Czech SDGs Awards 2022 – LIAZ Exploration

Photo credit Petr Klapper

In October, the Czech SDG Awards honored sustainable projects and strategies that aspire to change the Czech Republic and the rest of the world for the better. Their mission is to acknowledge innovative ventures with a positive impact on society and the planet.

In the Development cooperation, peace and partnership category, the Modelárna LIAZ project, supported by the Czech-UNDP Partnership within the Challenge Fund modality, won. Their project focuses on the latest airborne exploration tools to locate sustainable deeper groundwater sources in one of the most drought-affected areas. The LIAZ team can detect unique, large, and medium volumes that can fundamentally solve water supply problems on a scale of both the whole region and even the whole country. 

Congratulations to the successful innovators!

Have a read below with Mrs. Beranová about the newest development in LIAZ project in Ethiopia.

How did you learn about the Challenge Fund and how did you start your cooperation with Somali Regional State Agricultural and Natural Resources Bureau? 

We learned about the Challenge Fund from a non-profit organization. Our choice fell on the Somali region of Ethiopia because it is the driest inhabited region. We started looking for a partner in this region – we thought about the Somali Region Water Bureau, but we did not manage to set up communication. As we have been working with the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture for a long time, they connected us with the Somali Region Agriculture Bureau. In the end, this collaboration made sense, because the water resources we found will primarily serve pastoral communities.

The director of the Somali Region Agriculture Bureau briefed us on the water situation in detail. We visited the region immediately after the rains, but even then the situation was catastrophic, for example, the main dam supplying the city of Jijiga was completely dry. The director gave us the coordinates of the priority areas in which we tried to find water and he cooperated intensively with us during the project implementation.

Were there any difficulties during the implementation? 

We encountered no problems. Rather, it is a difference of opinion between central institutions and institutions at the project site. One of our partners was the Department of Irrigation of the Ministry of Agriculture, which informed us that it is not worth pumping water at a depth greater than 150 meters for economic reasons. However, the director of the Somali Region Agriculture Bureau insisted on finding water at other depths as water, according to him, is irreplaceable with money.

Where do you see a further scale-up of LIAZ Exploration technology? 

As for the scale-up project, we are in talks with donors, including the World Bank, about looking for water in the entire Somali region and by extension also in the surrounding regions. We have already prepared an offer for the local administration of the Somali region and also for the Ministry of Water.

About the Czech-UNDP Partnership – Challenge Fund and Expertise on Demand

Through the Challenge Fund and Expertise on Demand, the Czech-UNDP Partnership for SDGs brings innovative solutions from the Czech Republic’s private sector, NGOs, universities, state institutions, research centres and individuals to tackle specific developmental challenges in the priority countries. The implementation of projects and expertises is financially supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Czech Republic.