Water For Rural Development - 08/03 to 12/03 Field visit in Tunisia by GIWEH, KRC and UTAP

In March 2018, a GIWEH delegation - composed of Dr. Nidal Salim, Director General, and Olivia Braud, Project Coordinator - participated to a field-trip in Tunisia, in cooperation with UTAP - Union Tunisienne de l’Agriculture et de la Pêche - and the KRC Delegation - composed of Mr. Bang and Mr. Kim. The visit aimed to gather different actors to discuss the feasibility of water-related projects in the Beja governorate and Jendouba governorate. 

The delegations first attended a meeting with Mr. Abdallah Rabhi, State Secretary for Water Resources, where the dicussion involved water-related issues and challenges to development. The State Secretary emphasized the importance to focus on good governance and good practices, and to develop bottom-up inclusive approaches that best assess and address the needs of local farmers. He reaffirmed the willingness of the Tunisian government to support the implementation of efficient water-related projects. 

UTAP effectively assisted the two delegations in providing all the necessary data and information on the two regions, and in connecting with local representatives and GDAs - Groupements de Développement Agricoles.  

The delegations, in partnership with local UTAP representatives and the Sidi Neji GDA, visited the Beja region, including the visit of the Sidi Salem dam, farms and water storage stations. They also visited the Jendouba region next to the Algerian border, and met with local farmers from remote areas .

The main issue faced by the two regions is an erratic weather which leads to not only flooding, sedimentation and siltation, but also to major droughts, further stressing the already scarce water resources.  The regions also face a lack of effective infrastructure to supply water to remote areas for irrigation. It prevents the locals from developing sustainable livelihoods based on agriculture, and creates unemployment, poverty and despair. 

This visit is expected to be followed by the effective design and implementation of small and medium-scale water-related projects in Tunisia in the coming months.

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