Wednesday, 26 March 2014, the Swiss Ambassador to Chad, M. Hans Rudolf Hodel, presented the first hydrogeological map of the Wadi Fira region produced in the context of the RésEAU project to the Minister of Rural and Urban Hydraulics, Mr Amadaye Abdelkerim Bakhit.
The ceremony was attended by the Ministers of Higher Education, Spatial Planning, and Urbanism and Habitat, with the participation of the United Nations Resident Coordinator for Chad, and representatives from UNICEF, FAO, the EU, WB and ADB.
This hydrogeological map is the first in a long series that will lead to Chad being completely mapped by 2021. UNITAR´s UNOSAT programme, in charge of implementing the RésEAU project, produced this map in partnership with the Ministry of Rural and Urban Hydraulics and swisstopo, the Federal office of Topography of the Swiss Confederation.
“Water is life“, said the Swiss Ambassador, adding that thanks to the RésEAU project, Chad will have powerful tools at its disposal for planning purposes and decision-making that will contribute to establishing a sovereign water-management system that will favor controlled and sustainable development. The Minister of Rural and Urban Hydraulics responded that the maps would be put to good use by anchoring good governance in the sector and propelling durable economic and social development through mastery of water resource management.
The same week, on Saturday, March 29, the framework agreement between the University of N´Djamena and UNITAR was signed by Dr. Ali Abdel-Rhamane Haggar, Rector of the University of N´Djamena, in the presence of Olivier Senegas, who heads the project for UNITAR-UNOSAT.
This agreement will allow the University of N´Djamena to provide the necessary infrastructure for the HydroGIS Masters Programme to enjoy high level, professional instruction in hydrogeology and cartography. Courses, taught mostly by Chadian professors from the Consortium of Institutes and Universities of Chad, began in November 2013. The programme´s originality lies in the diversity of student backgrounds : half of those enrolled work for the Ministry of Rural and Urban Hydraulics and have substantial field experience, while the other half come from academia, with backgrounds in earth science.
The HydroGIS Masters Programme was made possible through the RésEAU project. It aims to strengthen Chad´s national capacity for water resource management. Once the curriculum is completed, many of the students will return to the Minister of Hydraulics to put into practice the knowledge acquired and take ownership of the geographic tools, GIS and Geoportal developed by the project.