The majority of Africa’s river basins are transboundary in nature. Managing water resources across these international boundaries is complex with a range of issues emerging from differing country approaches and the challenges of sovereignty, whilst collectively requiring the development of water resources towards basin wide beneficiation. River Basin Organisations (RBOs) play a key advisory role in these basins and facilitate important discussions that underpin water resource management and development. ORASECOM was established to play this role in the Orange Senqu River Basin, with member states being Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and South Africa and faced capacity challenges as a relatively new RBO. ORASECOM, with the support of the European Union, appointed Atkins and Pegasys to play a strengthening role to underpin the development of ORASECOM.
We provided support in institutional strengthening and capacity building to implement priority projects and develop water conservation and environmental strategies and policies in the Orange-Senqu River basin. Support was aimed at building the capacity of ORASECOM secretariat to function as a key institution within the basin. This included interaction with the task teams to strengthen member state engagement in the business of ORASECOM. Tasks included strategic organisational and institutional analysis of ORASECOM, as well as analysis of the role of stakeholders and water management institutions in the business of ORASECOM. From this support ORASECOM developed an array of institutional policies to strengthen the functioning of the RBO and to clarify a range of institutional issues.