Welcome to Rift Valley Lakes Basin Authority
Message from Dr. Kebede Kanchula
Director General, Rift Valley Lakes Basin Authority
The Rift Valley Lakes Basin Authority (RVLBA) is one of the 12 river basins in Ethiopia. The Authority has been established as an autonomous federal government organ having its own legal personality as per the Council of Ministers Regulation No. 253/2011.
The Authority is established with the overall objective of promoting and monitoring the implementation of integrated water resources management process in an equitable, sustainable and participatory manner in the Rift Valley Lakes Basin. The Basin covers 53,000 sq.k.m. Area within the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Regional State and the Oromia Regional State. It is divided into four sub-basins, namely Ziway-Shalla, Hawassa, Abaya-Chamo, and Chew Bahir. It is estimated that there is 5312 Mm3/year volume of surface water and 53 Mm3/year volume of underground water. Recent projection indicates that the Basin is home to over 12.6 million people. Among this, 13% is believed to live in urban area while the remaining 87% lives in rural area. The Basin has a high potential for irrigation, fishery, tourism and many other investment activities.
The Authority is mandated with a serious of responsibilities of preserving the lakes and water bodies in the rift valley basin. RVLBA recognizes that integrated water resources management (IWRM) is a comprehensive, adaptive, and participative approach to harmonize all water users to cope with emerging basin challenges. These include climate change, water-related disaster risk management, and increased demands from all water users. Beyond such the basin is facing more other serious threats, including conflicts in resource use, serious land degradation, soil erosion, increasing demand for irrigation, inadequate knowledge in the use of the water bodies, sedimentation, pollution, droughts and floods. The Authority is taking the required steps to address such problems and ensure sustainability. Additionally, the Authority is taking measures aimed at protecting and managing water resources to sustain our ground and surface water storage and supply by increasing forest cover, which could also help us to minimize erosion and control flooding, which is one of the most devastating effects of the improper management of water resources. In order to facilitate its activities the Authority has currently opened a branch office in Ziway (Ziway-Shalla sub-basin), which has become functional since June 2016. The Ziway Shalla sub-basin has finalized the preparation of a water allocation plan and set for its implementation.
The opening of a second branch in Arbaminch(abaya-chamo sub-basin) is also underway. Since the launch of RVLBA, we have been working together with all stakeholders to achieve the concept and practice of integrated water resources management (IWRM) at the basin level. Looking back at the past decade, the situation of our society and the surrounding people has drastically changed and continue to become more complex at an even more rapid pace. Still, RVLBA has yielded successful results in promoting IWRM. This is thanks to the able leadership of RVLBA, especially the strong and continuous support by the Government of Ethiopia. The success of the Authority’s endeavor depends on cooperation with all concerned stakeholders. Hence, I call on all stakeholders that have already been working with us and others that are yet to engage with us to join forces with the Authority in its sacred mandate of preserving our lakes and water bodies for generations to come.