The 1,700 km long Limpopo River flows though Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique. Along the way, 14 million people depend on its water to slake their thirst, feed their hunger, and support jobs and livelihoods. But who owns this water? The rich, the poor? The farmers, the fishermen? The miners, the tourists?
Competition for this scarce resource can cause stress and conflict – and few know this better than the people living around the Great Limpopo Transfrontier Park where the Olifants River sustains daily living and provides the potential to uplift the poor. In 2008, sudden storms upstream of the Olifants river and its tributary inundated the Massingir Dam, causing severe damage with negative impacts on the communities downstream who depend on it.
The SADC Water Division – with support from a range of international cooperating partners – is working with Mozambique to rehabilitate this essential resource to enable water and food security in a region affected by floods and droughts. By ensuring a reliable supply of water, the dam enables those living alongside it to establish agricultural initiatives that turn water into food and then into money. It is an area in which a famous wildlife showcase must co-exist with open cast mining SADC’s Protocol on Shared Watercourses promotes the shared benefit of its waters being used wisely and equitably – a challenge set for Limpopo Watercourse Commission (LIMCOM), which facilitates shared river basin management. It not only governs its rivers but also its groundwater – seeking to ensure year-round water availability that makes poverty alleviation possible even far from the river course. And this is essential in a region promoting access to “Water for Poverty Reduction”…
Produced by: SADC Secretariat in Gaborone (Botswana) in cooperation with Germany (BMZ) and the UK (DFID), whose partnership programme is being implemented by GTZ. The Australian Government’s Agency for International Development joined the partnership in October 2010. The filming was done by Nick Chevallier Video Productions (Cape Town, South Africa).