Cooperation in action

International Water Stewardship Programme

Acting together to mitigate water risks

Children at a well

Ensuring the fair and sustainable use of water is a challenging task which involves coordinating a number of different interests. That is why the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the UK are supporting the International Water Stewardship Programme (IWaSP, formerly the African Water Stewardship Initiative). Ethiopia, Uganda, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia, plus Grenada, Saint Lucia and Pakistan are currently participating in the programme.

In order to reconcile divergent interests before conflicts arise or water reserves are over-exploited, the programme brings together different groups: they include government authorities, but also representatives of civil society and of private businesses. These stakeholders work together to identify water risks, develop strategies to tackle them and implement appropriate measures. The programme acts as an honest broker between various interest groups. This generates trust among all participants and makes successful collaboration more likely.

Some 32 public institutions, 33 private businesses, eleven non-governmental organisations and various community groups are already involved in this constructive approach to problem-solving. The private sector is a financial contributor as well. For example, Coca Cola is funding projects in Tanzania and Uganda which will ensure that the Mlalakua and Rwizi rivers are better protected against the consequences of climate change. The BMZ is contributing around six million euros to the programme, which is meant to benefit more than one million people directly by 2019 and another seven million indirectly.

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