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SADC Water Sector  

The SADC Secretariat consists of four Directorates:

  • Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources;
  • Trade, Industry, Finance and Investment;
  • Infrastructure and Services; and
  • Social and Human Development.

The SADC Water Division

The SADC Water Division, within the SADC Directorate of Infrastructure & Services, is tasked with the overall coordination and management of the SADC Water Programme. The SADC Water Division provides a platform for the member countries to address transboundary water management issues and challenges.

The responsibilities and functions of the SADC Water Division include:

  • Develop and facilitate the implementation of the Regional Water Policy and Strategy (RWPS).
  • Develop short-term regional strategies and implementation plans.
  • Monitor the implementation of the Revised Protocol on Shared Water-courses and the RWPS.
  • Develop a monitoring and evaluation system of the regional water programme.
  • Establish, coordinate and strengthen regional networks to initiate and implement water sector programmes.
  • Source or facilitate the mobilisation of financial and technical resources to carry out water sector programmes.
  • Report to the SADC Council of Ministers, through the Integrated Committee of Ministers (ICM), on the activities of the water sector.
  • Develop and maintain a regional water database by capturing all key information required in the management of water resources in the region.

At the level of River Basin Organisations, the SADC Water Division’s role is to:

  • Ensure the implementation of the Treaty and Water Protocol;
  • Identify and utilize resources to support RBOs;
  • Promote pilot/demonstration projects;
  • Strengthen and develop the capacity of RBOs;
  • Develop and promote a stakeholder participation strategy; and
  • Ensure sustained political support.
The countries and river basins of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region.
Source: Hatfield 2010
( click to enlarge )

Institutional Strengthening within the Water Division

According to the Regional Water Strategy (RWS) (SADC 2007) the new governance structures within SADC do not establish clear or direct lines of communication between the SADC Water Division and the various national water ministries. Other challenges identified by the RWS include the limited capacity of the SADC Water Division to implement the tasks outlined in the Regional Strategic Action Plan (RSAP), a mismatch between the strategic priorities and available resources, and a lack of institutional understanding by the relevant stakeholders (SADC Secretariat, RBOs, national ministries of water) of the roles, responsibilities and procedures applicable to them.

To address these challenges, the Regional Water Policy developed strategies for the establishment and strengthening of institutional frameworks for water resources management in the region. The strategic objective is:

To establish a strong water secretariat with adequate human and financial resources to effectively coordinate, monitor and facilitate water resources development and management in the SADC Region” (SADC 2007).

In order to achieve this strategic objective, the Regional Water Strategy emphasised both the implementation of activities that will provide adequate technical and managerial support to the Water Division so that it is able to implement the Regional Strategic Action Plan, and the strengthening of the institutional arrangements within the SADC water sector. Institutional strengthening activities include establishing a clear mandate for the Water Division, the introduction of an enabling policy and ensuring a conducive legal environment, the development of planning and managerial skills, the sourcing of organisational-, functional-, and financial resources, human capacity building and infrastructure development, establishing networks and associations, and ensuring stakeholder support (SADC 2007).

The Regional Water Strategy also promotes governance arrangements to enable close cooperation between the Water Division and the Ministries of Water in Member States. Given the highly specialised and technical nature of water management, a more direct mechanism for governance was outlined in the Regional Water Strategy to establish a formalised program of secondments from national departments to the Water Division (SADC 2007).




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