Non-Governmental Organisations

International and national Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) play a very important role in the water sector within the Limpopo River basin. They help to empower and strengthen the capacity of communities and individuals to manage water and participate in decision making processes related to water.


International NGOs

WaterAid is an international NGO working on the provision of safe domestic water, sanitation and hygiene education to the world’s poorest people.

African Rivers Network (ARA) is a network of dam-affected communities, NGOs and other allies working towards ecological sustainability and social justice in the arena of large dams and their alternatives (ARA n.d.).

The World Conservation Union ( IUCN-ROSA), regional office for southern Africa, assists governments and institutions in the development of policies and strategies, focusing on protection, sustainable use, natural resources management, equity and biological diversity (Kranz et al. 2005a).

The World Commission on Dams (WCD) was established to help transcend the breakdown of dialogue between NGOs, the private sector, governments and international organisations, on the construction of dams. The commission was formed by 12 members of diverse backgrounds, and worked between May 1998 and 2000, dissolving with the delivery of its report in November 2000 (Kranz et al. 2005).

The International Rivers Network is active in the region and has worked extensively with local organisations through research, education and advocacy on issues related to climate change and alternative ways to meet water and energy needs.

The Network for Advocacy of Water Issues in Southern Africa (NAWISA) was launched at the Southern African Water Network Strategic Planning Workshop, Johannesburg, South Africa, from February 7th – 9th 2001. EMG was elected to serve as the first "host organization" for the Secretariat. As of April 2003 the "hosting" function moved to Botswana. The Mission Statement of mentions as key priorities for NAWISA a) Information sharing. b) Capacity building c) Funding and d) Advocacy. For more details on NAWISA go to their website.

"The Mission of the Africa Civil Society Network on Water (ANEW) is to facilitate the coordination of diverse African Civil Society Organizations (CSO) voices in water and sanitation. Its main objective is to build the capacity of African CSOs, thus enabling them influence and develop policies supportive of MDG and WSSD targets.Accordingly, this Programme aims at providing members with opportunities to make constructive contributions to international work aimed at sustainably managing water resources and improving water supply and sanitation services. It therefore seeks to initiate, develop and maintain collaborative mechanisms among CSOs working in Africa by enhancing communication on matters relating to water and sanitation, and updating members on national and international water initiatives, policies and strategies, reports as well as best practices which are relevant to the African scenario.“


National NGOs


The Kalahari Conservation Society is active in the environment and water sectors through-out Botswana.

Somarelang Tikologo has been encouraging efficient water use and recycling methods.

Building Local Government Capacity in IWRM

The goal of the Local Governments and Integrated Water Resources Management in Southern project, implemented by the Kalahari Conservation Union, is to improve the capacity of local governments to adopt integrated water resources management’s solutions and thus contributes to the achievement of the water related Millennium Development Goals. This project was initiated in the Limpopo River basin in 2004. The main outputs of the project are:

  • Strategies for local government to participate in integrated water resources management (IWRM.)
  • Self-instruction materials providing local governments with the necessary knowledge and know-how to implement IWRM strategies.
  • Detailed proposals for pilot projects by and for the eight associated local governments.
  • An implementation workshop for further outreach.
  • Policy options for further research.
  • A set of recommendations to major IWRM stakeholders concerning the necessary framework for improving the local governments’ role in IWRM.

Source: Kalahari Conservation Society n.d.

  • WaterAid is working with government departments to implement the national water policy in a way that ensures the poorest people benefit from affordable and long lasting projects.
  • Helvetas is a Swiss Association for International Cooperation. Within the water sector in Mozambique, Helvetas is working on increasing access to better quality water in rural villages, municipalities and schools and the efficient management of small scale water supply systems and promotion, testing and use of low cost technologies.
  • Care is active in the water sector in Mozambique through programs that aim to improve water and sanitation conditions for those living in both rural and urban areas. Living in rural areas have improved access to water and sanitation through a variety of community-selected technologies
Access to good quality water, free of suspended particles and contaminants is essential to human well-being. Source: CSIR 2003


South Africa
  • Mvula Trust is supporting water and sanitation development in South Africa. It operates six regional offices, including Limpopo province.
  • The Group for Environmental Monitoring promotes increased capacity and awareness raising through training and seminars on water and climate change, people-friendly Water Demand Management (WDM) Strategies, maintaining the integrity of catchments, participatory budgeting and reducing water’s carbon footprint.

There are a number of nternational NGOs active in the water sector in Zimbabwe, including but not limited to: UNICEF, World Vision, Dabani Trust, Plan International, Lutheran World Federation, CADEC and the International Red Cross.

Current ongoing initiatives.

LIMCOM's current ongoing interventions being undertaken