In April 2006 Namibia was represented at a meeting of the African Minister's Council on Water (AMCOW) where one of the main points of discussion was the importance of integrated water resources management. This was recognized as an important link that was missing in the management of the Namibian water sector. This planning meeting confirmed the need to establish an IWRM Plan for Namibia, to integrate partners, to share information and to encompass all relevant legislation. The proposed IWRM plan was described as needing to be concrete, realistic, feasible, supported by all stakeholders (with ownership and clear roles and responsibilities), funded and affordable, executable, practical, addressing capacity building and that it will make a difference.

Following this meeting the Africa Water Facility, through the African Development Bank, offered funding to Namibia’s Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) to develop an IWRM Plan for Namibia.

Up to that time, a variety of ad hoc interventions were undertaken by government and other stakeholders, together and separately, all heading in the same general direction. In February 2009 the MAWF appointed a consultant team comprising expertise from different disciplines within the Namibian water sector, called IWRM Plan Joint Venture Namibia, to commence with the development of the IWRM Plan for Namibia [3,920 KB] . It was developed over a period of eighteen months from November 2008 to August 2010.

To consult the supporting complementing reports developed as part of the project, click here.

The study was guided by a Project Steering Committee appointed by MAWF and comprising the following members: MAWF, National Planning Commission (NPC), City of Windhoek, NamWater, Namibia Water Partnership (NWP), UNESCO and UNDP.

Outcomes of the IWRM Plan

The Namibian IWRM Plan was developed to guide the management of Namibia’s scarce water resources, to ensure sustainable use of water, now and in the future, and takes cognizance of the overall National Development Goals. The Plan provides a holistic and integrated framework for water resources management as a key input to achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the national development goals of Vision 2030. In addition, the IWRM plan integrates various water uses included in an institutional, technical and financial framework.

The overall long-term goal of IWRM in Namibia is to achieve a sustainable water resources management regime contributing to social equity, economic efficiency and environmental sustainability. This will result in improved health and sanitary conditions of communities, improved water related livelihoods, gains to agriculture from improved land and water management and reduced risk of floods and droughts. Transboundary cooperation on beneficial use of shared water resources will be greatly enhanced leading to joint project implementation and operational management.

The IWRM Plan for Namibia [3,920 KB] was approved by Cabinet on 19 June 2012 for implementation and dissemination to stakeholders. In 22 November 2012, Honourable Minister for Agriculture, Water and Forestry launched the IWRM Plan and requested the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry to raise awareness about the Plan and distributed the IWRM Plan to Stakeholders. The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry conducted nine Regional Awareness Workshops between February and March 2013 whereby the IWRM Plan was presented to stakeholders country-wide.