Going back to Swaziland was like coming home! We got a warm welcome from the board members of the River Basin Authorities (RBA's) Komati and Lomati and the irrigation district. The RBA's are going to start this year. These RBA’s have a twinning relationship with the Dutch Regional water authority Vechtstromen. This relationship includes training of the governing boards, with an exchange of international experience. The first training was organized last April (see article Trainer in Swaziland) The training was designed as “action learning” with a peer-to-peer approach. Jan van Hoek, daily board member and Leo Heitbrink, advisor at the water authority of Vechtstromen shared their Dutch experience. Coping with access of water versus shortage of water, how to read financial statements, means to enforce, how to conduct a formal meeting were some of the topics they shared. Agnes Maenhout (Director of WorldWater Academy) was the moderator and she realized the action learning. The group got assignments in setting goals from the point of view of the stakeholders, making decisions in consensus and communication with the stakeholders. Each participant gave a 2 minute pitch to their stakeholder about the role of the RBA. The participants as well as the trainers enjoyed to work together and had a lot of fun.
The training ended with a field trip to the Emandla Ekuphila Water User District, visiting a farmers association and seeing the pollution of the river. The drought that is still going on raises additional issues in sharing this scarce source. The participants really appreciated the course and the gave an excellent evaluation (score 4,5 on a 1-5 scale).
Some remarks of the participants:
“The moderators have impressed the participants and we all learned how to do our presentations. I wish such seminars could be conducted frequently “
“I have been fascinated by the vast experience of water management in The Netherlands and their intensity of operations, hence I would like the opportunity to see for myself operations, organisation in The Netherlands”.
“My idea is that the board that have the seminar to continue for another 3 years so that they may use what they have learned - otherwise - there will be no use of the seminar”.
More information: Agnes Maenhout