Water for All: Improving water resource governance in Southern Africa
Water is critical to the 14 countries of southern Africa, especially for agriculture, which supports most people’s livelihoods. But low water quality, quantity and availability make water management a particularly challenging sector in this region. The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has coordinated a number of regional initiatives to address these water challenges, including the widespread adoption of the concept of integrated water resource management (IWRM). IWRM pursues the democratisation of water resources through stakeholder participation. This paper assesses prospects for effective stakeholder participation in water resource management in southern Africa. It uses experiences in countries where the process has somewhat progressed, such as South Africa and Zimbabwe, and to some extent Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland and Tanzania, to draw some important lessons.