Resilient Waters – Southern Africa

Southern Africa has significant biodiversity and natural resources, as well as a robust legal framework for natural resource management across borders. However, most countries in the region are water scarce or water stressed. National policies lack harmonization across countries and between sectors, and poor and vulnerable populations lack enough benefits and incentives for sustainable resource management.

The goal of USAID/Southern Africa’s five-year (2018–2023) Resilient Waters Program is to build more resilient and water-secure southern African communities and ecosystems through improved management of transboundary natural resources and increased access to safe drinking water and sanitation services. Resilient Waters’ approach is based on the premise that by building the capacity of and enhancing cooperation between people and institutions at the community, national, and regional levels can help achieve sustainable resilience with inclusive growth in southern Africa. The project focuses on addressing the severe water challenges facing the Limpopo River Basin and Okavango River Basin communities.

Activity Description

The activity has four integrated goals to improve overall transboundary natural resource management, increase water security, and build more resilient communities and ecosystems:

  • Improve the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services in southern Africa
  • Improve the management and security of transboundary water resources
  • Increase access to safe, sustainable drinking water and sanitation services
  • Strengthen the ability of key institutions and communities to adapt to climate change

USAID will cooperate with Southern Africa Development Community structures, such as the River Basin Organizations and Transfrontier Conservation Areas in the region, to implement the project.

Expected Outcomes

Resilient Waters will work to provide access to safe drinking water and sanitation services for nearly 21 million people spanning South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Angola, and Namibia. The project also will improve management of transboundary natural resources, conserve biodiversity, and strengthen ecological infrastructure needed to maintain healthy water systems.