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Relevant drought and water policies and strategies Drought policies and strategies Policies and strategies provide the framework and guidance to support the implementation of best management practices and suitable interventions.
For several years, the countries of the Limpopo River Basin and all of the SADC have been striving to find appropriate policies and strategies to address drought-related issues.
This section provides an overview of some of the drought- related strategies, legislation and policies relevant in the four countries of the Limpopo River Basin, as well as the more general policy and strategy developments within the SADC.
Although the focus is on drought and water policies, it is recognized that many national and regional policies have drought-related components, such as agriculture, livestock, land, natural resources, rural development, and poverty alleviation.
A complete review of the many drought-related policies and strategies cannot be realized within the limits of this situation analysis. Furthermore, it is recognized that there are many ministries and projects ongoing that address various aspects of drought that are not presented in this report.
It is important to establish the linkages with these other policies and strategies in order to facilitate risk reduction and reduce the impacts of drought and climate variability.
For example, the SADC regional policy for livestock recognizes the linkages between the livestock sector and the other priority development sectors, such as human resources development, agricultural research, wildlife-livestock disease interactions, crop- livestock interactions, and industry and trade.
On becoming members of the SADC, each country signed a legally binding treaty through which all member countries agreed to coordinate, harmonize and rationalize their policies and strategies for sustainable development in all areas. The report on this seminar recognized that drought in southern Africa is a normal and recurring event, and it called for long-term action in: For a long time, the emphasis of drought strategies in the region has been on short-term mitigation measures rather than on long-term prevention programmes.
In recent years, new policies have been emerging in which preparedness, rehabilitation, prevention and planning are the key elements.
Current drought management strategies are attempting to treat drought as a potentially serious disaster, and to integrate it into programme management cycles aimed at mitigation and prevention. Along with the acceptance that drought is a normal and recurrent phenomenon, new policies tend to transfer the responsibility for dealing with the impacts of drought more onto the farmer or the user of the land.
New strategies are designed to ensure that drought relief assistance and programmes to support farmers are consistent with existing livelihood strategies and market development policies. This may require redefining drought relief programmes, for example, designing market-based approaches using vouchers or cash to replace food and farm input handouts as a means of ensuring food security without distorting the market SADC, Compatibility between short-term and long-term development is an important element in the new policies, in which alternative ways of supporting farmers are recommended that will reduce their vulnerability to drought in the longer term.
Long-term development programmes should be better integrated into drought relief measures, e. These may be accelerated during drought in the form of food or cash for work programmes. Most SADC countries are developing explicit legal frameworks for drought management, treating drought as a recurrent phenomenon that should be included in the normal planning process of development.
The countries have also recognized the need to coordinate actions on regional issues that are common to them, such as water. However, many of these policies and legal frameworks are fragmented, and implementation plans and decision-making levels are often not well defined.
Most countries have high-level institutions to provide a framework for coordination and implementation. New policies tend to promote the creation of new independent drought institutions and funds, which are yet to be established.
There seems to be some contradiction between the efforts of further institutionalization of drought and the newly accepted principle of increased farmer responsibility to cope with drought. Relevant strategic progress achieved by the SADC countries includes the following areas: The SADC has stated that reducing long-term vulnerability to drought will require a fundamental shift in government approaches, especially towards a multidisciplinary approach in: Progress in technology development has been limited.
Practices relating to water use, food and nutrition, seed production, energy production, etc. Although considerable progress has been achieved in poverty alleviation and policy development, there is still a lack of government capacity to achieve these goals.
For example, policies that need refinement to create an enabling environment include those that support sustainable management of natural resources including land and water SADC, Some of the most relevant objectives related to institutional arrangements discussed in the SADC strategy are: Earlier strategy formulations have already recognized most of these objectives.
The new SADC policy does not offer many practical suggestions on how other overall objectives related to drought prevention could be achieved. There is an objective related to management of water resources, but none to land resources.
However, conditions during drought may have a serious impact on land through erosion and land degradation. Enhanced management of existing water resources includes activities such as dam building, borehole construction, promotion of more efficient irrigation systems, pollution control, revision of water rights, and promotion of water harvesting.Reports to the Legislature.
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