The Climate Smart Water Management and Sustainable Development for Food and Agriculture in East Africa (WatDev) Project


The Climate Smart Water Management and Sustainable Development for Food and Agriculture in East Africa (WatDev) Project is a programme financed under the European Union (EU) initiative,the Climate-relevant Development Smart Innovation through Research in Agriculture in developing countries – DeSIRA.

Project amount and period

The total cost of the project is  7, 499.897 Euro. The project is designed to last a period of 48 months.

Project partners and institutional counterparts

The following are partners in the project:

  • Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) – acting as leading organisation;
  • CIHEAM-Bari (international organization) – Technical and Scientific coordination;
  • The Italian National Research Council (CNR) – Italy;
  • Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) – Finland,
  • International Soil Reference and Information Centre, independent research foundation (ISRIC) – The Netherlands.
  • Association for Strengthening Agricultural Research in Eastern and Central Africa (ASARECA); Entebbe, Uganda;
  • Water and Land Resources Center, (WLRC) – Ethiopia;
  • Regional Training Sector for Water Resources and Irrigation (RTCWRI) and/or National Water Research Centre (NWRC) and / or Nile Forecast Centre (NFC) – Egypt
  • Water Research Centre (WRC) – Sudan;
  • Kenya Agricultural & Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) – Kenya.

General Objective of the project

The general objective of the to project is to ensure sustainability of agricultural water management and resilience of agro-ecosystems to climate change in East Africa and Egypt.

Specific objectives

  1. National Ministries and Research Institutions improve their knowledge and management of water in agriculture
  2. Farmers and local actors, cooperatives and Water User Associations implement innovative/sustainable solutions and skills on water management.

Countries of intervention

Kenya (Upper  Tana River basin);  Ethiopia (Central Oromia area, Western Oromia area, and North West Lowlands); Sudan (Blue  Nile area and Nile river sub-catchment Kassala);  Egypt (North Egypt Nile river)

Target group and final beneficiaries

The initiative foresees a change in behaviour within at least 4 main types of stakeholders:

  • Farmers: Horticulture farmers and farmers ‘groups
  • Local Institutions: Local and private extension services
  • Research Institutions: Researchers, including researchers with experience in modelling and scenario design
  • Ministries: Officials of National Ministries directly in charge of water policies

Main Results and Activities

R.1: Best fitting BMPs and Innovations in project countries

  • A1.1. Carrt out Inventory and stocktaking of BMPs and Innovations
  • A1.2 Setting the evaluation process of BMPs and Innovation
  • A1.3. Organisation of multi-actors regional meetings and brokerage on BMPs and Innovations.

R.2: Enhanced implementation of BMPs/innovations in study areas

  • A2.1 Conduct awareness sessions for farmers and local actors
  • A2.2 Conduct training and capacity building in areas where BMPs and innovations are enhanced
  • A2.3 Underake feasibility study on BMPs and innovations
  • A2.4 Conduct training and participatory evaluation of BMPs and out-scaling assessment

R.3: BMPs /Innovations upscale and outscale scenarios performed

  • A3.1. Undertake integrated and multi-thematic modelling
  • A3.2. Carrying out a participatory identification of best suiting and feasible scenarios for the implementation of BMPs and Innovations by planners and decision-makers.

R.4: A water planning/management toolbox available for Researchers and Institutions

  • A 4.1 Undertake customisation and integration of modelling modules and planning functions
  • A 4.2 Undertake technical validation of the toolbox platform
  • A 4.3 Conduct toolbox refinement and development of management procedures and guidelines

R.5: Strengthened knowledge and capacity building and established regional “Water Knowledge” Hub

  • A 5.1 Conduct training programmes on the use of the water planning toolbox
  • A 5.2 Establish a regional Water Knowledge Hub for training and capacity building services on regional / trans-national water management in East Africa
  • A 5.3 Implementation of a regional Water Management and Knowledge Portal.