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SADC Regional Strategic Action Plan  

The Regional Water Policy and Strategy is to be implemented through a series of short-term water sector programs via the Regional Strategic Action Plan (RSAP).

RSAP 1 was implemented during the period 1999–2004 (SADC 2005), and had to establish an enabling environment for the integrated management of water resources in the region, so as to support of the achievement of other regional objectives. SADC implemented 31 of the 44 projects (see Table 1) in the categories of:

  • Legislation, Policy and Strategic Planning;
  • Capacity Building and Training;
  • Awareness Creation, Consultation and Public Participation;
  • Information Collection, Analysis, Management and Dissemination and Improved National and Transboundary River Basin Management, Planning and Co-ordination;
  • Infrastructure Investment; and
  • Stand alone – special priority areas.

Implementation of RSAP 1 clearly demonstrated that international cooperation is possible in the management of scarce resources. A good example is the revision and ratification of the Protocol on Shared Watercourses (1995–2003) which provides a framework to reach more detailed agreements (such as the Incomaputo Agreement). Another good example of international cooperation is the preparation of the Regional Water Policy. RSAP 1 furthermore showed that local communities can be mobilised and can have an impact on water resources planning.

RSAP 2 (2005–2010) is the current implementation plan, and its focus on water and development are seated in projects and initiatives to be found in four strategic clusters (SADC 2005; 2006):

  • Regional Water Resources management, planning and development (assessment, monitoring, planning, operation);
  • Infrastructure Development Support (Regional Strategic Water Infrastructure Development Programme (RSWIDP); over 140 projects assessed – 38% in bulk water supply, dams, transfers, and hydropower;
  • Water Governance (implementation of protocol, stakeholder participation, implementation of policy and strategy); and
  • Capacity Building (skills training, academic IWRM training and research, support to WD, strengthening RBOs).

Projects Within the Regional Strategic Action Program 1 and 2

Cluster Name

RSAP 2 Project Ref.

Project Title

(project #) RSAP 1


Regional Water Resources Planning and Management


15 Expansion of SADC-HYCOS Project

18 Upgrade and Modernise Water Monitoring Systems for Lake Malawi

19 Rehabilitation of Joint Monitoring Systems – Angola and Namibia

Consolidation and expansion of SADC-HYCOS


14 Assessment of Surface Water Resources

Standards assessment of surface water resources


6 Groundwater Management Programme in SADC

Groundwater Management Programme in SADC


12 Economic Accounting of Water Use

Support of Strategic and integrated Water Resources Planning


2 Regional Guidelines for Dam Safety Legislation and Procedures

Dam Safety, Synchronisation and Emerging operations

Infrastructure Development Support


13 Study for Expanding Private Sector Participation in Water and Sanitation Services

27 Control and Development of Lake Malawi and Shire River

28 Study of the Navigability of the Zambezi and Shire Rivers

29 Stabilisation of the Course of the Songwe River

30 Lower Orange River

Regional Strategic Water Infrastructure Programme


5 Programme on Water Supply and Sanitation for SADC Region

Implementation of the Water Supply and Sanitation Programme for SADC

Water Governance

WG 1

8 Implementation Programme for SADC Protocol on Shared Watercourses

30 Lower Orange River

31 Integrated Basin Management Plan for the Okavango River

Implementation Programme for SADC Protocol on Shared Watercourses

WG 2

4 Consultative Forum on Water Issues

20 Awareness-Building for Decision-Makers

21 Involving the Media in Water Issues

24 Promotion of Stakeholder Participation in Water Resources Management

25 Feasibility Study for Creating Fund to Support NGO/CBO Participation in Water Resources Management Activities

26 Programme on Means to Empower Women in Water Issues

Promotion of public participation in water resource development and management

WG 3

1 Regional Guidelines for Review and Formulation of National Water Legislation

Promotion of Implementation of Regional Water Policy and Strategy

9 Regional Guidelines for Water Policy and Review in Member-States

10 Develop and implement National Water Sector Strategies

11 Establish Regional Water Sector Policy and Strategy

Capacity Building

CB 1

22 Human Resources Development Programme

17 Training in Surveying, Mapping and Geographic Information Systems

Skills training for water policymakers, managers and practitioners

CB 2



CB 3

7 WSCU Capacity Building Project

Capacity Building Support to the SADC Water Division

CB 4

3 Capacity Building for Joint Integrated Basin Management

Strengthening River Basin Organisations

CB 5


Regional Water Research Fund

Total No. of Projects



SADC initiated a process to review RSAP 2 that is still ongoing. At the same
time SADC Water Division is undertaking first steps for planning RSAP 3.

To learn more about the Regional Strategic Action Programs, please refer to the SADC Website.




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