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SADC May 28, 2011  

Water and Sanitation: Train-the Trainers courses for SADC countries

Eight countries will have representatives in Midrand, Johannesburg, for four training courses designed for SADC member states practicing professions, civil society organisations (CSO) and authorities in water and sanitation from 9 to 12 March 2009. This follows on a decision taken at a SADC workshop held in 2007. Priority topics were identified and practical course material had been developed. This regional partnership to establish sustained access to water and sanitation services will also contribute towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals’ for water and sanitation.

For each of the two priority topics, one technical person per country is invited to attend the train-the-trainer sessions – this implies a maximum of two trainers per country. Suitably qualified technical individuals had been identified to fulfill this role. It is important that the individuals are not only technically qualified, but also have an ability to train others.

For each country, one CSO facilitator, who had been closely and extensively involved in practical fieldwork in the respective topics, has been invited.

The countries represented are Angola, the DRC, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique and Swaziland. During the first two days, the courses will cover: ‘Working with Communities for Water and Sanitation Provision ’ and ‘Basic Principles and Concepts of Preventative Maintenance of Water and Sanitation Infrastructure’.

The last two days’ courses are: ‘Small-scale Drinking Water Purification Plants (package treatment plants)’ and ‘Implementing Integrated Water Resource Management’ (IWRM).

These are practical programmes to assist and build capacity in the provision of water and sanitation services in the various countries. The objectives of the training programmes will be to enable participant to:

  • Acquaint staff members to practical steps to undertake certain tasks
  • implement appropriate technical and social interaction interventions
  • start with implementation
  • roll out training amongst others in your line of duty
  • improve look, see and think skills in the respective fields and
  • reduce the sometimes prohibitive cost of training in technical skills
The training will provide
  • Practical guidelines and concepts for the implementation of projects
  • Policies and regulations
  • Awareness and education
  • Financial implications
  • Management information systems

Delegates will have the opportunity to visit ‘Freedom Park’, in Tshwane and those awaiting departing flights will go on a site visit to the Hartbeespoort Dam on Saturday.

The trainers are expected to return to their countries and to disseminate their newly acquired knowledge to others. In this manner water and sanitation challenges could be addressed through the interventions developed for this purpose. This is but the first of many courses that would contribute towards a better quality of life for people in the SADC countries and across our continent.

Click here to download the draft programme

For more information please contact:
Marie Ashpole on 082 870 9229
E-mail: [email protected] or

Water and Sanitation for southern Africa – MDG plan to action …

The Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) workshop ‘Capacity building of professionals, civil society organisations and leaders in the water and sanitation sector’ with the theme ‘Water and Sanitation for southern Africa – MDG plan to action …’ was held at SAICE House in Midrand during September. For the first time SADC civil society organisations, government officials and civil engineering professionals joined forces to deliberate on these important matters.

Water at the turn of the tap, a clean flushing toilet at the press of a handle, discharge of our used water at the pull of a plug, are daily services that many have come to expect - often these are taken for granted, until there is a crisis of delivery. Only then the significance of water and sanitation is keenly felt.

Equally critical to water services provision is the importance of integrated water resource management of Africa’s scarce water resources. These are critical to the economy and the well-being of people. Not only does a mutually beneficial marriage between water resources and services allow and sustain lives, they underpin industrial and commercial activity. Without them a country cannot achieve economic growth nor can people’s livelihoods be improved.

The workshop aimed:

  • to show political leadership and commitment to Millenium Development Goals (MDG)s, within the context of SADC
  • to hear and learn from a leading SADC and international exponent of SADC
  • to understand the major challenges for the water sector in ensuring delivery on the MDGs, and the role of key players
  • to highlight and reach consensus on the significance of capacity at various levels (civil, technical, decision-makers, etc.) in water resources and services, and how these ‘cross-cut’ to issues of economic growth and development and health or on people and their environments.
  • to create greater awareness amongst the SADC members and representatives


  • to integrate effort to prepare a roadmap to take capacity building forward and to reach consensus on the way forward and the type of interventions, development, support and co-operatives required to advance and realise the MDG goals
  • to prepare a list of topics for capacity building
  • to update the database of delegates and responsible institutions and individuals within SADC – to allow collation of technical information post-workshop
  • to provide input to prepare a document on future capacity building initiatives and funding spheres

Professional growth

  • to create networking opportunity
  • to reinforce self-commitment to ensure that capacity building takes place and maintain momentum – ensure continuity within the respective spheres


In 1995 the Ministers responsible for water resources in the SADC countries incorporated a strategic thrust to develop a regional strategic approach to integrated water resources development and management. This signified the principle importance of water for sustainable development and economic growth in the region. Subsequently, the Regional Strategic Action Plan (RSAP) for Integrated Water Resources Development and Management was completed. Spearheaded by the SADC Water Division and endorsed by all 14-member states, the RSAP is regarded as the main programme of action for the SADC water sector.

Each SADC country’s growth and development is inextricably linked with that of the continent as a whole. SADC countries have committed themselves to play a pivotal role in the establishment of continental processes, institutions and programmes to ensure that Africa takes its place as a global player and its people are able to rise above endemic poverty. To allow and realise this commitment, capacity building, knowledge sharing/banking and best practices stand as a central and focal point within the achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Human resources are a scarce and valuable commodity and need to be maximised, optimised, mobilised, combined and/or cooperatives and partnerships formed to accelerate the achievement of the MDG goals. These actions impact on institutional, human and financial resource implications and challenges, especially as the SADC countries gear up for 2014 and strive to attain their respective growth rate and eradication targets in environments often combining first and third economy elements. Partnerships and co-operation amongst the various sectors, i.e. public, civil and private institutions need to be facilitated.

For this reason it was fitting to hold a SADC event to allow the SADC representatives to deliberate and guide the need for further training and capacity building, the type and effectiveness of training/capacity, developing material needed and used, sharing of best practices across the water sector and specific support interventions or strategies needed to impact positively on achieving the MDGs.

SADC delegates congregate on the steps of SAICE House during the course of the conference

The South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE) has organised and hosted this important event.

Issued on behalf of SADC Water Division and DWAF by:
The South African Institution of Civil Engineering (SAICE)
Tel: 011 805 5947
Fax: 011 805 5971
For more information please contact:
Marie Ashpole on 082 870 9229
E-mail: [email protected] or
Willie Potgieter on 082 651 7602

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