Water and Society – Institutional Capacity Building in Water Management and Climate Change Adaptation in the Nile Basin

Contributing to societal resilience to climate change and water insecurity through strengthened education and research on water and society.

Project title: Water and Society (WaSo-Africa) –Water Management and Climate Change Adaptation in the Nile Basin.


The overall population in the Nile Basin countries will have increased ten-fold from 1950 to 2050 reaching more than 860 million, of which more than 50% will live in the basin area solely dependent upon the Nile’s resources. The river Nile is also a source for cooperation and conflict. The dramatic population increase will put more emphasis and pressure on the Nile eco-system as a critical resource for socio-economic livelihoods and geo-political considerations. Climate change will, in addition, exacerbate the situation. There is therefore a strong need to build institutional capacity within the Nile Basin to teach, supervise and do policy and livelihoods relevant research on water, society and climate change adaptation within a framework of joint, peaceful academic cooperation to improve development and stability in the region.

A holistic approach to climate change adaptation and mitigation research

Makerere University, will in cooperation with three regional universities; University of Nairobi, University of Juba, and Addis Ababa University, and with Telemark University College, University of Bergen and the University of Life Sciences in Norway, join different disciplines from meteorology to humanities and social science to take a holistic and gender sensitive approach to climate change with special reference to water and society. The project aims to strengthen capacity among the institutions in Africa to teach, research and supervise students on water and climate issues. Master and PhD courses on water and society will be reviewed and strengthened with climate change and gender perspectives. Staff fellows at the institutions in the south will exchange to partner universities in the region to benefit from each institutions strong competence within their field.

Cooperation and synergies with the NBRP and WaSo-Asia

The project will engage in close cooperation with the Nile Basin Research Program on research and capacity building activities. The project will be implemented in close collaboration with the WaSo- sister project in Asia (WaSo-Asia), also supported by NORHED, and the aim is to share experiences in solving common challenges within and unique comparative studies between the two South- South continents.

Key goals and achievements

Overall goal

Build supervisory and Graduate/Post-Graduate programme content capacity at participating institutions within water and society (climate change) related disciplines.  The objectives of the project are:

  1. Education: More and better qualified graduates relevant to needs of the country/region; Increased capacity to deliver high quality education in priority disciplines and regional/international collaboration in education strengthened.
  2. Research: More and better research relevant to country/region; Increased capacity to deliver relevant and high quality research and regional/international collaboration in PhD and research increased and improved.
  3. Institutional development: Appropriate infrastructures, policies and systems to ensure sustainable capacity to educate and research; Institutuional policies in place to ensure gender balance and anti-discrimination, and retention of staff; Administrative and financial systems up to date and adequate.
Published 24.06.2013
Last updated 16.02.2015

Total budget

2013-2018: 18 million NOK

Contact persons for the project:

  • Edward Kirumira, Principal, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Makerere University,
    e-mail: edkirumira@gmail.com
  • Professor Tore Sætersdal, Assistant Director UiB Global, University of Bergen,
    e-mail: Tore.Satersdal@adm.uib.no