The SADC Groundwater Management Institute (SADC-GMI) is implementing the Sustainable Groundwater Management in SADC Member States project. The project is supported by the World Bank (through funding from the Global Environment Facility and the Cooperation in International Waters in Africa trust fund). The project aims to catalyse multi-state cooperation in balancing conflicting water uses particularly in transboundary groundwater basins, prioritizes climatic variability and change and supports foundational capacity building, portfolio learning, and targeted needs for joint ecosystem-based management of transboundary water systems.
One of the primary mandates of this project is to engage in capacity building with staff from all 15 SADC Member States on different aspects, aimed at improving groundwater management in the region. In line with this mandate, SADC-GMI partnered with the University of the Free State (Institute for Groundwater Studies) in South Africa to host two-day training on Windows Interpretation System for Hydrogeologists (WISH) from the 24th to the 25th of August 2017 at the Birchwood Hotel & O.R. Tambo Conference Centre, Johannesburg. WISH is a comprehensive graphics user interface for Hydrogeologists, providing most functionalities for day to day data management and interpretation and it complements the Groundwater Modelling training that SADC-GMI and UNESCOP-IHP jointly delivered to the SADC Member States in March 2017. The training was aimed at equipping hydro (geo) logists, environmental scientists and engineers from all 15 SADC Countries national institutions (e.g. Department of Water Affairs, Universities) and independent groundwater experts in the use of the Windows Interpretation System for Hydrogeologists (WISH).
Out of 15 SADC Member States, 12 countries attended, including Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Malawi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Swaziland, South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Botswana and Mozambique. Two participants were invited from each Member State and 23 participants, 17 men and 6 women participated at the training.
SADC-GMI is also partnering with WaterNet, based in Zimbabwe in offering International Water Law and United nations instruments, including articles on groundwater and Negotiation skills in transboundary surface and groundwater resources management training courses. The training courses are scheduled to take place in three SADC Member States, Democratic Republic of Congo, 21 – 25 August, Mozambique, 18-22 September and Tanzania 13-17 November 2017. This partnership is also part of fulfilling SADC-GMI mandate of capacitating SADC Member State staff on issues pertaining to groundwater management and development in the region.
Over and above providing training and capacity building, SADC-GMI also promotes sustainable groundwater management and solutions to groundwater challenges in the SADC region through advancing research, supporting infrastructure development, and enabling dialogue and exchange of groundwater information. SADC-GMI also supports the SADC member states through groundwater research, and serves as an interlocutor with national, regional and international groundwater initiatives.