International Water Stewardship Programme (IWaSP)

Project description

Title: African Water Stewardship Initiative (AWSI)/ International Water Stewardship Programme (IWaSP)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Grenada, Kenya, Pakistan, Saint Lucia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia
Lead executing agency: Grenada: Ministry of Agriculture, Lands, Forestry and Fisheries; Kenya: Ministry of Water and Irrigation; Pakistan: Ministry of Textile Industry; Saint Lucia: Caribbean Community and Common Market (CARICOM); South Africa: Department of Water Affairs; Tanzania: Ministry of Water; Uganda: Ministry of Water and Environment; Zambia: Ministry of Energy and Water Development
Overall term: 2013 to 2019


The global demand for water, which is indispensable not only for countless economic processes, is increasing rapidly. With a rapidly growing population and steady economic growth, the demand for water is increasingly exceeding the amount available. In 2030, almost half the people in the world are likely to live in regions suffering from water stress due to the impacts of climate change. Effective approaches are needed to get all stakeholders involved, especially the representatives of the private sector, and enable them to work together to identify and implement measures to reduce water risks.


Public-sector, private-sector and civil society actors are contributing more to achieve water security, particularly in the context of climate change. By the end of 2018, more than one million people will benefit from improved water security.


Water stewardship means that all water users take responsibility for their own influence on a common water resource and collaborate in its sustainable management. This reflects the understanding that water problems cannot be solved by individual stakeholders acting alone, but can only be addressed through coordinated collective action.

The International Water Stewardship Programme (IWaSP) was launched at the Bonn2011 Nexus conference. It is a multi-donor programme, planned for a duration of six-year and being implemented by GIZ, which coordinates the programme and ensures central monitoring, while also acting as the contact point between bilateral and regional partners. IWaSP carries out projects using an approach known as the Water Risk and Action Framework, which provides methodological guidance and practical examples to multilateral partnerships, enabling them to improve water security. In cooperation with partners from the public sector, private sector and civil society, the programme identifies, develops and implements measures to reduce shared water risks. The private sector contributes financially to the implementation of projects.

The  programme acts as an intermediary, building a basis of trust between the stakeholders and improving the conditions for successful cooperation. In the nine countries currently active in the programme, the measures are implemented in close cooperation with the bilateral and regional projects of German development cooperation. In addition, the Department for International Development (DFID) of the UK contributes funding for the programme.

Results achieved so far

To date, the International Water Stewardship Programme has cooperated with 33 companies in 21 triangular partnerships. These companies include Coca-Cola, Total, SAB Miller (now part of AbinBev) Marks and Spencer’s, Heineken, Kinyara Sugar and Olam, as well as national enterprises such as Woolworths South Africa, the South African Insurance firm Santam, and Sasol.

Through its advisory services, the programme has convinced the private-sector partners to provide materials, equipment and financing worth over EUR 2.3 million, while their public sector counterparts have made available more than EUR 1.3 million.

To date, more than 300,000 people have benefited directly from the activities of the programme. Those activities vary according to the different water risks facing the respective partnerships. In one example, IWaSP cooperates with cut-flower farmers of Kenya and their European traders, as well as public institutions, water user associations and the people living around Lake Naivasha. The projects undertaken here are designed, among other things, to create sustainable employment, strengthen state controls over water consumption, improve land management, establish protected areas and reduce water pollution. The collective commitments are benefiting smallholder farmers, residents and local companies.