“Throughout the implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management in SADC Member States project, phase 1 (2014 – 2021), and now phase 2 (2021 – 2025), the Southern African Development Community-Groundwater Management Institute has facilitated the establishment and operationalization of National Focal Groups. These groups function as interfaces between SADC-GMI and the SADC Member States.”
During phase 1, 5 National Focal Groups were established in the following countries: Eswatini, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, and Zimbabwe. The primary objective of the National Focal Groups is to serve as an advocacy group to have a collective voice for the groundwater sector in the country and to increase the groundwater profile.
“SADC-GMI is currently in the implementation of phase 2 of the Sustainable Groundwater Management in SADC Member States. This phase is funded by the Global Environment Facility and the Multi Donor Trust Fund Cooperation in International Waters in Africa through the World Bank Group. Component 1.1 of a project makes provisions for the establishment of an additional three National Focal Groups and increased capacity building for the collective eight National Focal Groups.”
The National Focal Groups are aimed at fulfilling the following functions in the respective Member States:
- To improve and enhance institutional capacity, expand interest for groundwater, and influence decision-making toward groundwater investments.
- To ensure that sustainable groundwater management, development, and use is adopted.
- To provide technical support and advice to the Groundwater National Focal Person who is the conduit between the Member State and SADC-GMI.
Through the facilitation of OneWorld Sustainable Investments, 3 additional National Focal Groups are being rolled out and operationalized in the following countries: Lesotho, South Africa, and Zambia.