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close this bookWater Management in Africa and the Middle East: Challenges (IDRC, 1996)
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We would like to express our special thanks to Sahar Kamel and Maryse Rabbat for their unsparing efforts to make this workshop a success and for their sustained secretarial assistance and to Brenda Lee Wilson, who contributed a lot of time and thoughtful comments to the editing. Many thanks also go to other IDRC staff - Rosa Ongeso and Muthoni Mwangi, Nairobi, and Ray Vander Zaag and David Ofoumon, Ottawa, for editorial assistance; Flora Shiroya, Nairobi, for bibliographic assistance; and Imelda Wasike, Nairobi, for secretarial assistance. Finally, we thank the text editors, Wilma Fraser and Josephine Mwasi.

Edited by Eglal Rached, Eva Rathgeber, and David Brooks

IDRC May 1996

A water crisis is looming in Africa and the Middle East, where annual renewable freshwater available per person has declined by half since 1950, and continues to decline.

Water Management in Africa and the Middle East is the product of an IDRC workshop in Cairo, where researchers and scientists met to take stock of the crisis, to identify key issues and trends, and to map out strategies for further research and for action. It takes a close look at the problems that beset different regions, from drought-prone East Africa, to the Middle East, where water is a major factor in regional conflicts, to tropical areas where water quality is a concern and water-borne diseases are endemic. It examines the roles of governments and international agencies and looks at the costs and effects of large-scale projects for irrigation and drinking water supply. Equally, it examines the roles of NGOs and community organizations in providing water locally and in ensuring that the needs of rural peoples, the urban poor, women, and other neglected groups are incorporated into water management strategies. The workshop identified means to effect closer cooperation between governments and communities, and to bring more attention to water conservation, without which strategies to manage water in Africa and the Middle East will be neither sustainable nor equitable.

The contributors are the most part researchers and scientists who live and work in Africa and the Middle East, and who deal on a daily basis with the looming water crisis.