Colombia is one of the many countries in the world confronted with severe water problems. In December 2010 huge floods took place, affecting more than 3 million people who lost their houses and saw their property damaged. Hundreds of people lost their lives. Even today, floods are causing major problems. The rainy season of 2011 already resulted in 134 deadly victims and leaves the capital Bogotá in a state of emergency.
One of the reasons for the floods is the extreme weather condition. The rainfall in a short period is more than the rivers can handle. Nevertheless, other aspects play a role as well. Water management does not function as it should. Evaluating the events made clear that the water problems require not only short term measures, but also a profound analysis of the water management in Colombia and proposals for a more sustainable and more integrated water management in the future.
Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos called on support from the Dutch embassy to prevent future flood problems. This resulted in a Water Partnership between Colombia and the Netherlands, signed on 29 June 2011 in Bogotá, Colombia. In the framework of this Water Partnership, the WGC is currently involved in the project Misión Gobernanza del Agua (Water Governance Mission, MIGA). This consists of a national dialogue to identify the main problems and solutions in Colombian water management and create a basis for cooperation between the different stakeholders.
At 17 November the launch of the MIGA took place in Medellin during the Seventh Inter-american Dialogue on Water Management. The report introduces the project in Colombia and examines the opportunities for the next steps in the broader cooperation process between the Netherlands and Colombia on water management.
The the second workshop of the MIGA that took place on 15 February in Bogotá and on the progress so far. It builds on the cooperation assessment (June 2011) and the report of the first phase of the MIGA (December 2011). Download report.