Atkins wins transboundary river management contract in Africa
17 June 2008, News release from Atkins
Atkins has been awarded a EUR1.4 million contract to help improve water management and environmental protection in the Orange-Senqu River Basin in southern Africa.
Funded by the European Development Fund (EDF), Atkins is the lead member of a consortium, which includes the South African companies Pegasys Strategy & Development and Water for Africa.
The Orange River (called the Senqu River in Lesotho) originates in the Lesotho Highlands and stretches 2,300 km through Lesotho and South Africa; it has (ephemeral, i.e. flowing only occasionally) tributaries in Botswana and Namibia and, in its lower reaches, forms the border between South Africa and Namibia. It is an important water source for the human population in all of these areas, and beyond through transfer schemes, it supports agriculture, industry and mining and is essential to the South African economy.
The six key result areas Atkins will be asked to deliver outputs within are:
· Development of a water resources management master plan for the Orange-Senqu River Basin;
· Development and implementation of water conservation and environmental strategies;
· Strengthening of basin management institutions and organisations;
· Enhancing and building of capacity for improved management of shared watercourses in all riparian states;
· Development of a shared information system that promotes a common understanding for decision-making, and;
· Improvement of the Orange-Senqu River Basin Commission's (ORASECOM) communication and awareness building processes.
Through delivering these initiatives it is envisaged that the project will help support the reduction in poverty and food insecurity in the region.
Atkins' project manager Eliot Taylor states "We are very pleased with this win. I've just returned from a very successful trip as part of the Inception Phase and the project is already taking shape nicely. Institutional strengthening and capacity building in the context of a transboundary river basin organisation such as ORASECOM are key and interesting technical areas for us. Additionally, the project is just one of five across Africa that the EU is funding as part of its "African Transboundary River Basin Support Programme" and winning this contract should hopefully position us as favourable contenders for the remaining four."
For the next three years, Atkins will work with the ORASECOM Secretariat based in Pretoria, South Africa. The Secretariat's responsibility is to implement decisions made by the Commission on improving sustainable management of the river basin.
For further information please email Atkins