Addressing climate related basin challenges through stakeholder engagement key to water resources management in the BuPuSa

Stakeholder engagement capacity building and resource mobilisation are key to the successful implementation of Water resources management in the Buzi, Pungwe, and Save (BuPuSA) river basins, shared by Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

This is according to GWPSA executive Secretary, Mr. Alex Simalabwi who was addressing the first Joint Project Steering Committee (PSC) meeting for the Management of Competing Water Uses and Associated Ecosystems in Pungwe, Buzi, and Save Basins project,  an IUCN project which is being funded by Global Environment Facility for USD 6 million and executed by GWPSA.  

The virtual event took place on 30 July 2021 and marked the formal start of work on the BuPuSA project, which was formally signed into initiation in February 2021.  

“Resource mobilisation is pivotal for implementation of this project, hence there is need for early engagement with potential funding agencies to prevent gaps in implementation and to ensure continuity of the project until the basin is in a position to manage water sustainably.” 

Mr. Simalabwi underpinned the importance of capacity building, stakeholder engagement, coordination, communication, and information sharing within the region.  

The objective of the BuPuSA project is to strengthen transboundary cooperation and management of water resources and associated ecosystems for improved water security, climate change resilience, and sustainable livelihoods in the shared basin.  

Speaking at the same event Mr. Charles Oluchina, Deputy Director of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) East and Southern Africa Regional Office said the project demonstrates the various SADC protocols designed for basin-level governance.  

“The project provides an opportunity for IUCN to leverage on its existing work being done around community-based adaptation and transboundary water management including Building River Dialogues and Governance (BRIDGE),” said Mr. Oluchina. IUCN is acting as implementing agency.  

This project recognizes that women are not adequately represented in positions of responsibility within civil society organizations and local institutions, including water resources management, and that women face significant barriers to securing resource rights.  

The inception of the project implementation was welcomed by the governments of the two riparian states; Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

“The beginning of the implementation is a huge milestone not only in Mozambique and Zimbabwe but in the SADC region. The project addresses the effect of climate change which is a big issue within the region,” said  Eng. Messias Macie, Head:  Mozambique Delegation, and National Director: Water Resources at the Ministry of Public Works, Housing and Water Resources in Mozambique.   

“The project comes at an opportune time when the three basins are dealing with unsustainable water use and allocation, as well as climate extremes such as drought and floods, not forgetting the recent cyclone Idai where flooding occurred within the Busi River,” said Eng. Gilbert Mawere who is the head of the Zimbabwean delegation and Director: Ministry of Water, Zimbabwe. 

“The project is also a huge step in the achievement of the Zimbabwe’s Vision 2030, which is to attain a middle-income status by 2030. The river basins provide water for irrigation which will help the country attain food security and subsequently poverty alleviation,” added Eng. Gilbert Mawere.  

“This project’s activities have therefore been defined with the aim of ensuring gender equality in managing water resources in the three basins,” said Mr. Elisha Madamombe, Regional Coordinator of the BuPuSA project.  

“The gender equality and social inclusion action plan outlines the activities that the project will undertake to support gender mainstreaming efforts in the design, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of the subsequent projects. It will strengthen the participation of women, men, vulnerable and marginalised groups within the early warning and information system,” said Mr. Madamombe.  

The event was attended by government officials from different sectors, representatives of users, and researchers who have an interest water resources management in BUPUSA. 

The Management of Competing Water Uses and Associated Ecosystems in Pungwe, Buzi, and Save Basins project, is being implemented in the three basins from 2021 until 2024. The project is being implemented by the IUCN, while GWPSA is the bilateral executing agency at the regional level. At the national level, the project is being executed by the Ministry of Public Works, Housing, and Water Resources and Administração Regional de Águas - Centro (ARA-Centro, IP) in Mozambique and the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water, and Rural Resettlement; and the Zimbabwe National Water Authority (ZINWA) in Zimbabwe.

 Photo Credit Toby Grayson Shutterstock