SADC-GMI Collaborates with IWMI, UNESCO-IHP
SADC-Groundwater Management Institute in collaboration with International Water Management Institute and UNESCO-IHP jointly convened the 3rd Regional Meeting on Tools for the Sustainable Management of Transboundary Aquifers in the SADC region. The meeting was convened from 6-7 March 2018, Cresta hotel, Gaborone, Botswana, under the frame of three major projects in the SADC region:
- The Sustainable groundwater Management in SADC Member States project, funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and Multi-Donor Trust Fund Cooperation in International Waters in Africa (CIWA) through World Bank and executed by the SADC- Groundwater Management Institute.
- Governance of groundwater Resources in Transboundary Aquifer (GGRETA Project) – Stampriet Transboundary Aquifer System (STAS) project, funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), and executed by UNESCO-IHP.
- Resilience in the Limpopo Basin (RESILIM) – The Potential of the Ramotswa Transboundary Aquifer(Ramotswa) project, funded by the United States Agency for International Development and executed by the International Water Management Institute for Southern Africa.
The meeting was aimed at discussing the importance of shared groundwater resources and the best approaches and cooperative practices necessary to enhance the sustainable management, protection, access and conjunctive use of the resource within the region.It specifically focused on recent progress and upcoming activities of the two parallel projects on Transboundary Aquifers in the SADC region: Stamprietshared between (South Africa, Botswana and Namibia) and the Ramotswa, shared between (South Africa and Botswana). As the flagship regional Centre of Excellence for groundwater management, SADC-GMI is charged with the mandate to pick up the lessons learnt and best practices from these two projects for possible replication in the remaining more than 25 transboundary aquifers in the SADC region.
In support of its mandate of Capacity building in the region, SADC-GMI sponsored candidates from seven SADC Member States and twofrom the River Basin Organizationsto participate at the meeting. The following Member States and River Basin Organizations participated at the meeting through SADC-GMI sponsorship: Angola, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Mozambique, Swaziland, Tanzania, Buzi Pungwe Save (BUPUSA), and Inkomati-Usuthu Catchment Management Agency. James Sauramba, SADC-GMI Executive Director, Brighton Munyai, SADC-GMI Technical Advisor and Thokozani Dlamini, Communications and Knowledge Management Specialist represented SADC-GMI at the meeting.In his presentation Mr Sauramba highlighted SADC-GMI’s activities in relation to the sustainable groundwater management in the region, including the on-going capacity building and research initiatives that arebeing implemented by the institute. He also highlighted the impact of climate change and the demand it places on groundwater resources. Mr Saruamba also highlighted the importance of integrating groundwater into River Basin Organizations activities as very critical.
Brighton Munyai presented the SADC-Groundwater Information Portal (www.gip.sadc-gmi.org), explaining various features that are part of the portal. SADC-GIP is one of the projects implemented by SADC-GMI in a bid to create information platformsand make information accessible to groundwater experts in the Member States.
The training allowed participants to discuss and interrogate the following critical issues:
- Transboundary waters cooperation and the sustainable development goals (Measuring transboundary water cooperation through the SDG 6.5.2 indicator).
- Lessons learnt from the Stampriet and the Ramotswa experience, and the implications to the SADC region.
- The integration of groundwater into River Basins Organizations activities.