group photo around KFW sign
The workshop participants after a week of deliberation and brainstorming at KfW headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany.

NIRAS offers combined expertise in fund management and transboundary water infrastructure to SADC Water Fund

After a successful kick-off workshop at KfW Headquarters in Frankfurt, NIRAS launches support to the Southern African Development Community's Water Fund.

21. Feb 2019

A workshop held in Frankfurt from 4 to 8 February 2019 marked the beginning of an exciting partnership between NIRAS and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Water Fund. Combining NIRAS’s strengths in fund management and transboundary water infrastructure, a team of in-house and external consultants will provide technical support to the organisation, which is a regional fund hosted by the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA). The goal is to review and further develop the Water Fund's operational procedures, support project applicants and project owners, and promote skills transfer to strengthen the capacity of the Water Fund staff to manage a diverse portfolio of these complex water infrastructure projects.

The week-long workshop in Frankfurt gave members of NIRAS’s team of consultants the opportunity to learn more in depth about the Water Fund. Staff members from the Fund Management Unit (FMU), representatives of the DBSA, the German Development Bank (KfW), and the bridging consultant were tasked with identifying and presenting opportunities, challenges, and burning issues in order to streamline and prioritise NIRAS’s support to the fund. The long hours and fruitful discussions were capped off with a meal of traditional German food, and the week ended on a high note as significant progress was made in such a short time. NIRAS looks forward to supporting the SADC Water Fund and collaborating further with the DBSA and KfW.

More about the SADC Water Fund

One of several financing windows under the SADC Regional (Infrastructure) Development Fund, the Water Fund became operational in 2015. The objectives of the fund are to:

  • strengthen the coordinating function of SADC in water sector funding;
  • create an instrument to channel international cooperating partners’ contributions to the SADC water sector; and
  • improve the regional water infrastructure.

Two projects are currently receiving KfW finance through the SADC Water Fund. The first is in Kazungula, a Zambian town on the banks of the Zambezi River which borders Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Namibia. The second project, at Lomahasha-Namaacha, focuses on improving water supply between eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) and Mozambique.