Mainstreaming Climate Change in the SADC Water Sector

In 2012, GWPSA dedicated much time and energy into developing a programme with SADC to support the implementation of the RSAP III through the Climate Change Mainstreaming in the SADC Water Sector Programme. This project builds on GWPSA’s support to SADC over the last 16 years, and will be implemented within the GIZ Transboundary Water Management programme in SADC from 2013 - 2015.

In delivering these programmes in the RSAP III, GWPSA aims to contribute to the achievement of the RSAP III strategic objectives through empowering stakeholders, supporting the SADC Secretariat and member states in policy harmonisation and by advocating for more investments in water resources management and development to ensure climate resilience. As water is a pivotal input to a number of sectors, investments made in developing and managing the resource will ensure sustained growth and development. Currently, the level of water investments is still low and climate change brings an added stress to the resource, meaning more has to be put in to ensure resilience against the threat.

GWP in Africa has been tasked with the delivery of the Water, Climate and Development Programme (WACDEP) of the African Minsters’ Council on Water (AMCOW). In Southern Africa this programme will be implemented within the context of the SADC Climate Change Adaptation Strategy for the Water Sector (CCASWS), as noted by the SADC Water Resources Technical Committee (WRTC) in Harare at the June 2012 meeting. The delivery of the SADC CCASWS will therefore be central in improving climate resilience and water security in the region.

Goals and Objectives

The goal of the project is to ensure that more investments are made in the management and development of shared water courses. This is to ensure water security and improve climate resilience through strengthening cross-sectorial national engagement to integrate water issues into socio-economic development and climate change adaptation processes.

The project will aim to achieve the following specific objectives:

  1. To ensure stakeholders are organized, capacitated and empowered to be effectively involved in decision-making processes in the development and management of shared water resources in order to improve climate resilience, tackle poverty and ensure water resources are secure.
  2. To enhance the understanding of the need to invest in water resources development and management and advocate for the increase of such investments to ensure water security and improve climate resilience.
  3. To promote harmonisation of national and local strategies and plans with regional basin strategies - as an approach to better water resources management in shared watercourses and building adaptive capacity of relevant institutions.

Expected Outcomes

This project will contribute directly to Outcomes 1 and 6 and indirectly to Outcome 2 of the ‘GIZ Transboundary Water Management in SADC Phase III’ – as follows:

Outcome 1: More Equity

  • Outcome 6: More Investment
  • Outcome 2: More Water Security

GWP SA’s Strategic Business Plan is aligned to the regional priority frameworks and development challenges. There is clear synchrony with the above mentioned goals, which emphasises the need to ensure IWRM action to address development in a cross-sectorial and multi-level integrated manner – ensuring purposeful stakeholder engagement, knowledge sharing and capacity development.

Scope of Work

The Climate Change programme will mainly focus on the Limpopo and the Orange – Senqu basins, with some implementation in the Zambezi Basin and other countries in the SADC region.  Focusing on these basins allows for building on Phase I and II of the SADC GIZ, allows for lessons to be drawn out for further implementation in and the IWRM Planning processes in both Limpopo and Orange-Senqu basins provide a good basis for strengthening the linkages between the national - local level with basin and regional initiatives.
These basins will have in-depth activities around stakeholder engagement for the IWRM Planning process and will cover six countries (riparians) namely: Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zimbabwe

The focus in the basins will be to facilitate the establishment of national basin wide forum in all the riparian countries owing to the work that has been done by ZAMCOM, ORASECOM and LIMCOM.

There will also be other region wide components (promoting regional SADC instruments) that will be delivered to cover all member states. The regional support will cover 8 countries over and above the Limpopo and Orange-Senqu riparian countries. These are Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Mauritius, Swaziland, Seychelles, and Tanzania.

Project Work Packages

In order to ensure that more investments are made in the management and development of shared water courses, the project will implement activities under three work packages below:

  • Work Package 1 (WP1) – Increasing and harnessing knowledge for use
  • Work Package 2 (WP2): Increasing stakeholder involvement
  • Work Package 3 (WP3): Increasing Investments


GWP SA’s overall role in the climate change mainstreaming programme will be to facilitate the interaction between the transboundary basin level and the local level. Programme activities will therefore centre on communications, by taking opportunities to raise awareness and tell stories of climate change in the region. Opportunities for stakeholder engagements through policy dialogues and national events such as National Water weeks will provide mechanisms for interactions and ensure that regional initiatives are integrated into national level responses aimed promoting more investments at local level, which will support responses that have a regional impact.

It is therefore important for the water sector to engage, build alliances and advocate for the integration of water resources management and development into the climate change and development discourse. Capacity development and providing good practices and lessons learnt will be instrumental in strengthening the national basin wide forums towards playing an active role in this regard.

Finally, monitoring and evaluation (M&E) mechanisms will be a key element of each activity, and the program as a whole.  Mainstreaming of gender issues across the programme has be considered and  will ensure that  strategies for making women’s as well as men’s concerns and experiences are an integral dimension of the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluations of all economic, political and societal spheres so that women and men benefit equally in water investment programmes.