Peri-Urban Mapping Exercise for the Water and Sewerage Authority, funded by the World Bank (1996). This study was done to assist WASA in its plans to extend its services into the fast growing peri-urban areas of Lesotho. The study looked at each of the socio-economic characteristics and water supply situations of the different neighbourhoods which make up the 16 urban areas of Lesotho. In the course of the study the neighbourhoods were identified and mapped using participatory methods. Workshops were held to identify people’s attitudes to various water supply options. Socio-economic data were gathered for each neighbourhood and transferred to the computerised (GIS) maps. A five-volume report was produced by the team of consultants under the supervision of David Hall.
Survey of all rural water supply systems in the ten districts of Lesotho, for Department of Rural Water Supply (DRWS), funded by Helvetas. This survey involved supervising five field teams who conducted a technical inspection of over 2,000 village water systems (serving over a million people). Data on the community management aspects of the project were also gathered. A data base was created for the Department of Rural Water Supply (DRWS) of the Ministry of Natural Resources and departmental staff were trained in its use. The Sechaba team, supervised by David Hall, was fully responsible for all activities and outputs.
Consensus Building for Peri-Urban Water Supplies (2003). The Consensus Building Exercise was a project managed entirely by Sechaba Consultants under the leadership of David Hall. This project fell under the Lesotho Water Sector Improvement Project (LWSIP) supported by the World Bank. LWSIP is assisting Lesotho in implementing its Water Resource and Management Policy (WRMP) which aims at improving the management capacity of those responsible for water resources and for improving access to water supply and sanitation services. The need for consensus building was seen to exist because of the “institutional gap” that developed between the various authorities responsible for the maintenance and operation of water services in fast-growing peri-urban areas of Maseru. These areas once fell under the jurisdiction of the Department of Rural Water Supply (DRWS), but have now became the responsibility of the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) that is mandated to serve all urban areas of the country. Unfortunately WASA has not had the resources to extend the piped network to these new neighbourhoods so people have had to continue using the rapidly deteriorating DRWS systems, or find alternatives. Sechaba Consultants was contracted to build consensus amongst all stakeholders on the best approaches to be used in providing water and sanitation peri-urban areas falling into the “institutional gap” described above. The methods used by the Consultants included awareness raising through the media, direct liaison with the key individuals heading the main water sector institutions and later with community leaders. The stakeholders were identified through discussions and workshop organised by the Consultants. While this process was underway the Consultants mapped the peri-urban area neighbourhoods and compiled an inventory of the various water resources using GIS technology.
A series of stakeholder workshops were held aimed at developing a vision of the ‘preferred situation’ and at defining the models, roles and responsibilities. In addition community workshops and focus group discussions were held at community level. Detailed deliberations and decision making was undertaken by a Steering Committee whose composition was agreed upon by the Second Stakeholder Workshop. The Consultant acted as a facilitator for the Steering Committee with all the recommendations for future interventions being those of the Committee rather than of the Consultant. The Steering Committee’s recommendations were presented to a Final Stakeholder Workshop that involved all stakeholders as well as community representatives from the five priority areas. Details of the recommended water systems were mapped using digitised line drawings of Maseru procured for the water sector by the office of the Commissioner of Water. The proposals were taken to the project concept level. The likely costs of the agreed systems were computed to a similar level. Finally an activity plan was drawn, again taking this to the level of project concept.
Undertaking this assignment required the Consultants to develop a thorough understanding of the legal and policy environment governing relations within the water sector. The Project was approved by the World Bank and is to be implemented under the on-going Water Sector Improvement Project.
Lesotho Lowlands Water Supply Scheme Feasibility Study (2003-2004). The objective of the Study was to examine the most feasible and viable ways of supplying the main towns and settlements of the Lesotho Lowlands with water to meet the demands expected in the year 2020, and at the same time identifying suitable water resources to meet longer term water demands to the year 2035. Sechaba Consultants worked very closely with the Parkman UK of Lesotho and other experts from South Africa.
Sechaba Consultants took a leading role in the Feasibility Study, being responsible for: Demography, Water Demand, Environmental and Social Impact Assessments and Consultation and Participation. Co-ordination of a multi-disciplinary team of experts was done by the Deputy Project Leader, Mr David Hall, over a period of 18 months.
The demographic task entailed the collection of all available demographic data on Lesotho in both written and electronic format. This was then entered into the Spectrum Model that was used to determine to HIV/AIDS-impacted growth rates for the country as a whole. Census data was used to determine the populations of all settlements over 2,500 in the Lowlands and a ‘Block Building Approach’ was developed to estimate the likely growth of these settlements over a 30 year period.
Estimates for water demand were based on a combination of demographic data and information collected from the Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC) on project industrial needs. Sechaba Consultants worked with Parkman to develop a demand model that produced low, medium and high demand scenarios, each of which considered variations in HIV/AIDS impact, the extent of industrial development and degree of water recycling.
Sechaba Consultants took full responsibility for assessing the likely environmental and social impacts of a large water scheme. As no clear project had been defined at the start of the feasibility study, this entailed publication of a document that provides background information on the typical impacts (both positive and negative) that are usually associated with large scale water supply schemes of different types. The document describes what is likely to happen to a river – and all the life forms that depend on it - when its natural flow is interrupted. It looks at how constructing a dam impacts not only the lives of the people living near the dam but also on those living downstream of it, or in other areas that the water may be transferred to through tunnels or pipelines. In short, the document explores how both nature and society are likely to be impacted by major water supply schemes.
The Consultation and Participation aspects of the Study, managed by Sechaba Consultants, entailed the organisation of series of stakeholder workshops involving a wide range of stakeholders from communities and institutions in Lesotho as well as the municipalities from neighbouring South Africa. An important feature of the process was the used of the Multi Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) tool. The MCDA process is formally structured and follows a procedure which requires agreement on a shortlist of alternatives being considered and then requires the establishment of agreed criteria for decision-making to which values and weights are attributed. The Sechaba team facilitated the MCDA workshops with representatives from the social, economic, environmental and technical teams. The workshops established the platform for the MCDA approach by assessing the alternative supply options under consideration and grouping these supply options in manageable sets.
Preparation of Funding Presentation and Proposal for the Ministry of Natural Resources for the Water Sector (2005). Working with Parkman, Sechaba assisted the Commissioner of Water’s Office prepare a presentation to be used in presenting the short and long-term needs of the water sector to interested parties, including major donor agencies. This entailed summarising the key role players, policies, programmes and projects of the water sector in succinct yet appealing manner for the purposes of fund-raising.
Water Sector Improvement Project Launch Workshop (2005). Sechaba took responsibility for facilitation, recording of proceedings and production of the report for this critical workshop involving all key water sector stakeholders.
Consumer Assessments (1996-2004). Sechaba has managed a series of consumer assessment that have looked specifically at issues of affordability (willingness and ability to pay) utility tariffs. The first of these was a Customer Survey carried out in 1996 for Lesotho’s Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA). The key objective of this was a detailed assessment of the willingness and ability of WASA customers to pay higher tariffs. Sechaba took overall responsibility for a survey of domestic and non-domestic customers. It designed the research instruments, trained and supervised research assistants and edited the final reports. This was followed by a similar study in 2003 done as part of the Water Sector Reform Social Impact Assessment, funded by the World Bank. This involved not only Maseru but a number of district town. Then in 2004 two further studies of this nature were done, one for the electricity sector (LEC) and one for the telecommunications regulator (LTA). Both of these involved large household surveys, GIS work, mapping of results and recommendations with regard to tariffs structures.
Development of Regional Policies and Protocols (2004-2006). Sechaba has been involved in a number of regional studies work relating to policy development in different the water sector. For example, it played an active role in a SADC review of progress in implementing the Protocols and Shared Watercourses. Working with a team from South Africa, Sechaba visited all SADC countries and met with top officials to determine the extent to which national legislation and policies had been brought in line with the Protocols. Sechaba then organised and facilitated a workshop in Maseru to compare results. The exercise helped to move all SADC countries to the ratification of revised protocols.
Currently, Sechaba is part of a four-nation exercise that will eventually result in the formulation of an Integrated River Basin Management Plan for the Orange River Basin. This is a complex exercise as it involves the facilitation of discussions and negotiations between Lesotho, South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. In addition to being responsible for the demographic, economic and environmental inputs Sechaba is also in charge of organising the workshops that bring together the Commissioners of Water (or their equivalents) from the four countries.
Writing of Funding Proposals for MCC (2006). Sechaba recently took responsibility for writing a funding proposal submitted to the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) for the Department of Rural Water Supply. The value of the proposal, which is still being negotiated, is US$30 million.
Evaluation of the Lesobeng Spring Protection Project, St James Hospital, funded by CEBEMO (1996). We conducted a participatory evaluation of this rural water supply project which is located in a very remote part of Lesotho. This included workshops, focus groups and in-depth interviews as well as technical inspection of all systems. The Hospital is responsible for the health care of many LHDA Phase 1B villages.
Putting people first