WIT Press

Developing Communities And Water Resources Management


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Paper DOI



WIT Press


G. Schoeman


The South African Constitution provides the basis for defining the promotion of equity, equality and the advancement of the quality of life of all people of South Africa. The National Water Act has been hailed internationally as providing a promising legal framework within which to implement equitable and sustainable water management. This framework mandates a process of bringing together all stakeholders for the purpose of building partnerships and networks and promoting consensus on water management issues in an empowering, democratic and transparent manner. A core focus is the need to promote an effective and efficient approach to the structured promotion of stakeholder participation in water resource management. This Paper documents the work undertaken and successes achieved in the empowerment and involvement of previously disadvantaged communities through the training of \“Catchment Mentors”. Training has allowed the initiative to fully support and integrate with existing initiatives to promote accreditation and develop opportunities for certificated training courses that will promote career options and opportunities. Keywords: Integrated Water Resources Management, disadvantaged communities, stakeholder participation, pro-poor, capacity building, training. 1 Introduction One of the major challenges in South Africa and in many developing countries is to manage its water resources for the benefit of especially poor people and, thus, to contribute to poverty eradication. However, while a blanket management approach may promote enhancement of the resource, experience has shown that this seldom translates into enhancement of the well being of poor marginalised groups and communities. Resource management strategies should deliberately


Integrated Water Resources Management, disadvantagedcommunities, stakeholder participation, pro-poor, capacity building, training.