PRESIBALT and PARSEBALT hold Steering Committee Meetings in N’Djamena – Chad
On Thursday, 9 March 2023, the Programme for the Rehabilitation and Strengthening of the Resilience of Socioecological Systems of the Lake Chad Basin (PRESIBALT) and Programme to Support the Socio-economic Reintegration of Vulnerable Groups in the Lake Chad Basin (PARSEBALT) held their seventh and second Steering Committee Meetings respectively at the headquarters of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) in N’Djamena, by video conference and in person.
The main objective of these meetings were to review the progress of both programmes, validate the 2023 Annual Work Plans and Budgets, and posit adequate measures to improve their performance.
The Honourable Minister of Water and Sanitation of Chad, current Chairman of the Council of Ministers, Mr Alio Abdoulaye Ibrahim, chaired the meeting. The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Ambassador Mamman Nuhu, Directors, Heads of Divisions and Coordinators of LCBC projects and programmes were in attendance. National Focal Points of LCBC Member States and representatives of technical and financial partners were also in attendance via video conference.
In his welcome remarks, the Executive Secretary of LCBC, Ambassador Mamman Nuhu, restated that the Lake Chad Basin, which is home to more than 50 million people, has been faced over the last few decades with the adverse effects of climate change, with its consequences such as desert encroachment, including socio-economic and security challenges that affect the local communities. According to Ambassador Nuhu, it is the rationale of the two programmes: PRESIBALT and PARSEBALT, financed by the African Development Bank and aims to contribute to resolving the multiple challenges facing the communities living in the Lake Chad Basin.
In his opening remarks, the current Chairman of the Council of Ministers, Mr Alio Abdoulaye Ibrahim, took the opportunity to extend a warm welcome on behalf of the Government and people of Chad. He expressed his gratitude to the Executive Secretary of the Commission for his leadership in the organisation of the meeting.
Cognizant of the fact that the meeting is crucial for LCBC Member States because both Programmes contribute to reducing poverty and promoting peace, security and development in the Lake Chad Basin, the Honourable Minister said he was positive as regards the quality of the deliberations of these meetings because they will propose adequate measures and draw out perspectives as part of the implementation of the new Strategic Action Programme (SAP) of the LCBC.
It should be recalled that PRESIBALT and PARSEBALT are among LCBC programmes that best address the concerns of States and communities in the search for solutions to reverse the vulnerability of women and young people and control the insecurity that prevails in the Lake Chad Basin. Despite the worsening of the security, health, and climatic situation, PRESIBALT has achieved tangible outcomes for the well-being of communities dependent on the resources of the Basin. The achievements of PRESIBALT in the four countries of implementation (Cameroon, Niger, Chad, and CAR) focus on small-scale irrigated areas, rural markets, health centres, modern water points, classrooms, rural roads, agro-processing units, hydrometeorological equipment, etc.
For better regional and national ownership and coordination, stakeholders at the PRESIBALT and PARSEBALT 2023 Steering Committee Meetings recommended accelerating the processing of requests for payment (RFP) at all levels to enable firms to finalise all works before 30 October 2023. The programmes should also provisionally receive all works before 31 December 2023, accelerate the completion of the study on the impacts of the Programme to enable a proper final evaluation of PRESIBALT, strengthen the monitoring of ongoing activities in all countries by fully involving the sectoral sectors for better ownership and sustainability of activities, take steps to carry out the inventory of assets in the four (4) countries to have a list of fixed assets at the end of the Programme.
Countries were urged to harmonise attractive salary scales considering the context to maintain the experts recruited for the implementation of projects in the Basin, make efforts with other partners for the installation of hydrometeorological, hydrological and Hydrogeological equipment, and accelerate the processing of the files submitted for approval and the payment of final accounts of firms whose works are in progress, among others.
It should be noted that the Steering Committee is a multi-institutional advisory and steering body which ensures that projects and programmes objectives are implemented by both Programmes (PRESIBALT, PARSEBALT) are achieved. It is essential for developing synergies and complementarity in achieving the Commission’s vision.