UNESCO (IGRAC & IHP), AMCOW, IAH and AGN successfully launched the Global Groundwater Monitoring Network Programme (GGMN) in Africa with a first workshop in the IGAD region. From 1 to 2 June 2012, 21 representatives from the IGAD region (Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, Somalia, South Sudan, and Uganda) and stakeholders from key African groundwater organisations, came together for IGRAC's first workshop on the Global Groundwater Monitoring Network in Nairobi, Kenya.
The IGAD region faces various severe challenges to water and food security like droughts. Improvements in groundwater resource management in this region are expected to provide effective, sustainable solutions for adaptation. Assessing regional groundwater trends from in-situ monitoring combined with proxy information (such as remote-sensing observations) should provide a reliable basis upon which appropriate groundwater policies and activity plans can be developed.
During the workshop, regional groundwater experts became familiar with the GGMN programme and the web-based tool developed to assist groundwater monitoring assessment. The workshop participants provided valuable suggestions about the software application and the programme elaboration. The workshop conclusions and the feedback enabled a common agreement about further programme implementation in the region. Three more GGMN workshops are planned for the next year across the continent, with the next one to take place in the SADC region, most likely in November 2012.