Report by: Neimat Al Naiem
UNESCO Chair for water resources and Om Durman Islamic University (OIU) organized a one-day pre-conference workshop on citizen science for sustainable water resources management in Sudan on 16th December 2021 at Al-Salm Hotel in Khartoum.
Dr. Ahmed Musa Siyam Acting OIU Acting Vice-Chancellor delivered his speech highlighted citizen science defining it as a science of the participation of the general public in designing research and collecting data and its analysis as well as scientists do. He pointed that citizen science dates backs to many years within the scientific practice. Dr. Musa believes that the concept of integrated management of water resources depends on three principles including social justice, economic qualification, and sustainable water ecology, noted that these principles should be enhancing citizen participation in sciences.
OIU Acting Vice-chancellor said that the integrated management for water resources in Sudan will realize the agenda of the Sustainable development goals SDGs 2030. He pointed to the challenges facing Sudan in this regard such as lack of information related to rivers hydrology, particularly the seasonal river’s hydrology. Lack of trading and capacity building. Not benefiting from the scientific researches, Universities, and centers and to put on reality.
Dr. Ahmed Musa Siyam concluded his speech by stressing the importance of citizen science and the attention of the UNESCO chair for water in OIU and the network of the integrated management for water resources hosted by the chair and the OIU to organize this scientific workshop as a pre-conference on citizen science for sustainable water resources management in Sudan to realize these aims in raising awareness with the citizen science as a mobilizer of community participation to fulfill the integrated management for sustainable water resources.
UNESCO Khartoum office, Dr. Ayman Badri addressed the workshop shed light on the importance of such workshops that tackle the partnership between the scientific research and the citizen, and the role of citizen science in scientific research in Sudan considering the limited resources that limited the recruitment of the researches and continuing the community base management approaches involving communities in the research. He appreciable the role of the UNSECO chair imitative to organize the workshop. He pointed different activities being organized by the chair in Sudan. He conveyed a deep thank you to the UNESCO Khartoum office for taking the opportunity to take part in the event. He pointed to UNSECO’s supports to the UNESCO chairs in Sudan particularly UNSECO Chair in water as the oldest chair in Sudan.
UNESCO Chair in water resources in Sudan, Dr. Muna Musand presented a very rich scientific presentation on the chair its activities plans and strategies in Sudan as the oldest chair in Sudan.
Many scientific working papers are presented discussing citizen science as a tool for data collection, monitoring, research and community engagement, deprivation of rainfall.
The workshop was organized by UNSECO chair in water Resources, OIU (IWRM-Net SD) UNSECO Khartoum Office, UNSECO Cairo Office, UNSECO Category 11 Regional UNSECO for capacity development and Research in water harvesting (RCWH), Ministry of Irrigation and water resources, Ministry of Higher education and Scientific Research.
The closing session came out with scientific recommendations enabling the participants and the concerned bodies on setting plans strategies and policies to support citizen science as one of the most important sciences related to Water Resources and humans in general in including the establishment of a one-stop for citizen science involvement (establishment of a hub) with clear governance mechanisms and linkages ( such as water resources, water supply facilities, metrological irrigation water, etc. IWRM-Net-SD should prepare a working paper.