he GoBenin Project was a development programme sponsored by the EU which brought together several institutions, such as ENAS (Water Utility of the Sardinia Region), CRENoS (Center for North-South Economic Research of the University of Cagliari), NRD (Research Centre on Desertification of the University of Sassari), the University of Abomey-Calavi, the General Directorate for water of the ministry for Energy and Water, Actions Integrees pour le Developpement (AID) and Hydroaid as implementing partner.
The project consisted in carrying out a research assessment concerning the water resources in the Municipality of Abomey-Calavi as well as providing training for local technicians and public managers. The project also envisaged the drafting of a technical handbook for the management of water resources in accordance with national water legislations, where the ultimate goal was the transfer of models of local governance.
Throughout the 150 hours of training, run first in Benin and later in Italy, the 23 beneficiaries further strengthened their technical skills and expertise concerning the management and planning of water infrastructures. Moreover, they were able to carry out an analysis of the criticalities and solutions envisaged for the Municipality of Abomey-Calavi. In addition to in-class work the participants engaged in water quality lab testing, specific software education and on-field visits to facilities in Benin as well as in Italy. Experts from both Italy and Benin jointly delivered the training, highlighting the skills and synergies of the project partners and thus conveying an added value to the participants’ learning. This successful approach led to the comparison of the water planning and management systems in Benin and Italy and subsequently stimulated a productive debate among participants and experts. Finally, the copious didactic material produced during the training represented a valuable source for the development of the expected technical manual on the management of water resources.