Integrated Water Resources Management in Somalia – Action Plan for the Shabelle River Basin

Flooded farms and villages in Somalia

In the predominantly dry climate of Somalia, water is a precious resource that is crucial for the livelihoods of Somali people and for the region's overall economic development. One of the country’s major sources for water is the Shabelle river. The Shabelle is the major center of Somalia’s agricultural production, a sector that greatly depends on river irrigation and is regularly affected by floods. After many years of civil war and the collapse of state structures, Somalia is now in a process of re-establishing institutions and water infrastructure.

The German Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) supports this process through the “Programme on Sustainable Water Resource Management in Somalia”. The major objective is to establish the foundations for an integrated management of water resources in the country. In the context of this project, adelphi, in cooperation with regional experts, facilitates the development of a state of the basin report (Basin Diagnostic) and a strategic action plan for the Shabelle river basin.

In a first step, adelphi captures the state of water resources management in the Shabelle river basin. In a Basin Diagnostic, following the Driver-Pressure-State-Impact-Response (DPSIR) approach, we identify root causes of current and anticipated management challenges for different domains such as irrigation, flooding, livestock or governance and transboundary cooperation. Based on this analysis, an integrated set of priority actions and interventions will be synthesized into a strategic action plan which will feed into the Somali National Water Strategy.

To ensure the continuation of this strategic approach and the implementation of priority measures, the project is designed in a participatory manner, actively engaging and developing capacities of key stakeholders of the Somali Ministry of Energy and Water Resources and other major actors at the national, regional and local level. This approach also aims to ensure that know-how on developing a basin assessment is transferred to Somali stakeholders that can implement similar processes for other basins in the future.