PRESS RELEASE – Member States commit to support sustainable development of the Limpopo River Basin


Maputo, MOZAMBIQUE – The four Member States that share the Limpopo River Basin -- Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe -- have pledged to continue deepening collaboration to promote sustainable development of the Basin.

Maputo, MOZAMBIQUE– The four Member States that share the Limpopo River Basin — Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe — have pledged to continue deepening collaboration to promote sustainable development of the Basin.

The Member States made the commitment during in-country meetings organized by the Limpopo Watercourse Commission (LIMCOM) to appraise the States and key stakeholders on the implementation of the project “Integrated Transboundary River Basin Management for the Sustainable Development of the Limpopo River Basin.”

Deputy Director for Water in the Ministry of Lands and Water Affairs in Botswana, Dr. Kobamelo Dikgola, said sustainable development of the Limpopo River Basin (LRB) is critical in ensuring that transboundary water resources are preserved for present and future generations.

“The Limpopo is a key strategic Basin for Botswana,” Dr. Dikgola said, adding that “we will continue to work with other Member States to ensure that all interventions implemented in the Basin benefit local communities.”

Director of Water Resources Development and Utilization in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development in Zimbabwe, Mr. Gilbert Mawere, who is also a LIMCOM Commissioner, concurred, saying countries that share the Limpopo had no option “but to continue working together because uncoordinated activities in any of the countries will have an impact on the other.”

Mozambican Director for Public Works, Housing and Water Resources, Mr. Messias Macie, a LIMCOM Commissioner highlighted that as the host of the LIMCOM Secretariat, “Mozambique will remain at the disposal of the Secretariat and Member States to ensure that all interventions are effectively implemented in the Basin.”

Inter-Governmental Relations and Sector Collaborations Manager for Sekhukhune in the South African Department of Water and Sanitation, Ms. Perpetua Mphahlele also reiterated South Africa’s commitment to support transboundary decision-making across in the Basin, saying “improving livelihood of communities living in the basin is a priority for all.”

The in-country meeting to Botswana was held on 16-17 May, while the meeting to South Africa took place on 23-24 May. Meetings in Zimbabwe and Mozambique were held on 30-31 May and 7-8 June, respectively. As part of the meetings, LIMCOM visited the identified Sustainable Land Management (SLM) pilot sites in each of the four countries to engage with the communities living in the area. These pilot sites are expected to yield socio-ecological benefits whilst exploring opportunities for Payment for Ecosystem Services.

The SLM pilot sites are the Mogobane Dam in the Notwane sub-catchment in Botswana; Massingir Dam in the Lower Elephant’s sub-catchment in Mozambique; B41C Quaternary Catchment, Mapochs in the Middle Olifants sub-catchment in South Africa; and the Guyu-Chelesa irrigation scheme in the Shashe sub-catchment in Zimbabwe. The main aim of implementing SLM activities at a pilot scale is to reduce land degradation, including sedimentation, at the pilot sites and promote the replication and up-scaling of land degradation control activities to other areas in future.

LIMCOM Executive Secretary, Mr. Sergio Sitoe described the in-country meetings as a success, noting that such interaction is critical in promoting ownership of the project and its successful implementation.

The Limpopo River Basin
The LRB is one of the major River Basins in southern Africa, and it is shared by four countries namely Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The catchment area of the LRB is estimated at 408,000 km² and the basin has a population of over 18 million people. The river flows north from South Africa, where it creates the border between South Africa and Botswana and then the border between South Africa and Zimbabwe, before crossing into Mozambique and draining into the Indian Ocean. The basin supports diverse socio-economic activities in the four Riparian States including agro-industry, large-scale irrigation, rain-fed subsistence agriculture, mining, eco-tourism, and hosts some of the world’s foremost protected areas.

LIMCOM was established through the LIMCOM Agreement signed in November 2003 by the four Member States — Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa and Zimbabwe — in Maputo. The main objective of LIMCOM is to advise and “provide recommendations on the uses of the Limpopo, its tributaries and its waters for purposes and measures of protection, preservation and management of the Limpopo.” LIMCOM is headquartered in Mozambique, and the principal organ of the Commission is the Council.

Project Description
The LRB is facing severe water stress that have further been exacerbated by climate change and increasing population. It is, therefore, critical to address these transboundary water challenges through cooperative actions by the Basin States. In this regard, the project “Integrated Transboundary River Basin Management for the Sustainable Development of the Limpopo River Basin” aims to achieve integrated, cross-sectoral, ecosystem-based management of the Limpopo River to uplift the living standards of the basin’s population and conserve the basin’s resources and ecosystem services.
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in South Africa, together with the Global Water Partnership-Southern Africa (GWPSA), is supporting the project funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) International Waters program. As the GEF implementing entity, the UNDP provides overall oversight of the project with GWPSA being the executing agency, while LIMCOM is the focal custodian of the project implementation. The project intervention logic is structured around five main components:

  • Component 1: Strengthening the capacities of LIMCOM Member States and the LIMCOM Secretariat to support Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) implementation at the basin level.
  • Component 2: Addressing critical information gaps that prevent effective IWRM implementation; developing information management tools to consolidate information and present it to policymakers and other audiences to raise awareness of issues critical to the sustainable management of the LRB.
  • Component 3: Carrying out a Transboundary Diagnostic Analysis – Strategic Action Program process to build trust among countries through joint development of information, approaches and strategies.
  • Component 4: Implementing pilot sustainable land management activities with the goal of reducing land degradation and demonstrating the link between Sustainable Land Management (SLM) activities and reduced sedimentation, as well as promoting the replication of land degradation control activities in the basin.
  • Component 5: Supporting knowledge exchange with other River Basin Organizations (RBOs) in the region to support the effective and efficient delivery of project results.

More Information
Should you require any additional information about the Limpopo River Basin, LIMCOM and the project, kindly contact Dr. Eddie Riddell – Regional Project Coordinator at and/or Mr. Kizito Sikuka – Communication Officer at

Issued: 21 June 2023