September 8th of 2015 in Ommen, the Netherlands
The Department of Water Affairs of Swaziland and Vechtstromen Regional Water Authority of the Netherlands have established a twinning and cooperation relationship dating from the year 2009. The goal of the cooperation is exchanging knowledge and strengthening the newly established River Basin Authorities in Swaziland. As Swaziland has an important place between Mozambique and South Africa, the parties also cooperate in the River and Environment Management Cooperation (REMCO). Agnes Maenhout (World Water Academy) was invited to meet the Swaziland delegation to discuss the training for the board members of the new-established River Basin Authorities.
The Water Act of the Kingdom of Swaziland foresees the decentralization of the water management and the establishment of 5 separate River Basin Authorities (RBAs). The RBA's will be responsible for decentralized management of water resources, corresponding to the five major rivers in Swaziland. The RBAs are, from north to south, Lomati RBA, Komati RBA, Mbuluzi RBA, Usuthu RBA and Ngwavuma RBA. The RBAs need to be strengthened, improved financed and capacitated to fulfil this role.
The training aims to better understanding of what operational water management by the RBAs is all about. After attending the training, the governors have tools to improve their performance and to contribute to the code of conduct. The training will consist of a number of modules; each module will encompass knowledge, skills and attitude elements. Trainers from Swaziland and the Netherlands will guide the groups. I.e. knowledge of water resource management, local legislation; skills of cooperation within the board and between board and staff, representing, decision making and how to prepare a meeting. And certainly the cultural & attitude issues have to be taken into account, like gender issues, taking accountability and how to prepare for a meeting.
Agnes Maenhout, managing director/CEO World Water Academy.