The case studies
Two transboundary pilot case studies in two rapidly growing African regions will be considered. These are the Zambezi and the Omo River basins. The Zambezi River is the longest east flowing river in Africa and flows from Zambia through DR Congo, Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, and Tanzania. Four large hydropower dams (Kariba, Cahora Bassa, Itezhi-Tezhi and Kafue Gorges) are operational since the 1970s, and have produced negative ecologic effects, which are now being seen. In addition, the demand for WEF resources is expected to grow in this region, putting more pressure on these resources and potentially impacting local people. The Omo River flows from Ethiopia to Kenya and is being heavily dammed for hydropower production, with potentially serious consequences for the environment and the local people who rely on the river for their livelihoods or highly positive implications for the livelihood of the people and the natural ecosystem there depending on where they are located in the basin. Both transboundary basins riparian countries are characterised by fast growth and by an increasing demand for energy and food, which can lead to significant impact on the socio-economic structure and on the environment.
Existing and planned infrastructures – dams and irrigated agriculture – contribute significantly to impacts on societal developments, on economy and on ecosystems. Despite these similarities, the two case studies differ in the way they manage the WEF resources. The Zambezi River basin represents a generally established context, where the major infrastructures have been in operation since decades and there have been a number of initiatives for introducing cooperative strategies at the river basin scale. On the contrary, large infrastructures are still under construction in the Omo River basin, thus increasing the political and institutional tensions as well as the need for finding negotiated agreements on sustainable strategies. In this respect, the Zambezi and the Omo Rivers can be considered exemplary case studies, and the know-how, ca- pacities, and tools generated by DAFNE are expected to be transferable to other African countries through careful documentation and dissemination and will be useful in both well established and under development contexts.