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Statement by Mr. Mebrahtu Iyassu Mehari at the UN 2023 Water Conference

Statement by Mr. Mebrahtu Iyassu Mehari

Director General of Water Resources Department of the State of Eritrea

Conference on the Midterm Review of the Implementation of the Objectives of

International Decade for Action on Water for Sustainable Development

22-24 March 2023, New York


Mr. President


Distinguished Delegates

Ladies and gentlemen

On behalf of the Government of the State of Eritrea and on my own behalf, I feel honored to deliver this brief remark to the Conference on the issue of the Midterm Review of the Implementation of the Objectives of International Decade for Action on Water for Sustainable Development 2018-2028.

At the outset, I wish to take this opportunity to extend my appreciation to the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan and the Kingdom of the Netherlands as well as to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs as the conference secretariat, with the support of the UN Water for hosting the Conference.

Mr. President,

Recognizing that water resources are essential for domestic use, agriculture/irrigation and industrial purposes and the issue of Water for Sustainable Development, Eritrea has been working hard for the last three decades in mitigating the effects of drought, climate change and environmental degradation by surface and ground water development.

The need for decisive actions to ensure an adequate supply of water is necessary. Therefore, my government has laid out an enabling environment to sustainably improve water management, for instance, by increasing the efficiency of water consumption rather than increasing the supply. Additionally, to ensure that projects are sustainable, committees are organized, trained and gradually have taken full responsibility of maintenance. As a result of our sustainable water  project plans, the quality of drinking water has increased, which in return has a significant impact on the overall public health of our communities.

Mr. President,

Eritrea believes that water for sustainable development can be achieved by developing a national water road map and through collective actions of all parties. Water resources, if conserved and managed properly, can play a significant role in increasing socioeconomic development.  However, it requires effective national, regional and international partnership, which is of paramount importance in the international endeavor to mitigate water related disasters.

Eritrea is committed to the achievements of the ultimate objectives of water for sustainable development acknowledging that water, sanitation, health, ecosystems, food systems and nutrition are interlinked and that the rising trend of losses caused by water related disasters, such as drought, floods and salinity intrusion must be addressed.

In view of this, Eritrea’s water roadmap and action plans present concrete measures and steps that need to be taken in the implementation of the  water projects  and  programs  that  include  integrated water resources management, water strategic plan, WASH strategic plan, capacity  building,  technology  transfer,  financial support and partnership with national, regional and international agencies involved in water for sustainable development.

The  immediate  development  priority  of  Eritrea  is  to  meet  the  basic  needs  of its  population through  achieving   economic   stability,  rehabilitating   and   expanding   infrastructures that will contribute to improving the living conditions of our people. In order to withstand  the impacts of water scarcity and land degradation, adaptation  activities  commonly  carried  out  in some  parts  of  Eritrea  include surface and ground water development, soil and  water  conservation,  afforestation,  reforestation and  area closure. We have adopted a Climate  smart  water  use system, which reduces flooding   through   maintaining   groundwater   recharge;   sustainable   use   of   river   basins; introducing  new  technologies  in  irrigated  agriculture  and  dissemination  of  knowledge  in  the protection  of water  resources.  Furthermore, we have introduced policies and related programs aiming  at  promoting  drought-resistant   breeds   of  livestock   and focused  at  ecosystem enhancement, drought  resistant  crop  varieties, integrated pest  management and disease control with other cultural practices.


Mr. President,

Eritrea has mobilized a substantial amount of resources to develop and enhance the enabling environment for achieving goals under the Water Decade for Action: Water for Sustainable Development 2018-2028. It has also issued a number of water laws, directives, legal notices and standards, as well as the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) plan, Water Strategic plan and WASH Strategy and Investment Plan to address water sustainability issues. Eritrea is also committed to international endeavors for sustainable use of water.

Having full regard to the objectives of International Decade for Action on Water for Sustainable Development 2018-2028, my delegation expresses its full support and remains committed, in this regard, to all types of cooperation in terms of the water related conventions, agreements and agendas that it had acceded to and signed to ensure water for sustainable development.

Mr. President,

To conclude, Eritrea will continue to undertake effective measures in mitigating the effects of water related disasters, climate change, combating desertification, environmental restoration and sustainable use of natural resources. For Eritrea, improving the livelihood of its people and ensuring water for sustainable development, is not an option but an obligation and a matter of necessity, owing to the country’s location in  a drought prone geographic location of the African region.

My delegation gives a thumbs up to the “Water Action Agenda” which is also consistent with the goals set out in SDG 6, and expresses its sincere hope that the global community will come together to take concrete actions on water for sustainable development.

Thank you for your attention!

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