April 15, 2020: Green Roads for Water for Resilience and Recovery

Date and Time

  • April 15, 2020 (Wednesday)
  • 11:45 AM Central European Summer Time (CEST)


Perhaps more than ever, it is critical now to reflect upon the concept of resilience. It is evident that resilience needs to be given a central place in how we think, plan, and act; especially with regards to public goods such as infrastructure.

In this open webinar, we will discuss our five years’ experience promoting the use of roads for resilience and water management, alongside their primary function of connectivity.

Perhaps no other intervention has bigger impact on water management than road construction. Roads often cause erosion and floods, and impact sand dune movement in desert areas. At the same time, water-flow is a lead cause of road-damage (particularly unpaved roads).

This road-water enmity can be turned around. Measures can be taken to use roads to harvest water, guide flood, open up springs, retain subsurface flows and control water tables. The same measures will reduce water-damage to roads significantly.

Integrating water management functions in road development is a game-changer, especially considering the massive investment in roads every year (USD 1-2 Trillion).

Over the past few years, ‘Green Roads for Water’ programmes have been introduced in more than 10 countries, and have brought about marked improvements in water availability and road management. The relevance of these programmes, this approach to infrastructure,  is high in these times of Corona when people’s resilience is being pushed to the limits. Firstly, it helps create new sources of water wherever roads are built. Secondly, when built into social safety net and recovery programmes, it creates employment as well as better rural roads.

The ‘Green Roads for Water’ approach is being promoted by a Learning Alliance, which includes MetaMeta (The Netherlands) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security, Malawi. In the webinar, speakers from these organisations will discuss the approach using case studies from Ethiopia, Nepal, Malawi, and Uganda.


  • Frank van Steenbergen (MetaMeta Research),
  • Taye Alemayehu (MetaMeta Ethiopia),
  • Hilary Galiwango (MetaMeta Uganda),
  • Macpherson Nthara (Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security) and
  • Saroj Yakami (MetaMeta Nepal)

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May 18, 2020  
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