Sustainable Development of Groundwater Resources in Southern and Eastern Africa (RAF/8/029)
This regional project builds on the experience and results from a similar programme involving nine northern African countries that was initiated by the Agency in 1995 under Model Project RAF/8/022. The present project is formulated as a series of parallel national subprojects focused on field activities at the country level. The regional component of the project is designed to promote co-operation and exchange of information and experience among the countries concerned. Project activities are implemented by national teams with input from external experts. Agency support is mainly through isotope analysis through subcontracting and guidelines for fieldwork, data gathering and interpretation. Expert services will be made available, as necessary, to assist in site reconnaissance and plan development. An initial project workshop, structured as a group training exercise, will be held to evaluate the conceptual models and finalize the workplans developed from them. Analysis of samples collected in the second year of the project will be carried out as an applied training exercise, with national counterparts performing the work at the South African regional analytical centre under the guidance of the local counterparts. This innovative training strategy will mitigate the workload on the South African counterparts, foster a sense of regional ownership of the facilities, and provide a more effective forum for training. The final stage of the project will build on the groundwater modelling results, using this information to help develop groundwater management plans in close co-ordination with all project partners.
The national projects included in this regional undertaking are part of high priority government efforts to improve and manage water supplies. In general, assistance is sought to enhance ongoing projects where firm conclusions cannot be reached with conventional hydrogeological techniques. In many of the participating countries, recent changes in water law and resource allocation are also motivating increased technical understanding of the available water supplies so that equitable and efficient distribution can be accomplished. To implement the activities planned under this project, government authorities have undertaken to provide the necessary scientific and technical staff, analytical laboratory facilities, capacity for hydrogeological investigations, drilling and sampling equipment, and operating costs.
Expert services for co-ordination, monitoring and support to implementation of project activities; equipment and consumables for laboratory and field work, including setting up regional analytical facilities; isotope measurement services; training through fellowships, scientific visits, organization of technical workshops, and exchange of project staff; annual co-ordination meetings.