Transboundary Water Management in SADC: Development of River Awareness Kits (RAK) for Limpopo and Kunene River Basins

The transboundary river basins of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) supply the greater part of the region’s water resources. Despite the tendency towards general scarcity and endangered status of water resources and the fact that water is a decisive factor in the social and economic development of the region, transboundary water resources continue not to be appropriately managed. It is to be expected that the low coverage and consumption per capita with clean water will persist and the number of existing and potential conflicts over water distribution issues will increase, if some form of joint management cannot be established. With the entry into force (August 2000) of the SADC “Revised Protocol on Shared Watercourse Systems”, the SADC provided all its member states with a binding framework for management of transboundary watercourses. Issues and characteristics of the region’s water sector include:

  • Extreme temporal and spatial rainfall variability, often triggering severe drought and flooding;
  • Rapidly growing and urbanising populations, resulting in increasing water scarcity and water pollution;
  • Minimal coverage of water and sanitation services among the urban and rural poor, and thus a high incidence of water-borne and other diseases related to inadequate sanitation;
  • Heavy dependence on extensive agriculture, with generally low water-use efficiency;
  • Degraded watersheds and deteriorating water quality;
  • Numerous transboundary river basins, with complex international water rights issues; and
  • Growing importance of hydropower with equally significant transboundary implications.

Type of services provided:

  • Increasing of the broad stakeholder awareness about transboundary dimensions on water management and foster cooperation related to shared water resources within the Limpopo and Kunene river basins;
  • Development of a self-learning tool to improve understanding and knowledge amongst regional stakeholders regarding river ecology and science;
  • Handing-over the web-based component of River Awareness Kit (RAK) to LIMCOM and Kunene Permanent Joint Technical Commission (PJTC) and enabling staff to maintain and upgrade its content;
  • Promotion of environmental education and awareness raising to a cross-section of stakeholders, including LIMCOM and PJTC stakeholders, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), line agencies, and the general public;
  • Strengthening of capacity for improved water and environmental management through enhanced tools and information to enable regional monitoring of the basin through developing Earth Observation (EO) applications for improved water and environmental management.
SADC Secretariat
01/2009 – 02/2011
Contract value: 540,000 €