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Water Governance



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Community Based Organisations  

With the devolution of responsibilities to the lowest appropriate level, involvement of communities in managing water resources has become crucial to the success of any water supply scheme.

Members of an NGO and of several CBOs discussing rural water issues.
Source: Tump 2007
( click to enlarge )


In Angola, Community based organisations (CBO) conducting water management activities only emerged since the end of the war in 2002. Their number is still quite low, but especially in the capital Luanda and in Huambo province a lot of CBO emerged during the last years.

Often these CBO are supported by national or international NGOs. As much more NGOs are working in Huambo and Huila province than in Kunene and Namibe, the number of water related CBO is also significantly higher in the upper part of the Kunene basin.

The most important type of water related CBO are the Water and Sanitation Groups (GAS). These are informal groups on village level, tackling with the maintenance of boreholes, hand pumps and other water infrastructure. The groups are also supported by the Provincial Directorates for Energy and Water (Direcções Provinciais de Energia e Água - DPEA), especially the Technical Section for Water Systems and Basic Sanitation and the Section for Water Distribution, Consumption and Mobilisation.


In Namibia, the Water and Sanitation Policy of 1993 outlined a cross-cutting objective of ensuring communities determine appropriate solutions and services levels for water supplies. The strategy for achieving this is through community based water management, a decentralised participatory approach to ensuring the sustainable and efficient supply of water to rural communal areas of Namibia (MAWF 2009).

To undertake community based management (CBM) effectively, the community structures are based on Water Point Associations (WPA) with executive bodies comprised of Water Point Committees (WPC). These voluntary institutions are established to ensure sustainable management and use of water point, the fair distribution of water to members and recovery of the costs of operating and maintain the water point from members and others. Over 1000 water point committees have been established and trained since the strategy was formulated in 1997 (ORASECOM 2007j).

At the basin level, Basin Management Committees (BMCs) have been identified as the most appropriate means for government and communities to work together to promote integrated water resources management. Eleven major river basins were identified by the Department of Water Affairsa and Forestry. The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry developed a guidebook for establishing BMCs for integrated land and water resources management in a river basin.




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