REC delegation advances water projects in Tunisia
A REC delegation comprising senior management personnel and selected WATER SUM project team members and experts visited Tunisia from September 29 to October 6, 2015 to meet with key stakeholders and practitioners and to conduct on-site visits. An agreement on the mission was reached last August in Stockholm, Sweden at the MENA Water World Café, a background event held during World Water Week.
On September 30, the REC delegation met with H.E. Saad Seddik, Minister for Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries of the Republic of Tunisia, to assess the progress of WATER SUM project implementation both in Tunisia and within the wider MENA region. The attendees also broached additional opportunities for further collaboration and appraised ancillary challenges across the broader environmental spectrum.
Afterwards, the WATER POrT team (led by Ms. Jovanka Ignjatovic, senior water management expert and WATER POrT project manager, and joined by experts Ventzislav Vassilev and Valerio Ponzo) held technical meetings with ministry departments in charge of flood protection and monitoring issues. Additional meetings were organised with other national authorities active in the water sector, such as SONEDE and Seca de Nord. After a positive exchange on how to mutually shore up communication, PR and dissemination performances, the team embarked on a field trip to a section of the Medjerda River watershed area that ranges from Sidi Salem to the Algerian border. This stretch was ultimately selected as a prime demonstration site for conducting hands-on monitoring, feasibility studies and training sessions.
On the last day of the mission, during a wrap-up meeting at the Ministry of Agriculture, Water Resources and Fisheries, the WATER POrT team and their Tunisian counterparts acknowledged the benefits and the enhanced impact of maximising cross-cutting initiatives between macro-clusters associated with the WATER POrT project, namely: improving skills and capacities on IWRM approach; building common understanding and dialogue; and fostering water resource resilience against the impacts of climate change. The concluding item on the agenda was to finalise steps and activities to be undertaken in the coming months.