Water law reform to improve water security for vulnerable people in Africa

Across Africa, water law reforms have introduced new statutory permit systems with fees tied to permits, to govern the allocation of water resources. However, many African countries are facing major challenges in issuing and enforcing these permits. The formal permit systems exclude large numbers of small-scale water users in rural and peri-urban areas who cannot be reached by under-resourced government agencies.

The Catalyst project, led by the Pegasys Institute and the International Water Management Institute, compared the history and current status of implementing water permit systems in the five African countries. The team also identified possible improvements to legislation to support more effective and pro-poor water authorisation systems (read the blog and policy brief).

Expanding on the work achieved through the Catalyst grant, the Accelerated project aims to better understand the relationship between formal and informal water allocation systems, and the financial implications of permitting small scale users for government with the ultimate focus on finding pathways to decolonising permit systems and ensuring legal protection of the water use of the most vulnerable.

This project is one of five Accelerated Projects funded through our Partnership Funding

Credit: Nena Terrell/USAID

Dates

October 2017 – March 2019

Country

Kenya, South Africa, Uganda

Organisation

  • Pegasys Institute
  • International Water Management Institute

Barbara Schreiner, Pegasys institute

‘We need innovative approaches that enable governments to manage water effectively while protecting the rights of marginalised communities to use water to meet their development needs.’

 

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