The Ethiopian Nile Basin Discourse Forum (Eth-NDF) is a network of civil society organizations (CSOs) and Non-governmental Organizations committed to promoting civil society and basin community participation and active engagement in the development and sustainable utilization of the Nile water resources.
Eth-NDF, launched in December 2005, is the result of series of consultative meetings and lively debates among like minded Ethiopian civil society groups who could no more bear witnessing the paradox of socioeconomic deprivation, grinding poverty and hunger that has befallen the Nile basin communities , while one of the World's biggest rivers is flowing by their very door steps, untapped.
Eth-NDF is convinced that the time has come for redressing this injustice through a collaborative effort between government, civil society and the international development community. In this regard, it recognizes the enormous opportunities created by the new vision of the Nile basin countries towards a shared and sustainable utilization of the Nile water resources, through the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI). Eth-NDF believes that the effective participation of the Ethiopian civil society and the grass root basin communities in the policy making and development process of this huge water resource is of crucial importance to the realization of the NBI vision and programmes.
Eth-NDF is accountable to the NBD secretariat.
Mengesha Workneh General Secretary
Tamrat Kebede Board Member
Amare Kebede Wede Vice Chairperson
Areas of operation
The forum has been engaged in the following areas. These include: 1) Public awareness raising on IWRM, impacts of climate change on water, and on the benefits of Nile cooperation to Ethiopia; 2) Research and dissemination for policy informing on the benefits of Nile cooperation; 3) Information exchange and sharing on the management of shared water resources in general and the Nile water resources in particular 4) Partnership and networking with local, national and international actors in the Nile.
In relation to the NBD three year programme, the Forum operates in the following areas:
Improving communication, knowledge and information management among civil society organizations in the Nile basin to strengthen civil society perspectives in development processes. Here, it wants to ensure increased understanding and participation in Nile basin development processes among stakeholders.
Supporting initiatives for sustainable integrated river basin management at all levels for livelihood improvement & development in the Nile basin. Its intention to see increased understanding and application of integrated river basin resource management approaches among NBD members and enhanced ecosystem approach & IWRM concepts for the use, development & conservation of water resources in the basin.
Ensuring the integration and adoption into the Nile basin development processes of Climate change adaptation & mitigation measures & approaches interwoven with measures to reduce trans-boundary conflict between communities in NBI member countries.
Influencing policy development for equitable utilization and sustainable management of the Nile basin resources by working to increase civil society contribution to policy-making processes in the Nile basin. The Forum is keen to promote the idea of mainstreaming access and equity issues in policies and guidelines at national, sub-regional and regional level in the Nile basin. It works towards increasing regional cooperation among civil society organizations on trans-boundary resource management.
The main objectives of the Forum are to:
Promote public awareness and informed dialogue on Nile water issues and contribute to national consensus building for a sustainable and shared development /use of the Nile water resources. The strategies employed for this objective are: (1) Provide Ethiopian civil society and basin communities with up to date information on Nile water development and utilization opportunities, challenges, technologies and emerging policy initiatives, the NBI in particular; (2) Organize and run public debates on Nile water issues at National, Regional and Local levels; and (3) Adopt a participatory and interactive public dialogue approach to develop consensus and shared vision on Nile water development issues.
Enhance basin community participation in the development and utilization of Nile water resources. This can be done by using the following strategies: (1) Establish and develop effective working relationships and partnership with local institutions (CSOs, CBOs, self- help groups, Schools, Clubs and local administration structures such as Woredas and Kebeles) running various development programs in the basin; (2) Build local institution capacities for effective participation in decisions affecting Nile basin development and management; (3) Provide resource mobilization and program support to local community development activities in the basin; and (4) Adopt a participatory monitoring and evaluation system that would allow the identification and tracking of the costs and benefits of Nile basin development projects to the local population.
Foster networking, cooperation, and strategic alliance with Nile basin stakeholders at National, Regional, & International levels. This objective would be realized by using the following strategies: (1) Develop and strengthen networking, information exchange with the Regional Nile Basin discourse Forum (NBD) and National Discourse Forums (NDFs) in each of the riparian countries with particular focus on ENSAP countries; (2) Establish and strengthen collaboration and partnership with NBI structures in the region and their various projects (CBSI, SDO, NTEAP, ENTRO in particular, and others); (3) Establish and develop partnership and collaboration with National, Regional and International development partners and donors supporting development activities in the basin; and (4) Establish, maintain and develop information exchange and collaborative links with government and private sector, educational establishments, research institutions, and individual citizens working on Nile water development issues.