DRC National Discourse Forum (DRC NDF
) is a Network facilitating the involvement of society organizations (CSOs), the NGOs including women and media groups. The DRC Nile basin faces a great number of environmental problems including population growth and poverty through the way it aims in promoting a dialogue on sustainable and equitable Nile basin development.
DRC NDF was launched in April 2006; the NDF has 13 elected members who become its national steering committee. DRC NDF is composed of the forum main bodies namely:
- The General Assembly: The supreme body of the forum is currently made of 80 civil society organizations.
- Steering committee: This organ is composed of 13 members.
- The secretariat: This is the national coordination headed by a National coordinator (NPC)
- The National Forum: This is composed of members who join to DRC NDF media, NGOs members, Sponsors, Government representatives, Local administration, and International NGOs.
The commission in charge of water and environment in DRC are handled by Ministry of environment at the national level which represents the DRC government in the issue of Nile which is representing by a commission called NIL CO (Nile-Commission); this is in charge of countries issue of Nile water. However, the DRC government contributed in the NBI(Nile basin initiative), is around 35,000USD and 15,000USD in addition the Equipment contribution per Year is around 450,000 USD (to support some meeting organized in DRC by NEL-TAC ,NEL-TAC,NILE-COM , Nile Day (2011) and the office rent of LEAF Project[between 2005 to 2009 ).
The DRC government develops some cooperation with the Nile countries and done activities including:
- Burundi for the exploitation of Lake Tanganyika (Fisheries, water management and transport) and Ruzizi River (electricity)
- Rwanda for exploitation the Lake Kivu (Gaz exploitation, water management and transport) and a party of Rift Albertin in which we can find the Virunga National Park in DRC and Bilunga park in Rwanda
- Uganda for exploitation the two lakes Albert and Edward (oil exploitation, transport, water management).
In DRC gaining access to the decision makers is quite difficult. The Cooperation Framework Agreement is not populated by the ministry of Environment, Members of parliament, Experts or local communities in Nile area. The population never participated in the meeting organized by the Ministry of Environment that focused on Nile basin issues (this is the cause of lack of knowledge on CFA) that take place in the Nile area; for reason given that Nile area is very far from Kinshasa capital where the environment ministry office and TAC-members are based. In addition, the DRC NDF gives her best to ensure that the local population are informed about what is going on in the issue of Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) and NBD by using such means (dialogue, forums, radio, Advertisement, newspapers and a library).
The DRC has non central agency responsible for overall coordination of environment matters; has no Environmental Impact assessment (EIA) guidelines; some laws such as the water Act are still in draft form; marginalized people are not recognized under the constitution and state control of some mining areas is weak. In general DRC has relatively weaker policy, legal and institutional frameworks for environmental governance as compared to other Nile riparian countries.
DRC NDF overall objectives are:
- Disseminate knowledge about NBD and NBI activities to NDF members and to civil society organizations (CSOs).
- Establish a mechanism of partnership with governmental agencies to ensure civil society participation in the NBD - NBI projects.
- Support community actions and partnerships to reduce poverty in the DRC Nile basin.
- Influence development project and processes under NBI.
- Implement a mechanism of monitoring and evaluation by NDF members.
DRC NDF Leadership
Dr. Malikwisha Meni
Dr. Malikwisha is the Chairman DRC-NDF. He is a teacher and researcher at Ruwenzori State University in the Eastern DRC, North-Kivu province in Butembo city, specialist and physician who has worked in several provinces of DRC in Kinshasa, he is the Cabinet Director at the Social Affairs Ministry and a consultant at the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Labour International Office. He coordinated the first document on the critical analysis of health system in DRC in 1998 which document is at the basis of the Congo sanitary reform of 2000.
He was a Team Leader of Congolese research workers’ on the Albert and Edward lakes in the form of the transborder pilot project LEAF (Lakes Edward and Albert Fisheries) of NELSAP/NBI Program (2005/2006), Secretary General of Ruwenzori State University, and Chief of Environment Management Department of Sciences Faculty in the same university. In collaboration with other research workers, he created a Research Center, the O.S.L.E.A.R. (Observatoire du System Lacustre Edouard -Albert autour du Ruwenzori) which works with the Institute Congolais pour le Conservation de la Nature (ICCN) in the Albertine Rift for a good management of the protected areas.
Dr. MALIKWISHA has also published several scientific articles at national and international levels talking about public health, informal sector and presently he is enormously publishing about the biodiversity in the Albertine Rift and mostly in Virunga National Park. For the last 10 years, he coordinated the Auditing and Consulting Services Team (ACST) which is an office for Conception, management, monitoring and evaluation of development projects.
Therese Kakule Katungu
Therese Kakule Katungu is a graduate of Social Sciences, Political and Administration specializing in Sociology from the University of Lubumbashi with a higher Diploma in Sociology and Anthropology. Therese has a long standing experience in socio-anthropological analysis of development programs and she boasts of knowledge in various fields such as gender approach, institutional gender policy development, Project Management and programs integrating gender aspects. Therese worked as a coordinator with a farmers’ organisation (2002/2010) and she has got leadership skills in human resources management and prevention and management of grievance, control process of strategic planning by the GAR, editing and project management, organizational and institutional development, techniques of participatory facilitation and conducting surveys and knowledge on the principles of analysis and conflict management.
Jonathan Ukelo Wanok
Jonathan Ukelo Wanok is Managing Director and Development Expert of FLEVICA and the Vice Chairperson of DRC National Discourse Forum. He graduated from Bunia Teaching Training College specializing in Applied Pedagogy and Psychology, with a Diploma in Community Development. Jonathan worked with the Education Department for the last 37 years, currently Jonathan works with FLEVICA an NGO supporting the Cooperatives of Fishing on Lake Albert and building capacities of Associations of Fishermen in using the recommended fishing gears and protecting the ecosystem in and around the Lake Albert.
- Research studies have been carried out and a number of capacity building workshops have been held for their member studies.
- Studies have been done on topics like different power resources in DRC Nile basin area and stakeholder involvement in the NBI development process.
- "The problematic of deficit and energetic potentials in the Congolese Nile basin" a book that DRC NDF published to high light on identifying the energetic problems in the Congolese Nile basin.
- The DRC NDF has highlighted a very clear way that should be used to have an overview about NELSAP project through undertaking an assessment on DRC Nile basin-Nile equatorial lakes region (NEL) sub-region has been done by the consultant.
- The DRC NDF has had very good cooperative relations with its members. The NPC has visited its members in order to stay in contact and monitor their activities.
- Nile day activities in ways of conference aiming at awakening the local population about the Nile basin issues have been organized in different coins of the Congolese Nile basin.
- Strengthen a DRC NDF Platform of civil society organizations for a sustainable Nile basin development.
- The DRCNDF has carried out a number of capacity building activities for its members in environment impact assessment, communication, lobbing and advocacy techniques.
- The DRCNDF uses media as a powerful tool to popularize Nile basin information at the level of the local community.
- DRCNDF facilitates internet access to members and also distributes news papers: Nile voices, NBI news papers.