ICWRGC’s activities in the Southern Africa region
In most of Southern Africa, water demand exceeds available water resources due to changes in water availability caused by climate change coupled with demographic and socioeconomic growth. 40% of the 280 million population in SADC lack access to safe drinking water supplies, whilst 60% have no adequate sanitation services (SADC, 2016). Increasing extreme climate events exacerbate the water sector’s vulnerability, deteriorating food and energy security and socio-economic stability at household, national and regional levels.
In order to understand and find solutions for water management challenges in the Southern Africa region, ICWRGC in close collaboration with Southern African partners, has initiated several research and capacity building activities since 2020. Furthermore, ICWRGC will play a strategic role as a hinge, connecting German academic and technical capacities, the United Nations Water programmes and the water sector in Southern Africa.
The German federal government’s recently adopted “Round Table for Africa“ is a long-term ambitious project for the internationalisation of research, education and development to further support development aid for Africa. Supported by BMBF and DLR, ICWRGC is actively involved in two programmes:
- The Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (SASSCAL) established the Graduate Studies Programme in Integrated Water Resources Management (SGSP – IWRM) to support SASSCAL’s research agenda and the regional water sector’s needs for highly qualified professionals.The programme is implemented by the Namibian University of Science and Technology (NUST) in partnership with ICWRGC. The programme is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).The overarching objective of SGSP-IWRM is developing innovative, excellent and collaborative education and research at PhD degree level complemented by tailor-made training programmes for decision makers and industry. ICWRGC’s specific role is to strengthen research programme development, teaching and student supervision. It will also facilitate a three-month scientific mobility stay in Germany. A project launch event was held in March, 2022 where 15 students from four of SASSCAL member states received their scholarships.
- Research Programme on Water Security in Southern Africa (WASA)A project for the initial phase of the WASA programme for Southern Africa was tendered by BMBF in early 2021. ICWRGC was mentioned in the call as a strategic partner for the WASA programme. 12 initial phase projects have been funded. ICWRGC is a consortium partner in several of these funded initial phase projects i.e. COHYDIM-SA – Co-design of a hydro-meteorological information system for sustainable water resources management in Southern Africa,WaMiNa- Sustainable and climate adapted Water Management in Mining Industry of Namibia and neighbouring countries . and OWASA – Open Science in Support of Water Resource Security in Southern Africa.With appropriate funding, ICWRGC is also planning to support all other funded WASA consortiums to manage their data resources and ensure they meet the Fair data principles.