Source of river Nile. Lake Victoria, Uganda @Photo credit: Shutterstock

The UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa serves as a water science hub for Sub-Sahara Africa, under the UNESCO-International Hydrological Programme (UNESCO-IHP), the only intergovernmental programme of the UN devoted to water research, water resources management, education and capacity building.

Freshwater is the most crucial resource for mankind, cross-cutting all social, economic and environmental activities. It is a condition for all life on our planet, an enabling or limiting factor for any social and technological development, a possible source of welfare or misery, cooperation or conflict.

To achieve water security, we must protect vulnerable water systems, mitigate the impacts of water-related hazards such as floods and droughts, safeguard access to water functions and services and manage water resources in an integrated and equitable manner.

UNESCO works to build the scientific knowledge base to help countries manage their water resources in a sustainable way through the International Hydrological Programme (IHP), through leading the UN-wide World Water Development Report and through numerous Centres and Chairs on water around the world.

The International Hydrological Programme (IHP) is the only intergovernmental programme of the UN system devoted to water research, water resources management, and education and capacity building. Since its inception in 1975, IHP has evolved from an internationally coordinated hydrological research programme into an encompassing, holistic programme to facilitate education and capacity building, and enhance water resources management and governance.

IHP facilitates an interdisciplinary and integrated approach to watershed and aquifer management, which incorporates the social dimension of water resources, and promotes and develops international research in hydrological and freshwater sciences. UNESCO's International Hydrological Programme, founded in 1975 and implemented in six-year programmatic time intervals or phases, is entering its eighth phase to be implemented during the period 2014-2021.

Water related disasters


Water Security and Quality

Water for Human Settlement


Water Education

More information:

Regional Achievements of the International Hydrological Programme Africa

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