Strengthening Legal, Regulatory, and Policy Frameworks for Transboundary Water Resources Management in the Lake Kivu and Ruzizi River Basin

Detailed description of project:

The consulting services are carried out in the context of the project “Support to the Integrated Management of Water Resources of Lake Kivu and Ruzizi River” which aims at improving the hydrological and operational management of the transboundary Lake Kivu and Ruzizi River Basin, adopting a Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Nexus-based approach, and building on a sound understanding of the basin’s resources and their integrated management across sectors and national boundaries.

Water resources decision making and development across the basin remains determined by the national legislative and regulatory framework of each riparian state. Whilst each country has a solid legal framework for environmental and water resources management, land use planning and agricultural development, they do not provide a harmonised approach across the basin. This impedes the protection and conservation of the basin’s water resources, preventing integrated, sustainable management.

With the signature of the International Convention for the Integrated Management of the Water Resources of the Basin of Lake Kivu and the Ruzizi River in 2014, the authorities of Burundi, DR Congo and Rwanda created the Lake Kivu and Ruzizi River Authority (ABAKIR) to implement cooperation for the sustainable and equitable management of water resources and for an improved socio-economic integration between the three nations in the basin. The Convention also commits the three nations to “cooperate in the design and implementation of harmonized rules and standards applying to the management of water resources in the Basin.”

The services aim to support this commitment through the development of concrete recommendations for harmonized legal, regulatory, and/or policy framework minimum standards (depending on the appropriate case) from a basin perspective contained in a common orienting document, policy brief and fact sheet that can readily be used to inform policy development based on agreed good practice recommendations.

Type of services provided:

  • Comprehensive analysis of existing legal, regulatory, and policy frameworks present in the three basin states, with particular emphasis on existing national regulations regarding the use of water resources as well as waste management, pollution control, and water quality standards;
  • Identification of enabling mechanisms and a gap analysis;
  • Extensive stakeholder consultations (online surveys, phone conversations, field visits in the three countries);Recommendations for harmonization and strengthening of legal, regulatory, and/or policy frameworks in the basin, including e.g.;
  • Proposals to standardize regulations on the management of water resources, waste management, pollution control, and water quality standards in the basin;
  • Proposal to regulate abstractions and discharges in the basin;
  • Identification of consumer and polluter principles in the basin;
  • and reflecting international approaches for transboundary water management, incl. the EU Water Framework Directive and relevant UN Conventions;
  • Elaboration of a comprehensive policy brief to serve as summary for policymakers and fact sheet.


German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) / European Commission
04/2022 - 08/2022
Contract value:
166,445 €