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Transboundary River Basin Stakeholders: Involvement of Individuals  

A recent study, funded by InWEnt, has seen the development of a Roadmap for Stakeholder Participation in the Limpopo River basin. This roadmap is a precursor to the development of a strategy for stakeholder participation. The roadmap document is included in the Document Library.

During the development of the roadmap, the following aspects of the institutional and capacity landscape were examined for each of the riparian states:

  • The socio-economic setting of the country;
  • Institutional arrangements for stakeholder participation in water management; and
  • An analysis of each of the institutions active in water management in the country.

These analyses were further supported by a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) exercise.

The study also includes a discussion note on the legal and institutional framework for stakeholder participation in the Limpopo River basin, which includes the following:

  • A discussion of the regional context within which stakeholder participation must take place –the SADC Regional Water Policy, the SADC Regional Water Strategy and the SADC RBO Guidelines for Stakeholder Participation;
  • A summary of the historical bi-lateral and multi-lateral agreements that have been signed in the Limpopo River basin;
  • A summary of the issues facing LIMCOM on integrating stakeholders into transboundary water resources management at a national level; and
  • A summary of country-level perspectives on stakeholder participation at a national-level.

Summary of the main constraints in Stakeholder Participation at a National Level in the Limpopo River basin

  • Lack of resources to facilitate participation
  • Lack of stakeholder capacity to effectively participate (capacity of the stakeholders themselves)
  • Low motivation to participate (no immediate benefits perceived by potential stakeholders)
  • High levels of bureaucracy by government agencies frustrates stakeholders
  • Limited empowerment from higher levels (top down approaches) (GTZ, 2005)

LBPTC 2010b

Following in the box below is a summary of the challenges currently facing each of the riparian states with respect to stakeholder participation.

The LIMCOM Technical Task Team that developed the Stakeholder Participation Roadmap.
Source: Qwist-Hoffmann 2010
( click to enlarge )

Botswana

Botswana at present generally does not have provisions for the empowerment of stakeholder groups in water management, with the government generally operating in a centralised decision-making manner. With some exceptions the country also lacks stakeholder-based institutions to partner the state in water management. However, it should be noted that Botswana is currently undergoing a fundamental water sector reform process. While the process has not yet been completed it is clear that the legal and institutional framework for water resources management in Botswana will be fully based on the concept of IWRM, with strong emphasis on inter-sectoral planning and decision-making, including the involvement of stakeholders. The on-going reform process provides an opportunity to harmonise the planned LIMCOM stakeholder participation roadmap with the emerging legal and institutional framework in Botswana.

Mozambique

Mozambique’s legal framework as provided for in the Water Act is sufficiently adequate to ensure the involvement of stakeholders in water resources management. The Act established the National Water Council (NWC), an advisory body for water management issues, comprised by multisectoral stakeholders including the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry for Coordination of Environmental Affairs, Ministry of Tourism, Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Public Works and Housing and Ministry of Fisheries. Below the NWC, is a Technical Committee (TC) which has the same representation as above (institutionally) but is represented at technical level (by National Directors) from the relevant ministries. The TC acts as advisors to NWC. There are however no non-governmental representatives at these national levels. Stakeholders only start to get involved at the fourth level through the Regional Water Administration (RWA), an implementation institution.

For water resources management, the Ministry of Public Works and Housing, through the National Directorate of Water (DNA) is responsible for planning and supervision of water resources. Under DNA the five ARAs (Regional Water Administrations) are responsible for the management of water resources at regional level. The ARAs boundaries correspond within the country river catchments limits. Each ARA includes several basins being simultaneously close enough to expedite management and coordination with political authorities (LBPTC, 2010).

The district levels in Mozambique (Local Organs Law No.8 of 2003) are essential territorial and administrative wards for settlement, organisation and implementation of all economic and social activities and also for the management of all national natural resources. The traditional authorities or family elders also play an important role for the management and safeguarding traditional habits as well as resolution of different sorts of problems at community level. Under each ARA, there are River Basin Management Units (RBMU), under which there are also locally-based Water Committees. The Water Committees (WCs) do the actual management of water resources assess water situations (droughts/floods) and collection of fees at the local level.

Thus while there is stakeholder participation at the implementation phases of water resource management, it would be beneficial from a stakeholder involvement perspective, if stakeholders in Mozambique were more actively included in decision and policy making initiatives. (LBPTC, 2010).

South Africa

The Water Act does not propose stakeholder participation at national (central) level but instead does so at catchment and lower levels. Each catchment management agency (CMA) must design a strategy for the catchment and perform certain implementation functions under the Water Act, including the issuing of licences and the active promotion of stakeholder participation. The review of stakeholder participation in water management in general in South Africa has shown gaps within the stakeholder community in terms of active participation capacity. (GTZ, 2005). Large commercial farmers and industry (e. g. mines) have not only different interests in relation to rural communities and subsistence farmers, but they command much more knowledge, skills and institutional back-up when they pursue their objectives. Thus, while the legal/institutional framework for stakeholder participation is firmly established the greatest challenge for both government and civil society in South Africa remains the balancing of stakeholder interest in the light of significant power/influence imbalances without jeopardising the necessary economic growth generated by these large and more powerful players.

Zimbabwe

In Zimbabwe, stakeholder participation also exists only at implementation level. A decision to reform the water sector resulted in the Government of Zimbabwe passing the Water Act (chapter 20: 24) in 1998. This signalled the intention to make the water sector reflect the new socio-political realities (Zimbabwe, 1998a). The Government, through the water reform programme, intended to ensure fair access to water by all Zimbabweans, improve the management of water resources, increase the protection of the environment, and improve the administration of the Water Act. Similarly, the Zimbabwe National Water Authority

(ZINWA) Act [chapter 20: 25] was passed in 1998, and the semi-government organization called ZINWA, whose mandate was to implement agreed policies in the water sector, was established. Policy formulation was left in the hands of a small Department of Water Development (DWD).

Zimbabwe’s legislation and policy are based on IWRM principles, and have also seen the creation of hydrologically-based water management institutions (sub-catchment and catchment councils) that have replaced administrative district based ones. The former were seen as important platforms on which stakeholders would participate in water resource management.

The 1998 Water Act provides for governance structures and mechanisms for stakeholder participation in water resources management in the shape of catchment and sub-catchment councils. The main stakeholder groups that constituted membership of catchment and sub-catchment councils were identified as; Rural District Councils (RDCs), Communal farmers, Resettlement farmers, Small-scale commercial farmers (SSCF), Commercial farmers union (CFU), Indigenous commercial farmers (ICFU), urban authorities, Large-scale mines, Small scale mines, Industry, and any other stakeholder group the sub catchment council may identify.

Catchment councils, together with ZINWA, are mandated to produce catchment outline plans in a participatory manner (see sections 11-19). These plans are published so that the public can raise objections. The Minister responsible for water approves catchment outline plans once due process has been followed. Sub-catchment councils have jurisdiction over sub catchment areas. The process of establishing sub-catchment councils does not differ from that of catchment councils. Sub-catchment councils consist of elected representatives from all the stakeholder groups.

LBPTC 2010b

 



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