Newsletter June 12, 2017

Making Water Permits Work for the Poor in Africa
Save the date! Upcoming Thursday June 15th, the IWMI, Pegasys Institute, Flood-based Livelihoods Network/MetaMeta and African Water Authorities (tbc) will shed light on the implementation of water permit systems as well as the challenges associated with this endeavour. The webinar discusses the status of such systems in five African countries (Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe) and the lessons learned from permit system implementation. Codification and optimisation of traditional water allocation arrangements is also discussed, as possible complement to water permits.

webinar

FBLN Internship Programme completed
With much gratitude, we look back to the first FBLN Internship Programme that took place at the MetaMeta office in Wageningen during the last two months. With interns from Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Myanmar, Sudan and Yemen in the room, and others from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Somaliland participating from a distance, the training was a diverse gathering of nationalities and backgrounds. All were young professionals who are working within the partner institutions of the ‘Africa to Asia: Testing Adaptation in Flood Resource Management’ project.

Over the course of eight weeks, the interns were submersed into a mix of trainings, excursions and assignments with the aim to strengthen their FBLN country chapters. To strengthen their skills, the interns each wrote a blog on a flood-based livelihood-related topic in their country, and made a video recording to present their country chapter and the work carried out there. This has been combined into a special dossier at www.thewaterchannel.tv
Trainings were provided on a diversity of topics, such as farmer network development, coaching and personal development, water productivity, inclusiveness and equity, promotion of farming tools and rural equipment, use of drones, proposal writing, Camtasia video production and blog writing. Besides, practical workshops were organised to challenge the interns to think about topics for the Flood-Based Livelihood Guidelines, and to design a plan for their country chapter using the non-profit business model canvas.

The interns were able to gain practical experience on hot topics, during visits to various farms in the Netherlands. A highlight was the visit to Salt Farm Texel, to see the cultivation of salt tolerant crops in action, and learn how these crops can make salinated areas in Pakistan productive again. On another occasion, MetaMeta Associate Ruben Borge (Rockin Soils) took the interns into the field for a participatory soil assessment and soil fertility training.

FBL Leadership Course
The World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and MetaMeta recently organised the 10-day Flood-Based Livelihoods Course, with the aim to foster leadership in flood-based livelihood systems and promote sustainable investments in Africa and Asia. Dr. Malu Ndavi from IFAD made the opening remarks and blessed the rest of the course. The training focused on the multiple uses of floods in agricultural, pastoralist and forestry sectors, water harvesting, agroforestry and microclimate management. There was much opportunity for the participants of the various African and Asian countries to bring in their experiences and share the progress made thus far.

@FBLN_media
FBLN is now on Twitter and is building a track of FBL relevant media. Follow us to find out what is happening around the world to strengthen livelihoods in floodplains. Use the hashtag #FBLN to get your flood-based livelihoods-related message retweeted and spread throughout the FBL community of practice.

Article on spate irrigation systems improvement in Ethiopia
Partners from the University of Florence published an article in JARTS, in which they developed a participatory Diagnostic Analysis for a traditional, non-modernised spate irrigation system in Ethiopia’s Raya Valley. By incorporating farmer knowledge into the development process, they built a solid knowledge base for the effective improvement of these systems. The article builds on the case of the Harosha spate irrigation system.

Kick-off meeting Myanmar

Kickoff

On the 9th and 10th of June, IWMI, An Giang University and Yangon University jointly organized a workshop on FBLS in Yangon, Myanmar as part of the ‘Africa to Asia: Testing Adaptation in Flood Resource Management’ project. The workshop brought together academics, NGO’s, governmental agencies and departments and farmers to discuss the current status, trends, challenges and opportunities of FBLS in Myanmar. It was also a great opportunity to establish a network of different stakeholders to close knowledge gaps, share information and address the challenges that FBLS in Myanmar face. The first day of the workshop, a field visit to the Ayeyarwady Delta was organized where the participants were able to talk to the farmers in that area and see their flooded rice fields. The next day, several presentations were given on different topics related to FBLS: introduction into the project, human interactions with seasonal flooding in the Ayeyarwady Delta, agricultural benefits of FBLS in the Ayeyarwady Delta, linking flood-based rice production with fisheries; challenges and options, biodiversity in the Ayeyarwady Delta and benefits of rice cultivation at landscape level. After these morning-presentations, the afternoon was used for group discussions. Four different groups with mixed backgrounds were formed to discuss:  the changes related to the FBLS the past 20 years, who gained and who lost from these changes, the opportunities and challenges of FBLS and how to contribute best to the project (how to take the opportunities and tackle the challenges discussed and in collaboration with who to do this best). After these interactive discussions, one representative of each group presented the main outputs of their group to all the participants. The workshop ended by a short final discussion and wrap-up.
It were two intensive days with a lot of interesting discussions that resulted in a better vision on the project goals and how to achieve these goals. But most of all, it was the start of creating a strong network with different stakeholders that are all motivated and interested in improving FBLS in Myanmar.

New video from the Hydraulics Research Centre
Our Sudanese partner has released a new video explaining the outcomes of the WLE Harnessing Floods project in the Gash Agricultural Scheme. The project was instrumental to facilitate a better water allocation among all users in the basin. Due attention was also paid to ecosystem services and the need to allocate water to the downstream Gash Die area outside the scheme.

Malawi on board the FBLN train
Last year we were able to welcome the Rainwater Harvesting Association of Malawi (RHAM) as FBLN’s counterpart in this Southern African country. Energetic coordinator Macpherson Nthara and young professional Blessings Jeranji are championing the Malawi country programme. Keep track of the progress made by RHAM through their dedicated website!

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