan is in the process of developing similar policies. Djibouti, Somalia, and Sudan either have policies that focus more on emergency responses or they do not yet have disaster risk management policies. The assessment concluded that even the existing policies in many countries of the Horn of Africa are not yet comprehensive enough to fully address integrated drought management.

Most countries in the region have a government institution responsible for leading and coordinating the implementation of disaster risk management, but the structure of the arrangements varies among the countries. For example, Kenya has established the National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) (GoK 2012). South Sudan has the Ministry of Environment, which includes the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management. Ethiopia has established the Disaster Risk Management and Food Security Sector, led by the Minister of State under the Ministry of Agriculture. Uganda and Somalia have high-level coordination under their respective prime ministers' offices.

IGAD developed the IGAD Drought Disaster Resilience and Sustainability Initiative (IDDRSI), which member states can use to prevent, mitigate, and adapt to the adverse impacts of drought (IGAD 2013b). The approach developed and recommended by IDDRSI combines relief with development interventions in dealing with drought and related emergencies in the region through the IGAD Secretariat. The IDMP HOA regional project is working closely with IDDRSI to assist Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, and Uganda. Djibouti, Somalia, and South Sudan will be supported by the IDMP HOA for some IDDRSI components.

The IDDRSI developed the IGAD Regional Programming Paper (RPP), which provides the framework for the operationalizing of drought-related actions at both country and regional levels (IGAD 2013a). With IDDRSI in place, member states have developed country programming papers (CPPs) (IGAD 2012), which can serve as the planning, coordination, and resource mobilization tools for projects and investments needed to help end drought emergencies. The CPPs have been able to identify the root causes of vulnerability to drought, areas of intervention, and investments and establish adequate national coordinating mechanisms to implement drought resilience programs (IGAD 2012). For example, the Ethiopia CPP identified the following challenges: recurrence of drought, population growth versus shrinking resources, low levels of infrastructure, low implementation capacity, violent conflicts, and climate change (Government of Ethiopia 2012).

Although the region has been taking some positive measures toward building drought resilience, the assessment noted the following major gaps that still need to be addressed through promotion of integrated drought management (GWP EA 2015):

  • 1. Limitations in human and institutional capacities that are needed to coordinate and implement drought risk management and resiliencebuilding initiatives
  • 2. Inadequate policy and legislative frameworks for disaster risk management and particularly for drought risk management
  • 3. Lack of information on water and other natural resources in the arid and semiarid areas of the countries
  • 4. Weak market, communication, and transport infrastructure in areas vulnerable to drought
  • 5. Weak early warning systems to inform vulnerable communities of weather and disasters, and alerts for effective preparedness and response
  • 6. Low level of educational information coupled with a strong adherence to traditional ways of keeping large herds of livestock by pasto- ralist communities
  • 7. Limitation of resources to finance drought risk management and resilience-building initiatives
  • 8. Inadequate participatory infrastructure in drought management programs
  • 9. Continued reactive crisis management approach to drought management, including an overreliance on relief aid

The IDMP HOA regional project has aligned various interventions to address these gaps based on prioritization by the countries in the region. The IDMP HOA is implementing a capacity development program. The support is tailored for countries to develop and revise their drought plans and develop practices that increase drought resilience.

These gaps highlight the main challenge in the region, which is to reverse the growing human vulnerability to environmental hazards, such as droughts and man-made disturbances such as conflicts and economic crises (GWP EA 2015). Other challenges include the threat to pastoral and agricultural production systems due to rapid population growth, migration, environmental degradation, land reallocation, fragmentation of rangelands, decreasing mobility for herds, and growing competition in using scarce pasture and water resources. Since land access and water rights are not sufficiently regulated, conflicts can arise between different competing stakeholders, especially among cross-border communities. The combination of these adverse factors is accelerating environmental degradation and therefore exacerbating the vulnerability of societies. When droughts occur, the whole agro-pastoral production system can collapse, with disastrous consequences for the affected populations. Large financial resources are then needed for humanitarian aid and even more to recover the production systems and livelihoods of the drought-affected communities.

In the past, efforts were more concentrated in managing the drought disaster and related humanitarian emergencies. The new approach will focus on the underlying causes of the need for humanitarian aid and will approach disaster management through proactive and preventive solutions.

The following opportunities and steps taken were identified for the promotion and implementation of an integrated approach to drought management in the Horn of Africa (GWP EA 2015):

  • • Existence of IGAD to establish regional and international mechanisms for cooperation to address regional drought issues
  • • Existence of the IDDRSI framework, including the adopted CPPs for drought resilience and sustainable development
  • • Availability of political will and commitment to drought risk reduction by governments in the region
  • • Existing national implementing and coordination structures and institutions for drought management
  • • Availability of relevant national policies, strategies, and initiatives on drought management in the HOA countries
  • • Availability of institutions with experience and well-developed frameworks in implementing programs and projects that can provide examples of good practices
  • • Interest of development partners, IGAD member countries, and the private sector to support national and regional initiatives to enhance drought resilience

The IDMP HOA assessment of drought resilience status shows that there is commitment by governments to combat drought for sustainable national growth and development. IDDRSI, the IGAD initiative to strengthen food security and drought resilience in the region, has also resulted in national programs with specific institutional frameworks for their implementation. In addition, development partners are ready to support actions that are aimed at strengthening drought resilience instead of reactive emergency and relief operations.

Based on the assessments, the following priority areas were recommended for building drought resilience in the HOA region:

  • 1. Demonstrating innovative drought resilience cases
  • 2. Developing capacity for drought management and resilience building
  • 3. Promoting partnerships for integrated drought management
  • 4. Facilitating regional cooperation/collaboration for drought management in the HOA region
  • 5. Facilitating policy development for integrated drought management
  • 6. Mainstreaming drought mitigation and adaptation strategies in relevant government sector ministries and agencies
  • 7. Strengthening early warning systems

Innovative drought resilience case studies would include using lessons learned and best practices that use an approach of integrated water resources management from countries.

 
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