- This event has passed.
September 30, 2023 - October 13, 2023
Wetskills event for transboundary cooperation in Water (Southern Africa)
We were happy to be back in ‘the water tower of Southern Africa’ for Wetskills-Lesotho 2023! All activities were focused on bringing young talents in the region together, for improving trans-boundary cooperation and creating innovative win-win situations for better water management in Southern Africa. Central place of staying and working was the National University of Lesotho in Maseru, with field trips to the Katse Dam and other water locations. The Finals & Awarding of this event were organized during a special Seminar.
Our partners in this event were the ReNOKA program (Department of Water Affairs Lesotho) and GIZ, together with the Department for Water and Sanitation of South Africa, Rand Water, Water Institute of Southern Africa, Young Water professionals in South Africa, Water Research Commission, Blue Deal South Africa and Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands in South Africa. They all joined forces for this Wetskills event, focusing on trans-boundary cooperation in water.
In 2018, Lesotho joined the fourth Wetskills event in South Africa, with 5 participants and a case. After this 2018 event, Wetskills and the ReNOKA programme (Department of Water Affairs, Lesotho) joined forces for a special project, to implement the results of one of the cases (read more about this cooperation). This was the start of the WetsNext project about the Soil Erosion Blankets in Lesotho, see movie.
Lesotho 2023 – group picture & event video!
Event pictures – Getting to know each other and the Crazy88!
Joining this Wetskills Event – What do you get?
A unique learning experience where you will tackle real-life water challenges with your own team!
- You will increase your skills in: international cooperation; problem solving, cross-cultural and interdisciplinary teamwork, networking and presenting (pitch & poster);
- You will get the opportunity to connect with other international water students/young professionals;
- You will exclusively visit the Wetskills finals and awarding a inspiring workshop in Maseru;
- You will visit Maseru and other parts in Lesotho: water-related, natural and cultural sites, and meetings with water experts;
- You will learn, network and experience more about international and regional water challenges, the main stakeholders and organizations, contemporary issues and current business opportunities;
- You will receive a certificate of participation upon completion of the program.
Finals & Visit soil erosion blankets
At the Finals, all teams presented the solution for their case to the jury. At the winner was …. team Maluti BFI, with their compensation model for industries to invest in the soil erosion blanket project in Lesotho. Congratulations!
Lesotho has one of the most successful WetsNext projects, the soil erosion blankets. This idea from Wetskills-Cape Town 2018 has been implemented in various sites in the country. The Wetskills group and also the international guests visited the site near the Kolo area, see some pictures below.
Case 1: Balance between NRM measures and livelihoods
Case owner: ReNOKA (Integrated Catchment Management Program for Lesotho)
The Government of Lesotho, with support from the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, has embarked on an ambitious “National Programme for Integrated Catchment Management (ReNOKA). Its aim is to rehabilitate degraded watersheds across the country and to put in place prevention measures that will halt the further degradation of Lesotho’s catchment areas. How can this program facilitate socio-economic development and adaptation to climate change in Lesotho, taking into consideration gender equality?
Case 2: Promoting water use efficiency
Case owner: Water Research Commission
Water use efficiency is one of the pillars of the sustainable development goals. This concept promotes the use of various sources of water to ensure demand. The sustainable implementation of water reuse and recycling can be used as a strategy to curb freshwater abstractions, promote replenishment of groundwater (managed aquifer recharge), and promote a more efficient use and management of water resources. How can SADC countries create a roadmap that facilitates the sustainable implementation of water reuse projects for potable and non-potable purposes, in collaboration with local authorities, water utilities, and as means of promoting sustainable water use efficiency and water behaviours?
Case 3: Integrated framework for trans-boundary water cooperation
Case owner: Rand Water
By the early 1970s, Rand Water’s primary source of water, the Vaal River, had reached available abstraction capacity. Water supply problems in the Gauteng area were becoming increasingly serious. One of the interventions was a transboundary solution to create the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) to transfer water from the Tugela River to that of the Vaal. The current transboundary water cooperation between Lesotho and South Africa faces numerous challenges. How can the key factors that influence the effectiveness of this cooperation be integrated in a framework, to promote sustainable water management, supply and equitable sharing of water resources?
Case 4: Sustainable solid waste system and dumping site
Case owner: ReNOKA programme (Ministry of Water Affairs Lesotho)
The National Programme for Integrated Catchment Management (ReNOKA) aims to rehabilitate degraded watersheds across the country and to put in place prevention measures that will halt the further degradation of Lesotho’s catchment areas. Questions for this case: How can we effectively prevent leachate seepage from the solid waste dumping site into the dam? How can the waste management infrastructure be improved to be more sustainable? Considering the urgent need for a solution, how can the proposed system be implemented quickly and effectively with reasonable costs?
Case 5: Water Footprint Compensation and the soil erosion blankets
Case owner: Water Footprint Implementation
In March 2023, Water Footprint Implementation (WFI) successfully launched Water Footprint Compensation during the United Nations Water Conference in New York. In this first phase, WFI laid the methodological foundation for a first of-its-kind water offset scheme based on the principle of “a litre for a litre”. Its ultimate goal is to accelerate the transition to a water secure world by providing businesses with the enabling knowledge and a robust platform to offset their water consumption. How could the soil erosion blankets project in Lesotho benefit from the Water Footprint Compensation concept? and their industries in Lesotho to sustain and increase the soil erosion blankets?
WetsNext Case 2018: Transboundary basin management – the challenge of creating a win-win situation
Case owner: Department of Water Affairs Lesotho
Water is one of the most important natural resources of Lesotho. The unique geographic location positions Lesotho as the ‘Water Tower’ of Southern Africa. Its wetlands sustain the perennial water flow of a.o the Senqu-Orange river system, shared by three other riparian states: South Africa, Namibia and Botswana. Unfortunately, the water system in Lesotho is threatened by degradation and climate change, and so are its downstream communities, who are for their economic activities and water availability very much depending on quality water coming from Lesotho. How can downstream riparians influence the situation in the upstream watershed, of which they are extremely dependent?