EU-funded RASMI project hands over water pan to border communities in Mandera County

February 1, 2021

The newly constructed waterpoint will help mitigate conflict over water and pasture for the predominantly pastoralist communities along the Kenya and Ethiopia Border.

The EU-funded Regional Approaches for Sustainable Conflict Management and Integration (RASMI) project will on February 3, 2021, hand over a newly constructed water pan at Malkamari, Ethiopia. The water pan will serve border communities of Garre in Kenya and Degodia in Ethiopia, who have historically had conflict over water and pasture for their animals. This project is therefore a peace connector to address the natural resource needs of the two border communities.

Isaac Njuguna, Technical Coordinator for the RASMI project at Pact shares, “Peace dividends projects identified through participatory processes contribute to enhancing cross-border interactions, and socialization, which lead to social cohesion. It is hoped that the Malkamari water pan will be such a project, not least because it will be co-shared, co-managed and co-owned by the Garre and Degodia communities to improve their relations and reduce periodic communal conflicts resulting from competition over natural resources of water and pasture.” 

Construction of the water pan followed an extensive participatory learning and action process conducted in 2019, led by Pact, which saw the two communities come together to discuss their natural resource needs, and ultimately decide on the water pan project as a sustainable solution. An eight-member committee – four members from each community – was also selected to manage the structure, and features elders, women, and youth.

EU Ambassador to Kenya, Simon Mordue underlined: “The EU Cross-Border Programme was designed to support marginalised cross-border communities, both in terms of resilience and peace-building. We are confident that this project constructing a water pan targets both aspects and can help provide a long-lasting solution to the Garre and Degodia on both sides of the border.”

The water pan, with an estimated capacity of 8.4 million litres and costing a total of €100,ooo / KES 13,300,000, is essentially a large tank for harvesting and storing rainwater to be used during the dry season. The water therein is used strictly for livestock, not human, consumption. The handover event will be attended by zonal, woreda and kebele administrators from Ethiopia, and chiefs from Kenya.

Jacqueline Ndirangu, Coordinator for Pact Kenya Office and RASMI Team Lead says, “The RASMI project, led by consortium partner Inter-Africa Group, has worked closely with the local authorities and local communities to ensure the successful completion of this peace dividend project that aims to further cement improved cross-border relations between the Garre and Degodia communities. As we launch the Malkamari water pan, we are confident that the investments made to-date by RASMI will go beyond enhancing peaceful co-existence to include other benefits accruing to the local communities, among them improved natural resource management and ability to better cope with the adverse climate change-related challenges.”

Funded by the European Union Emergency Trust Fund for Africa (EUTF), the Regional Approaches for Sustainable Conflict Management and Integration (RASMI) project adopts a conflict systems-based approach to promote peace-building, conflict management, and conflict resolution capacity at the community and cross-border levels. It is part of the EU program ‘Collaboration in the Cross-Border areas of the Horn of Africa’, providing over €62 million across 7 projects to prevent and mitigate the impact of local conflict and to promote economic development and greater resilience in four different cross-border regions.

About Pact
Pact is an international development non-profit that works on the ground in nearly 40 countries to end poverty and marginalization. We partner with local organizations, businesses and governments to build lasting solutions for thriving, resilient communities. Our vision is a world where everyone owns their future.