ARUSHA, 11 April, 2016 — A major Water Stewardship Leadership Forum, held recently in Arusha, saw the launch of new initiatives to tackle the region’s spiraling water challenges. The multi-stakeholder Kilimanjaro Water Stewardship Platform provides organisations from across the public sector, private sector and civil society with a mechanism to develop, coordinate and scale up solutions to tackle the growing water resource challenges in the Pangani River Basin. The landmark forum also included a masterclass for water leaders from across Africa. The 3-day regional event drew upon lessons generated by innovative work undertaken by Diageo and Serengeti Breweries Limited to implement the Alliance for Water Stewardship (AWS) standard – which represents international best practice on water management – at their Moshi site.
The Kilimanjaro Water Stewardship Platform was formally launched by the Minister of Water and Irrigation, Hon. Eng. Gerson Lwenge, together with Mr. Anders Berntell, Executive Director of the 2030 Water Resources Group (2030 WRG). The platform is designed to promote practical solutions in areas such as increasing the productivity of water use in agriculture, developing and scaling up partnerships for improved catchment management, and promoting the uptake of the AWS stewardship standards. Almost twenty organizations have already indicated their commitment to actively participate. Founding members include the Pangani Basin Water Board, Tanzania Horticulture Association (TAHA), 2030 WRG and the International Water Stewardship Programme (IWASP).
The partnership approach was endorsed by Hon. Eng. Lwenge during his address to launch the Forum. He observed: “I am particularly inspired that there is a deliberate effort to engage the private sector in managing water resources.” The Minister also remarked he was ‘passionate’ about the Platform’s collective action approach.
Coordinator of the initiative, Onesmo Sigalla, was equally supportive of setting a progressive agenda to maximize water stewardship’s contribution to sustainable development by joining businesses with government and civil society efforts. “The launch of this platform is critical to ensure that economic growth in the region is not constrained by water security issues, and to demonstrate the potential for the private sector to drive wider sustainable water stewardship,” said Mr. Sigalla.
The Leadership Forum highlighted specific water stewardship efforts in the region, including implementation of the AWS Standard by Serengeti Breweries, with support from Shahidi wa Maji, Water Witness International, and the Scottish Government. This work is helping the company to manage the water and climate risks facing their brewery and its supply chain.
The implementation of the new standard was used as a hands-on case study at a ‘Water Stewardship Masterclass’, an advanced training for practitioners, held during the event. Hawa Ladha, Sustainability and Responsibility Manager for Serengeti Breweries Limited, underlined the company’s commitment to the initiative and explained: “By being one of the first African companies to implement the AWS Standard we are making a strong, public commitment towards the need for better water management in the region.”
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The Leadership Forum and Masterclass have been convened by local NGO ShahidiwaMaji with support from Water Witness International, Serengeti Breweries Limited and parent company Diageo, the 2030 Water Resources Group, the International Water Stewardship Programme, WWF, and the Tanzanian Government and Ministry of Water and Irrigation.
About the Pangani River Basin
The Pangani River Basin is home to a large number of commercial agriculture producers (in particular coffee and sugar) and has the largest concentration of horticulture and floriculture producers in Tanzania – with over 30 companies in the region identified as exporting to European markets. The Pangani is also globally recognized for its forest and biodiversity resources which generates an estimated US$50 million alone in revenue each year for the Tanzanian economy. The river basin is already water stressed, and evidence suggests its resources will become increasingly constrained. Available water resources are currently less than 1,200 m3 per capita, compared to 2,300 m3 per capita for Tanzania as a whole.
ShahidiwaMaji is a Tanzanian NGO working to improve water security for the poor. It works with partners including Water Witness International to ensure that water resources are managed fairly and sustainably for current and future generations. They work at a local, national and global scale, driving improved water security through a multi-layered approach involving research; the development of innovative responses; collaborations with change makers and evidence based advocacy to produce change at scale. Shahidi and Water Witness have played a leading role in the development of water stewardship through its partnerships work with governments, donors, corporates, international NGOs, academic research centres and civil society organisations. www.waterwitness.org
About Water Stewardship and the Alliance for Water Stewardship standard
The AWS Standard is a globally-consistent framework that outlines the expectations of responsible private sector operators on water Stewardship is about taking care of something that we do not own. Stewardship approaches that focus on the management of public goods like forests, fisheries or, in our case, freshwater resources, are based on the premise that we are all accountable for the sustainable management of those resources and are, therefore, based on collective responses. Water stewardship is defined as: “The use of water that is socially equitable, environmentally sustainable and economically beneficial, achieved through a stakeholder-inclusive process that involves site and catchment-based actions. www.allianceforwaterstewardship.org
About the 2030 Water Resources Group
The 2030 Water Resources Group is a unique public-private-civil society collaboration. The Group facilitates open, trust-based dialogue processes to drive action on water resources reform in water stressed countries in developing economies. The ultimate aim of such reforms and actions is to close the gap between water demand and supply by the year 2030. The 2030 WRG emerged in 2009 through a collaboration between the IFC, the World Economic Forum, multilateral and bilateral agencies (Swiss and Swedish Development Cooperation), private sector companies (Nestlé, PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, SABMiller), and other organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund.
More information: www.2030wrg.org / www.twitter.com/2030WRG #2030WRG
Alida Pham, 2030 Water Resources Group, Global Communications Lead
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Scott McCready, Water Witness International, Chief Strategy Officer
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