Centre for Water Resources Research Hosts High Powered Sudanese Study GroupsGeneral

Delegates from the first delegation with CWRR staff at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Pietermaritzburg.Delegates from the first delegation with CWRR staff at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Pietermaritzburg.

UKZN’s Centre for Water Resources Research (CWRR) and its collaborators recently hosted two delegations of North Sudanese water resources managers and decision makers as part of a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) small project agreement.

The visits were aimed at contributing to the strengthened capacity of North Darfur institutions to support, scale up and replicate successful approaches to catchment management, specifically for the Wadi El Ku Catchment in North Darfur.

The gatherings benefitted from UKZN’s expertise and experience in Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), as well as its ability to facilitate training in this field.

CWRR’s range of expertise is in areas such as climate change, water quality monitoring, waste management, water governance, and hydrologic modelling.

In attendance were UKZN representatives from various disciplines within the Schools of Agricultural, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Engineering, and Built Environment and Development Studies.

Delegates comprised technical staff and managers, and high-level decision-makers, hoping to learn from South Africa’s two decades of experience in implementing IWRM.

Involved staff tailored the tours and the first delegation, including municipal managers and members of forums, participated in a series of lectures and field trips facilitated by the CWRR. Delegates visited several sites and saw aspects of IWRM in action.

UKZN sites visited included the Pollution Research Group (PRG) Newlands-Mashu site, where Decentralised Wastewater Treatment Systems (DEWATS) are used for research. Delegates also visited Mpophomeni where they saw a citizen science initiative in the form of the use of a MiniSASS assessment conducted by local Envirochamps.

This first visit was supported by various bodies and organisations including the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS), Umgeni Water, the Pongola-Umzimkulu Proto Catchment Management Agency (CMA), the Umgeni Ecological Infrastructure Partnership (UEIP), the Msunduzi Catchment Management Forum (CMF), the Inanda CMF and the Lower Umgeni CMF, the Institute of Natural Resources (INR) and the Duzi uMngeni Conservation Trust (DUCT).

The second delegation, which visited the Western Cape, included Sudan’s Federal Minister of Water, Irrigation and Energy, various state ministers and commissioners from North Darfur, as well as advisors.

This visit focused on organisational and governance structures and included site visits. The Breede Gouritz Catchment Management Agency (BGCMA) hosted a large section of the visit and brought in experts on water governance from various sectors. Other collaborators included regional and provincial stakeholders of DWS and engineers from the City of Cape Town’s Water and Sanitation Division. Representatives from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT) were also involved.

‘The CWRR was very happy to host the study tours and to share its collective skills and experiences gained in southern Africa with others on the continent,’ said CWRR Director, Professor Graham Jewitt.

The study tours have evoked interest from the Wadi El Ku Catchment Management Project to collaborate further on research and training in support of development of their water management strategies.

Christine Cuénod