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22 Pages

Community water management: Experiences from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan, and Liberia

WithMurray Burt, Bilha Joy Keiru

Water is essential for life. Competing demands and poor management of scarce water resources can create or exacerbate conflict, while equitable and sustainable management can contribute to peacebuilding through economic revitalization, public health improvement, and the restoration of cooperation at all levels of society. A 2009 report from the United Nations Secretary-General highlighted four peacebuilding objectives that lay the foundation for sustainable peace and development-establishing security, building confidence in a political process, delivering initial peace dividends, and expanding core national capacity-and said, “If countries develop a vision and strategy that succeeds in addressing these objectives early on, it substantially increases the chances for sustainable peaceand reduces the risk of relapse into conflict” (UNSG 2009, 1). The report pointed to five priority areas for international support to help post-conflict countries achieve these objectives:1

s 3UPPORT TO BASIC SAFETY AND SECURITY INCLUDING MINE ACTION PROTECTION OF civilians, disarmament, demobilization and reintegration, strengthening the rule of law and initiation of security sector reform

s 3UPPORT TO POLITICAL PROCESSES INCLUDING ELECTORAL PROCESSES PROMOTING inclusive dialogue and reconciliation, and developing conflict-management capacity at national and subnational levels

s Support to provision of basic services, such as water and sanitation, health and primary education, and support for the safe and sustainable return and reintegration of internally displaced persons and refugees

s 3UPPORT TO RESTORING CORE GOVERNMENT FUNCTIONS IN PARTICULAR BASIC PUBLIC administration and public finance, at the national and subnational levels

s 3UPPORT TO ECONOMIC REVITALIZATION INCLUDING EMPLOYMENT GENERATION AND livelihoods (in agriculture and public works) particularly for youth and demobilized former combatants, as well as rehabilitation of basic infrastructure (UNSG 2009, 6).