With increasing drought conditions in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region and limited sustainable alternatives for water harvesting, investigations into groundwater capabilities and management have become more important.
The SADC Ground Water Management Institute (SADC-GMI), with funding from the World Bank, commissioned OneWorld to facilitate the establishment of a Groundwater Management National Focal Group (NFG) in five SADC member states: Eswatini, Malawi, Namibia, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.
The NFGs will to be responsible for initiating, conceptualising, developing and supervising the implementation of pilot projects through sub-grants; and also for leading advocacy and capacity building for sustainable groundwater management in the Member States.
As highlighted by the mid-term review of the SADC Regional Strategic Action Plan IV (RSAP-IV) conducted by OneWorld, improving capacity to advocate for integrated groundwater management and to manage groundwater pilot projects at the national and sub-national level is key to strengthening national institutions in an integrated manner, at the regional level.
The project evolved through consultation with SADC member states and relevant stakeholders, including regional and basin networks, and organisations with successful similar experiences.
OneWorld activities included developing the Terms of Reference for the NFGs, and identifying potential stakeholders. The project team has assessed specific training needs in order to design a relevant training course that will support the establishment and functioning of NFGs in the region.
The training course took place through a blended learning approach (a combination of online materials and interactive training sessions, face-to-face when possible, or through an online conferencing platform.)