The Buzi, Pungwe, Save Tri-Basin Project

The GWPSA is providing support in preparatory work towards the formation of the Buzi, Pungwe, Save Tri-Basin Institute, through the Buzi, Pungwe, Save (BUPUSA) Tri-Basin Project on behalf of the ministries responsible for water resources in the governments of Mozambique and Zimbabwe. The project implementation is being undertaken by the Project Implementation Unit (PIU) housed in the Administração Regional de Águas do Centro (ARA) Centro Office in Beira, Mozambique. The PIU has been established to assist the main basin integrated water resources management (IWRM) institutions to plan, coordinate, implement, manage and monitor the activities supported by the project in collaboration with national and international partners.

The Buzi, Pungwe, Save Tri-Basin Project is an initiative by the governments of Mozambique and Zimbabwe, supported by the SADC Directorate of Infrastructure and Services, Water Division. The project began in November 2018 and is expected to last for a year and managed through a Grant Agreement between GiZ and GWPSA.

The project objective of the Buzi, Pungwe and Save (BUPUSA) Tri-basin Project is to support a bridging phase to strengthen cooperation and institution building in the Buzi, Pungwe and Save river basins. The project will therefore mainly focus on supporting the ongoing negotiations on the Buzi and Save River Basin Water Sharing Agreements, with an expected outcome of establishing the BUPUSA Tri-basin Institution that will provide technical support to the two member states in the management of the three shared River basins.

Specifically, the objectives of the project are to:

  • Facilitate the elaboration and finalization of the Buzi Water Sharing Agreement.
  • Facilitate the negotiations and drafting of the First Draft Save Water Sharing Agreement.
  • Conduct preparatory work for the establishment of the BUPUSA Tri-basin Institution, which will oversee the implementation of the Buzi, Pungwe and Save Water Sharing Agreements.

Mozambique and Zimbabwe, in managing shared river basins, are guided by the Revised Protocol on Shared Watercourses in the Southern African Development Community (SADC), signed in 2000 with the objective of fostering closer cooperation for judicious, sustainable and coordinated management, protection and utilization of shared watercourses, and to advance the SADC agenda on regional integration and poverty alleviation promotes. The Protocol entered into force in 2003 and calls for the need to establish river basin institutions, such as river basin commissions, joint water commissions and water sharing agreements.

In 2016, Mozambique and Zimbabwe signed the Pungwe Basin Water Sharing Agreement to institutionalize transboundary water management in the Pungwe Basin. Adoption of the Pungwe Basin Water Sharing Agreement paves the way for the establishment of a bilateral institution that will be responsible for the implementation of the Bilateral Agreement on the Pungwe Basin. However, there are serious considerations to bring the Buzi, Pungwe and Save basins under one transboundary water management institution, forming a tri- basin organization.