Legal Water Expert

Global Environment Facility (GEF)

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Background Information – UNOPS

UNOPS supports the successful implementation of its partners’ peacebuilding, humanitarian and development projects around the world. Our mission is to serve people in need by expanding the ability of the United Nations, governments and other partners to manage projects, infrastructure and procurement in a sustainable and efficient manner.

Working in some of the world’s most challenging environments, our vision is to advance sustainable implementation practices, always satisfying or surpassing our partners’ expectations.

With over 7,000 personnel spread across 80 countries, UNOPS offers its partners the logistical, technical and management knowledge they need, wherever they need it.

A flexible structure and global reach means that we can quickly respond to our partners’ needs, while offering the benefits of economies of scale.

UNOPS East Africa Hub

Located in Nairobi, Kenya, the East Africa Hub manages a growing portfolio of engagements, including associated strategic and operational risks. The East Africa sub-region currently consists of an established Operation Centre in South Sudan and a portfolio of engagements managed by the Kenya based East Africa Hub office. This includes primarily transactional projects in partnership with the Nairobi based UN Agencies UN-Habitat and UNEP, and multiple ‘operational’ projects in Somalia, Tanzania, Burundi, Uganda, Kenya and several island states.

Background Information – Job-specific

General Background on Project

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has funded a full sized project (the IWRM AIO SIDS project) to support 6 participating Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the Atlantic and Indian Oceans (namely, Cape Verde, Comoros, Maldives, Mauritius, Sao Tome & Principe, and Seychelles) through UNEP and UNDP to address issues related to the management of water resources, both freshwater and coastal marine areas in an integrated manner. Recognizing the urgent need for comprehensive Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) and improved Water Use Efficiency (WUE), the project seeks to accelerate progress on IWRM and WUE plans and water supply and sanitation development goals for the protection and utilization of groundwater and surface water in the participating countries. Component 1 of the project, implemented through UNDP, specifically supports the implementation of IWRM/WUE demonstration activities in each participating country to address priority issues with potential for replication across the national and the region levels and in other SIDS regions.

The overall objective of the IWRM AIO SIDS project is to strengthen the capacity of the participating countries to implement an integrated approach to the management of freshwater resources, with a long-term goal of enhancement of the capacity of the countries to plan and manage their aquatic resources and ecosystems on a sustainable basis. The project recognizes the highly integrated and closely interlinked nature of fresh surface and groundwater resources and coastal areas in small islands and aims to develop a more coordinated multi-sectorial management approach, both at the national and the regional level, with a strong emphasis on an expanded role for all stakeholders within a participatory management framework.

This consultancy is to provide support to the Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities (MEPU) in developing Water Act.  

The management of water resources and water use in Mauritius is governed by several legislation, one of them even dates back to over 100 years. The main legislation are as follows –

  • Central Water Authority Act 1971, which deals with the supply and distribution of potable water ;
  • Rivers and Canals Act 1863, which deals with the use of water from rivers, management of rivers and canals and the  protection of river water;
  •  Groundwater Act 1970, which caters for the management of aquifers includes licensing                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             the
  •  Environment Protection Act (2002) which provides for protection of water resources from pollution.

The control of water quality is under the mandate of the Ministry of Health under the Public Health Act 1925. Other legislation which have some impact on water conservation and use are the Forest and Reserves Act 1984 and the Irrigation Authority Act 1979.

These pieces of legislation falling under the mandate  of different institutions have led to fragmentation of responsibility and accountability regarding the use and management of water resources and an uncoordinated approach to water policy and strategy.

The Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities has the responsibility for planning, development and management of water resources for the country through its Water Resources Unit. However, there is no legislative framework defining the role and responsibilities and the powers of the Ministry.

The existing laws do not reflect the economic developments that have taken place in Mauritius, the evolution in land use, the threats to water quality and the changing uses of water.  The water sector is facing numerous challenges – climate change, protection water quality, ensuring equitable use of water, developing additional water sources and supporting integrated water resource management.  With the development of smart cities and other economic projects,  a licensing system for private sector involvement in the supply of water requires consideration.

There is a need to consolidate and update the legislation and to provide a framework for the management of water resources and regulate the use of water in a consistent manner.

The Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities is therefore proposing to appoint a consultant to assist in the preparation of a draft Water Bill, which will take into account the requirements of the country and the development of the water sector in line with the National Water Policy. The Consultant will be hired by UNOPS on behalf of the Ministry.

Functional Responsibilities

The main functional responsibilities for  this consultancy is to prepare draft Water Bill for the Government of Mauritius taking into account the requirements of the country and the development of the water sector in line with the National Water Policy.

The following are the specific functional responsibilities:

  • To review the existing legislation including secondary legislation related to the water sector ;
  • Carry out consultations with relevant ministries and public institutions , private sector and other stakeholders;
  • Prepare a draft Water Bill which will cover, but will not be limited to the following areas  –

            (i)  Provide a general framework for the water sector ;
            (ii)  Promote integrated water resource management;
            (iii)  Define clearly the role, functions and powers of the Ministry ;
            (iv)  Provide for the licencing of water suppliers and water users;
             (v)   Protect water resources from pollution and other threats;
            (vi)  Define the principles for pricing of water, including raw water;
            (vii) Incorporate  national policies and long term objectives of the water sector; and
            (viii) Be in compliance with international conventions.

  • To elaborate all the documents necessary to discuss the draft with ministries, departments and other organizations involved in the coordination process;
  • To consider all views received and to finalize and submit the final draft of the Water Bill.
  • Good understanding of local governance issues including cross-sector coordination, participatory planning, transparency and accountability, social inclusion;
  • Experience in project planning, monitoring and reporting preferably in the water sector;
  • Good understanding of water and environmental management and related governance aspects;;
  • Proven ability to work with a wide range of actors including government, local organizations, private sector and other development partners particularly around participatory planning and capacity building;
  • Good documentation and presentation skills, good written and verbal communication skills in English;
  • Full computer literacy (MS Word, Excel, Power Point);
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, good team-player, result oriented personality, maintaining deadlines;
  • Experience with managing conflict situations and demonstrable negotiation skills will be an advantage;
  • Understanding of issues related to governance, gender mainstreaming and social inclusion, conflict sensitive program management.
  • Actively works towards continuing personal learning and development in one or more practice areas;
  • Strong Analytical skills;
  • Results based performance and client-oriented responses;
  • Consistency in approaches to work with energy and a positive, constructive and proactive attitude;
  • Demonstrated drive for continuous improvement and incorporation of lessons learned and best practices into business process routines;
  • Demonstration of professional behavior and personal ethics, transparency and openness to encourage respect and similar behavior from colleagues in the work place;
Skills required
  • Policy advocacy 
  • Policy research
  • Monitoring/Evaluation
  • Experience working with local governments 
  • Experience working with local governments 
  • Political Affairs 
  • Analytical Skills
  • Drafting legal documents

University Degree in Law, a postgraduate degree would be a strong advantage
  • Fluency in oral and written English is required
  • At least 10 years professional experience in practicing law including 5 years dealing with environmental law.
  • Sound experience in drafting legislation and legal analysis is required;
Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: International Individual Contractor Agreement
Contract level: International – ICA 3
Contract duration: 4 months

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link: 

Additional Considerations
  • Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time
  • Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
  • Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
  • Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
  • For staff positions only, UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
  • The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.  

It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns.
Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.