Global Water Leadership - Root Cause Analysis in the Central African Republic, Malawi, and Tanzania

The Global Water Leadership in a Changing Climate programme (GWL) has held multi-stakeholder consultations in seven countries identifying the most critical barriers to climate-resilient water management. Working groups have now been formed to investigate these barriers and develop responses, beginning with a ‘root cause analysis’. Updates from three countries follow.

Root cause analysis in the Central African Republic, Tanzania, and Malawi

GWL facilitates working groups to study barriers to water resource management in the Central African Republic

During the national launch of the GWL programme in 2022, stakeholders identified bottlenecks impeding the implementation of integrated water resources management (IWRM) in the context of climate change. Four of these bottlenecks were assigned to working groups to define responses and leverage financing for implementation, and each identified several root causes:

  • Group 1 on the weak application of existing laws/regulations, e.g. a lack of implementing legislation and overlapping jurisdictions
  • Group 2 on the lack of an optimised water resources monitoring system, e.g. lack of a coordination structure and information system
  • Group 3 on the poor distribution of human resources, e.g. because of clientelism and low levels of capacity building
  • Group 4 on the inadequacy of the allocated national budget, e.g. because of low mobilization of own funds and a decline in official development assistance.

Each working group met three times between November 2022 and January 2023. They will now look at options to address these bottlenecks and develop a plan to finance implementation. This will contribute to improved IWRM and climate adaptation in the Central African Republic.

Read more here: GWL in the Central African Republic: Stakeholder working groups identify root causes - GWP

GWL programme joins fight against cholera outbreak in Malawi

Malawi is currently experiencing the worst cholera outbreak in decades, with 899 lives lost between March 2022 and January 2023. This has put the country’s water and sanitation sector in the spotlight. Through root cause analysis carried out by working groups in the past year, the GWL programme in Malawi identified weak coordination, policy enforcement, and regulation as a challenge in Malawi’s water sector. The programme has also been working with in-country partners to raise awareness on cholera prevention. GWL Programme Coordinator in Malawi, Mrs Deborah Muheka, took part in a panel on Timveni Radio on 12 January 2023 to discuss prevention measures. She observed that the cholera outbreak is a wake-up call to seriously interrogate interventions in the sector and consider if these can withstand changing climatic conditions. She added:

 “The GWL programme has identified lack of infrastructure investment and financing in the water and sanitation sector as one of the major challenges. With good water infrastructure, we would eliminate incidents of contaminated water. This is why the GWL programme is currently working with the Malawi Government and other stakeholders in the sector to identify strategies to rectify this challenge.”

Read more here: Malawi’s water and sanitation status under spotlight as country suffers worst cholera outbreak in decades – GWP 

GWL programme in Tanzania releases video on addressing challenges in water resources management

GWL and the Government of Tanzania are collaborating to improve management of water resources, with the aim of increasing water security and boosting the economy. Working groups formed from the National Multi-Sectoral Forum (NMSF) have identified three major barriers to Tanzania’s quest to achieving the 2030 water and sanitation targets under the Sustainable Development Goals: 

  • Inadequate financial resources for investments in water resources to increase climate resilience
  • Insufficient measures for water resource conservation and protection against climate change impacts such as poor water quality and declining water levels in river basins
  • A lack of capacity to manage water resources.

By June 2023, the working groups will develop appropriate response strategies to these barriers. GWL Tanzania has also produced a short video on how these solutions are being developed.

Speaking at the launch of the working groups in February 2023, Asha Msoka, GWL Country Coordinator for Tanzania said: “The Global Water Leadership Programme is aspiring to support the NMSF and leave behind a legacy or model which can be used as they continue to resolve different issues that face the water sector.” 

Read more here: Tanzania embarks on finding sustainable solutions to challenges in water resources management – GWP 

Best practices

 In addition to external work with stakeholders, GWL has also been processing its work internally to document and share best practices with partners.

Malawi shares two-phased approach for GWL’s stakeholder consultation 

On 26 January 2023, GWP Malawi shared a success story of using a two-phased approach to stakeholder consultation with the GWP global community. This was done during this year’s first GWP-wide learning exchanges, which are open conversations about the ‘soft side’ of achieving GWP goals. These often do not get included in formal reports but can motivate peers to think about implementing their work differently. 

During her presentation, GWL Malawi Coordinator Mrs Deborah Muheka explained how the programme started with regional consultations to understand barriers to IWRM at the lower level, before sharing these outcomes at a higher level through national consultations. This proved to be an innovative and effective approach to stakeholder consultation as challenges identified at regional level informed discussions at national level. This led to the identification of key barriers: low investment in climate-resilient water infrastructure and financing; lack of political will and water sector leadership; and weak coordination, policy enforcement, and regulation. 

Photo at the top of the article: Health authorities assess water sources in Blantyre, Malawi