Maseru, 02 June 2022
Lesotho government officials have spent a week in Kenya and Tanzania to share information and learn about integrated water catchment management.
The May 2022 trip by directors and senior officers from the water, local government, agriculture, forestry, development planning ministries and Lesotho meteorological services focused on best integrated water resource management practice in policy, planning, data management, stakeholder relations, setting up institutions, and financing.
The learning journey started with a knowledge fair in Naivasha, Kenya, where policy harmonisation was cited as key to reforestation and the introduction of alternative technologies. The Lesotho delegation met with the Lake Naivasha Water Resource User Association and Kenya’s Water Sector Trust Fund.
Lessons learned included the role of a water users associations (WUA) in influencing policy, and the importance of a well-designed financing mechanisms that suit demands for development and put emphasis on sustainability. Visits to Upper-Tana Nairobi Water Fund (UTNWF) project sites emphasised the need for a mechanism to ensure post-project funding, which should include maintenance incentives. The role of the private sector in rehabilitating the environment was also discussed.
The trip included site visits in Nyandarua, Kenya, where officials spoke with community members about their experience of IWRM. The UTNWF works with small-scale farmers to develop business plans, which include crop rotation and plantation planning to reduce water run-off while increasing farm yields. Adherence to these plans qualifies farmers for further funding. Sasumua Water Resource Users Association Chairperson said; “We are proud of the impact of the interventions in Tanzania and Kenya and our children are proud to drink the water their parents and grandparents have protected and conserved.”
In Moshi, Tanzania, the delegation met with the Pangani Basin Water Board and members of a local Kikuletwa catchment forum which convenes water user associations, civil society and government to discuss water related issues. The director of Information and Communications Technology in the Tanzanian Ministry of Water shared their approach to digitisation, with integrated tools for water allocation, billing, water resources monitoring and data processing to inform decision making.
The journey underpinned the importance of engaging local stakeholders and working across different government sectors in a collaborative manner. It further highlighted that there is no single approach to IWRM, therefore sharing and exchanging lessons learned is vital for the successful implementation of sustainable water and land management.
Dr. Rats’ele Rats’ele, one of the directors who was on the visit said, “We have learned valuable lessons; simple farm to farm, farm-level intervention’s impact aggregates to a broader impact, making it easy to scale out, deep, and up.”
Other reflections from the Lesotho delegation include:
- Water user associations (WUA) must be institutionalised and involved in conflict resolution
- There is a need for income-generating activities to support WUA
- The roles and responsibilities of all ICM stakeholders must be clear
- An inflexible approach to IWRM will fail
- Local-level resources and capacities should be considered during decision-making
ReNOKA (‘we are a river’) is a national programme and citizen movement for the restoration of land and water in Lesotho and the Orange-Senqu basin. Support for ReNOKA is provided through a partnership between the Government of Lesotho, the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The EU and BMZ contributions are implemented through a technical assistance project “Support to Integrated Catchment Management in Lesotho” by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.
For more information
Visit the ReNOKA website at www.renoka.org
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National ICM Coordinator, ICM Coordination Unit
GIZ Programme Manager, Support to Integrated Catchment Management (ICM) in Lesotho
‘This publication was produced with the financial support of the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Its contents are the sole responsibility of the Integrated Catchment Management unit and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union or the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)’