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SA: Appropriate Capacity and Training for Sub-Saharan Water Security – A Project by Africans for Africans
Source: CSIR e-News - November 2013
Source Date: Friday, November 29, 2013
Focus: Citizen Engagement
Country: South Africa
Created: Nov 29, 2013

The workshop was also attended by experts from the project associates, Dr Jamie Pittock and Dr John Williams from the Australian National University. Other notable guests were Henry Roman, Department of Science and Technology (DST); Dr Harrison Pienaar, CSIR manager for water resources; and Prof May Hermanus, Executive Director, CSIR Natural Resources and the Environment.
ACT4SSAWS is a NEPAD-driven water sustainability project that seeks to enable water managers and users in Sub-Saharan Africa to implement effective IWRM best practices to better manage water supply and use, waste streams and sanitation services in rural, peri-urban and urban settings. It is the first of its kind in Africa and brings together a number of centres of excellence in the water sector in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The projects aims to providea common platform for cooperation and collaboration on pertinent research and skills building on water issues, and also aims to strengthen the capacity of water and waste management institutions. Karen Nortje, a social anthropologist at the CSIR, described the collaboration as highly valuable for water managers and policy makers. “The ethos behind this workshop was about co-learning and sharing of knowledge, especially among the team members from the six African countries. This workshop and project will go a long way in developing capacity and building trust relationships of the African water professionals, and will strengthen the water sector networks,” she says.
The CSIR has been designated as the coordinating partner and Drs Paul Oberholster and Keith Kennedy are leading the project coordination of ACT4SSAWS. Oberholster is pleased with the responsibility thrust upon him and predicts a great success for the project. “From the outset of the proposal in early 2011, the DST has materially supported this multi-regional approach and we are confident that it will yield desired results. All involved will benefit by working together to build their members’ base, cooperate and coordinate the various strengths and ultimately help communities and governments provide more sustainable pathways for water security and economic growth,” he explains.
The workshop resolved that the project must provide tangible outcomes that will be replicable and throughout Sub-Saharan Africa and that the knowledge and experience of the CSIR in successfully completing EU projects – such as the recent FP7 LiveDiverse project – must be utilised productively.
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