08 Nov David Rodgers
David has worked in the Water and International Development Sectors for the past 8 years including overseeing World Vision’s rural water and sanitation programming in the Solomon Islands and their provision of WASH services to Syrian refugees in Lebanon. He is currently assisting World Vision Australia’s projects including Water for Women in PNG, Vanuatu and Bangladesh and is researching WASH governance in the Solomon Islands as part of his masters studies through the International Water Centre
The Influence of Provincial Government on Water and Sanitation Development in the Solomon Islands
Governance of water and sanitation in the Solomon Islands canvases a range of formal and informal systems at a community, provincial and national level with varied and sometimes competing goals, structures and funding mechanisms. Despite government funding for the sector as well as significant NGO involvement and National Policy targeting universal access to both water and sanitation, the Solomon Islands, is one of only ten countries to have regressed in total water access over the UN’s Joint Monitoring Programme’s data from 2000 to 2015 and is improving sanitation access at a rate too slow to be a credible chance of achieving the Sustainable Development Goal and National Policy target of universal access. Water service delivery in the Solomon Islands tends to focus on a Community Based Water Management Approach (CBWM) to overcome a lack of community level support from government and the private sector, however this has proven ineffective at advancing the Sustainable Development Goal outcomes without support from more formal governance systems.
In the recent EU funded review of governance systems in the Solomon Islands, provincial government was identified as a body with strong capability to improve water service delivery and catchment management however it found that provincial governments required further capacity and resourcing and varied significantly between provinces. This research will highlight the different power dynamics and incentives for WASH services at a provincial level and the best ways to integrate CBWM approaches with provincial government support, as well as the ways to target social advocacy programming in the Solomon Islands and the most effective areas to implement capacity building programs at a provincial government level.
Landscape Restoration Rebuilds Water Security In Ethiopia
In Ethiopia, growing population pressure is severely impeding access by smallholders to soil and water resources. Overgrazing and over-clearing for fuelwood has reduced vegetative cover, eroding sloping land and causing river siltation. Even in dryland areas, rain events cause flash flooding and gully erosion. The reliance by smallholders on rainfed agriculture, their limited ability to adopt new approaches, and the reduced water-buffering capacity of degraded sub-catchments all contribute to making the country under-prepared in the face of climate change.
The Drylands Development Programme worked with farmers employing an integrated approach to restore and sustainably use land and water resources, thereby transitioning from subsistence to market-led production.
The programme began by undertaking community consultations to agree on local issues and weigh up contextually-appropriate solutions. Sub-watershed committees formed to steer the development process. These committees, linked to district platforms, created by-laws to protect sloping lands and capture rainwater, and oversaw the protection and use of springs, pasture, wells, and irrigation expansion.
Sub-watershed restoration of 44,000 hectares led to recovery of springs and water courses, and 2,600 hectares of new irrigation. Commodity-based value-chain development increased incomes, reinforcing efforts to sustain the landscape. The rural economy has been reinvigorated. Valleys have now become green ribbons. Household savings and incomes have doubled, they experience fewer hungry months and wider food diversity, and communities are confident about their future. As a result, some out-migrants have returned to re-engage in agriculture as a business.
From the DryDev experience, we learned that landscape restoration is transformational and sustainable when: (1) socio-economic pressures are high; (2) capacity-building activities are prioritized; (3) bottom-up planning and coordination is accompanied by a governance framework; (4) implementation of activities are sequential and integrated ; (5) irrigation-based agriculture development links with markets; (6) a feedback loop connects sustainable resource use with market-led development.