Review and Finalization of the National Water Policy and Strategy Consultancy

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Mbabane, , SZ


Swaziland’s small open, agro-based economy is highly dependent on the water sector for sustainable economic growth. Located in the Southern part of Africa and sitting on 17,363 km2 with a population of 1,018, 449, the country is characterized as a ‘middle income country’ however, demonstrates socio-economic indicators from least developed countries. The low economic growth (between 2% to 2.8%) depends on key sectors namely, construction, tourism, mining and financial services, and rain-fed agriculture and therefore remains vulnerable to exogenous global and regional shocks and climate related risks affecting water availability. There are five major river systems (Inkomati, Mlumati, Lusutfu, Ngwavuma and Imbuluzi) in the country, transboundary in nature, shared with neighbouring South Africa and Mozambique. Precipitation varies considerably from year to year, ranging between 1,500 mm in the Highveld to 500 mm in the southern Lowveld per annum, demonstrated through periods of flash flooding or drought. Envelopes of downscaled rainfall projections across the various models imply possible contraction in the rainy season, and longer drought periods with intense flash floods indicating increased climate risks impacts for the country.

The national water policy development process commenced in 2000 through stakeholder consultation, including discussions with traditional leaders, leading to production of a draft document. The draft policy document envisaged a vision for water resources management in the country through provision of strategies for adoption by the various sectors in light of the aspirations of the National Development Strategy (NDS), Vision 2022. The national Vision provides that water has to play a critical role in the attainment of the following objectives: Social Equity; Food Security; Peace and Stability; Energy Security; Safety from Water Related Disasters; Environmental Sustainability; Improved Tourism and Recreational Activities; and, Industrial Development. The national policy guideline was however not approved by the Government of Swaziland and several key developments have been endorsed globally, regionally  at  national level namely:  the adoption of the SDGs in 2015, development of the SADC Regional Water Policy and Strategy in 2006 and development of the National Water Act in 2003, National Climate Change Strategy and Action Plan, 2014-18 and National Climate Change Policy in 2016 as well as the development and review of the Integrated Water Master Plan in 2011.

The National Water Act 2003 facilitated the establishment of water resources management structures such as the National Water Authority and the River Basin Authorities (RBA). This management arrangement was to enable national capacities for development of appropriate policies and regulatory frameworks, build the necessary capacities for integrated water resources, ecosystem and communal rangeland management, enable incentivised water efficiencies and adoption of climate smart technologies as well as build the appropriate water management infrastructure. Transboundary entities and agreements have been entered into with neighbouring South Africa and Mozambique mainly to ensure national water security for national investments for the sugar industry which accounts for 21% of the GDP.

The recent 2014/15 El Nino-induced drought resulted to food insecurity due to decreased crop production (68%) leading to food aid distribution for 26% of the just over one million population, and intense water rationing in urban areas for the Kingdom of Swaziland requiring policy injection to facilitate the adoption of strategic options for increased integrated water resources management.

In this regard, the MNRE DWA intends to review and finalize the draft National Water Policy and Strategy.


The Government of Swaziland, through the Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy (MNRE) Department of Water Affairs (DWA) seeks the services of an International Consultant to consult national stakeholders, review and finalise the National Water Policy. The aim of the assignment is to review and finalize the National Water Policy, Strategy and Action Plan to guide integrated water resources management leading to enabling water sector approach and review of inter-linked legislation, ensuring building of the necessary capacities and infrastructure and enabling community best practices in light of the climate related risks.

Duties and Responsibilities

Guided by the Director of the Department of Water Affairs and working with different stakeholders from various water using sectors the tasks for the consultancy will entail:

  • Review of related international, regional and national instrument and policies with their related strategies to guide the formulation of a comprehensive National Water Policy and Strategy;
  • Conduct desktop situational analysis for an Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) and multi-sectoral approach in the collating of information to inform the National Water Policy and Strategy;
  • Identify and consult the various key stakeholders to gather their inputs into the National Water Policy and Strategy document;
  • Conduct stakeholder discussions and workshops to solicit further inputs on the formulation of the National Water Policy document addressing key focal areas: Institutional Arrangements; Water Resources and Infrastructure Development; Water Resources Management; Water Resources Information Management; Water Supply and Sanitation service provision; Legal Regulatory Instruments of Good Practice; Capacity Building, Research and Training; and Awareness Creation and Stakeholder Participation; and
  • Draft a comprehensive National Water Policy and Strategy for approval by the Government of Swaziland.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, technical information in complex situations to various stakeholders.
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively as a member of a team to produce quality outputs in a timely manner.
  • Skills in negotiating effectively in sensitive situations.
  • Skills in achieving results through persuading, influencing and working with others.
  • Skills in facilitating meetings effectively and efficiently, and to reach consensus among stakeholders from various sectors using participatory processes.
  • Fluent in spoken and written English, and should have the ability to write analytically, clearly and concise technical reports.
Required Skills and Experience


  • Master’s Degree in Integrated Water Resource Management, Environmental Law, climate change, natural resources management;
  • A qualification at PhD level will be an added advantage.


  • At least 10 years of experience in the area of policy drafting;
  • Of which, at least five (5) years of experience working in the water sector;
  • Must be familiar with the Swaziland and Regional water sector;
  • Past proven experience with national development frameworks and legislative framework.


  • Fluent in spoken and written English.

Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.