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LTS International provides specialised consulting services to the water sector through intelligent and innovative approaches that are grounded in extensive knowledge and practical understanding. Our research and development activities mean we can bring to the client state of the art responses and a broad professional practice. An obvious benefit of this approach is that we can catalyze innovative responses to complex interdisciplinary natural resource management challenges through a team based approach.

For example: good forestry practice brings major benefits to hydrology in the form of blue and green water, whilst at the same time sequestering carbon and conserving biodiversity. Those benefits are relevant to a very broad set of stakeholders and represent a form of optimising natural resource management.  Through developing the concept with stakeholders and supporting behaviours that shift from competitive to cooperative strategies, new and alternative scenarios of water resource use can be considered. These provide entry points to realise equitable utilisation and effective water sharing.

Much of LTS’ work on climate change and governance calls for integrated thinking across the disciplines, including water science.   Water security is a fundamental aspect of successful adaptation to climate change and our expertise in water resource management now means that we can address the challenge of adaptation based on a robust knowledge of operational and strategic water management in Africa.  Similarly, LTS’ work and experience on water governance in sub-Saharan Africa cross-fertilises our other work streams enhancing   our ability to advise, design, manage and evaluate effective and sustainable governance interventions

Nile Story
Last Updated: April 25th, 2014

The objectives of the Nile Story are:

  • To develop new ways to describe the results of the Nile programme in qualitative and quantitative terms at the programme and project levels, including the outcomes and impacts of the support.
  • To convey these results in a variety of communications products targeted at different audiences.

The consultancy researches and conveys the results of the Nile programme enabled by the NBTF, coordinates country and partner support, and packages the findings into a suite of communications materials, informally called the ‘Nile Story’. The work covers the years 1999 through June 2014.

The Nile Story captures systematically the breadth and depth of progress made by the Nile Basin countries on the development track in pursuit of their Shared Vision in both qualitative and quantitative terms.

Building transboundary cooperation is a long term process and Nile cooperation is still in early stages. The Nile story should make reference to some of the challenges experienced and those that that lie ahead. The Nile Story aims to be ‘people centered’, with a focus on what has changed among stakeholders, including changes in attitudes, behaviors, and actions on the ground.

LTS developed a suite of communications products to tell the story of the Nile Basin Initiative over its 15 year history. The products reviewed work already undertaken to capture the progress of the Nile countries, conducted new research and analysis of NBI and national level progress resulting from the Nile programme, and established a framework through which the results of the Nile programme can be conveyed.

The Nile Story publications are available here.

Implementation Service Provider for Catchment Management
Last Updated: April 3rd, 2014

The Shire River Basin is Malawi’s single most important water resource, supporting the country’s key economic sectors including food production, transport, energy, tourism, agriculture and fisheries. The Shire River Basin Management Program (SRBMP) aims to increase sustainable social, economic and environmental benefits by effectively and collaboratively planning, developing and managing the Shire River Basin’s natural resources.   LTS and consortium partners (Mott MacDonald and CDM) are implementing the first phase of the SRBMP by Malawi’s Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development. The World Bank financed project is being implemented to improve land and water management and protect and enhance the Shire River ecosystem, while providing livelihood benefits in target areas.

The programme is made up of three components – Shire basin planning, catchment management and water related infrastructure – and the consortium is responsible for the catchment management component. In order to achieve its objectives, LTS is assisting the Government:

  • develop institutional capacity for catchment planning and monitoring;
  • finance interventions identified in micro-catchment plans prepared under the above mentioned planning phase;
  • support demand and market driven income-generating activities, with special targeting of women, youth and landless groups, to gradually decrease dependency on low performance agriculture and unsustainable harvesting of forest products as sources of income.

This will aim to rehabilitate four catchments – Upper Lisungwi, Upper Wamkulumadzi, Kapichira Falls and Chingale – covering a combined area of approximately 133,000 ha. The consortium will develop methods to reduce soil erosion, utilise soil conservation methods and improve and diversify livelihoods.

LTS plays a central role in delivery of this decentralised capacity development programme:

  • Leading the process of sub-catchment assessment and planning with key stakeholders (e.g. VDCs).
  • Guiding and overseeing lower level micro-watershed planning, design and implementation of interventions with communities.
  • Being responsible for organising/delivering capacity development activities in these domains.
  • Leading the environmental assessment.
  • Contributing to the land and water resources assessment.
  • Preparing simple environmental plans for irrigation/agriculture works, with mitigation and monitoring programs and associated costs.
  • Ensuring that environmental considerations are integrated into micro-catchment plans.
  • Providing targeted training and technical support to individual farmers and/or clustered groups of farmers along product lines related to crop diversification, water management (including small-scale surface irrigation), conservation agriculture, and livestock production.
  • Contributing to land resources analysis.
  • Conducting non-agriculture-based value chain analysis.
  • Providing training and technical support to CIGs /communities in all technical, business and marketing matters related to establishing and operating small non-agriculture-based enterprises related to local natural resources (value-added processing activities, mushroom production, bee keeping, fish production, etc) and non-traditional enterprises such as small shops, trading, transport services, etc.

Based on the evolving plans and identified income-generating activities, LTS designs and implements sequentially a set of comprehensive capacity development programs, specifically targeted and tailored to the relevant categories and roles of project stakeholders: District; traditional leaders; common interest groups.  These include exposure visits to learn from other catchment management and rural livelihood experiences, and training activities to build capacity of institutions involved with project implementation.  The capacity building includes appropriate technical and fiduciary topics for training, including improved soil, land, and water management, bookkeeping, community procurement, M&E ledgers. Capacity development plans are prepared separately, with practical linkages with the catchment and micro-catchment plans.

Image credit: Brendan Howard

Planning for Resilience in East Africa through Policy, Adaptation, Research, and Economic Development
Last Updated: December 29th, 2013


The PREPARED programme is a five year, multi-organisation, comprehensive programme aimed at mainstreaming integrated, multi-sectoral, evidence-based, climate-resilient development planning and programme implementation into the EAC and its Partner States’ development agendas. The overall goal of PREPARED is to strengthen the resiliency and sustainability of East African economies, transboundary freshwater ecosystems, and communities, targeting three key development challenges that are likewise high priority areas for the US Government.

PREPARED has three integrated objectives:

  • Objective 1: Climate change adaptation technical capacity, policy leadership, and action readiness of regional institutions improved
  • Objective 2: Resilient and sustainable management of biologically significant transboundary freshwater ecosystems in the East African Community region strengthened;
  • Objective 3: Resilient and sustainable water supply, sanitation, and waste water treatment services in the Lake Victoria Basin enhanced

Under Objective 2, LTS Africa is working in concert with other PREPARED partners on activities related to biodiversity conservation.

LTS is leading Component 2 (Biodiversity Conservation) of this project (a $2 million component), using the regional knowledge of LTS Africa and decades of experience in transboundary biodiversity conservation in East Africa to provide targeted support by conducting key ecosystem and biodiversity assessments.

Environmental and Natural Resources Management Interventions in the Middle Shire River Basin
Last Updated: November 29th, 2013

The Shire Basin is the main source of Malawi’s electricity supply through the three hydro-electric power stations (HEP) located in the Middle Shire. Improving the reliability, quality and availability of this energy generation is central to any future economic development in Malawi and is a main aim of the MCC Compact with the Government of Malawi (GoM). Upstream environmental degradation within the Upper and Middle Shire River basin and increasing aquatic weed populations has an on-going detrimental impact on hydropower generation.

This Environmental and Natural Resource Management Interventions sub-activity of the MCA-M programme is aimed specifically at tackling these negative impacts which are principally caused by the environmental degradation of the catchments of the middle and upper Shire, and, in the case of the aquatic weed infestation, populations of invasive non-native species. In short, this consultancy assignment is to assess, prioritise and plan:

  • A set of land use management interventions for the middle Shire that will be delivered through a Trust mechanism and implemented by NGOs
  • A programme of biological control of aquatic weeds that reduces populations and aids existing and planned physical control mechanisms in the upper Shire to be implemented by the Department of Fisheries through the Trust mechanism.

LTS is providing the following services:

  • Overall management and administration of the environmental planning process
  • Stakeholder and gender analysis
  • Baseline assessment of social, economic and ecological drivers
  • Economic assessment of the ecosystem
  • GIS mapping and spatial analysis
  • Biological control of invasive species
  • Hydrological modelling
  • Community based natural resources management
  • Climate and vulnerability risk assessment

Image Credit: David Davies

Design of the Community Development Trust Fund Climate Change Programme
Last Updated: January 21st, 2013

CDTF is currently implementing projects under Fast Start Climate change funded by Danida at the tune of $40 million. Under this stream of funds, CDTF provides support to community based projects on sustainable natural resource management. Through this facility, community led initiatives in areas of soil and water conservation, renewable energy, watershed management, water and sanitation, waste management and nature based enterprises are established through a competitive bidding process.

LTS has been responsible for the technical design and formulation of a new thematic “climate change” call for proposals and its guidelines for implementation. Under this call for proposals there is a deliberate effort to select projects that address climate change issues and those that promote alternative rural renewable energy saving technologies. Concepts that addressed aspects of climate change/renewable energy with a focus of 60% and above will be selected aimed at participating in the carbon market via the REDD+ initiatives. LTS also provided overall recommendations on the most feasible, viable and cost effective online call for proposal process.

Image credit: Wajahat Mahmood

Integrated Flood Risk Management Plan for the Shire Basin
Last Updated: May 15th, 2012

LTS was contracted by the World Bank, in collaboration with Atkins, to formulate an Integrated Flood Risk Management Plan for the Shire Basin. The main objective of this project was to assist the Government of Malawi in the development of an Action Plan to address the flood risk situation in the Lower Shire in an integrated way, based on sound diagnostics and systems to assess and implement future interventions. The specific objectives were to:

  • develop and implement a fully functioning modelling framework for the lower Shire
  • scope and design a flood forecasting and early warning system
  • develop an Action Plan implementation plan
  • produce an Institutional Capacity Development Plan

LTS worked with Atkins to:

  • review the institutional set up and outline institutional capacity assessment
  • produce a holistic and sustainable watershed management plan that would involve the local communities as much as possible
  • provide overall management of GIS data for project
  • establish the project GIS database
  • gather and review all GIS data for the project
  • provide input to hydrological and hydraulic model and economics assessments
Integrated Assessment of Land Use Options
Last Updated: May 15th, 2011

The government of Malawi with support from its cooperating partners intends to undertake a comprehensive program to address Climate Change issues in its development agenda. To this effect the government has embarked in the definition of its National Program for Managing Climate Change in Malawi (CCP). The goal of the formulation phase is “to develop an evidence-based strategic framework, national program and funded Phase I implementation plan for managing response to climate change in Malawi.” This formulation phase will focus on: (i) institution building, (ii) climate risk and adaptation assessments, and (iii) definition of strategic/ programmatic investment analyses and interventions, both for mitigation and adaptation.

The objective of this consultancy is to strengthen integrated land use planning in response to the challenges and opportunities presented by Climate Change by systematically exploring land use management options for climate financing in Malawi to deliver both climate (adaptation/mitigation) as well as development (e.g. environmental, economic, social) co-benefits. The outputs will cluster around two areas: (i) technical assessment of land use management options in the face of climate change to inform carbon finance investments and sustainable land use management, and (ii) supporting a government-led process for the preparation of key watershed investments based on land and climate management priorities and opportunities, which should help to inform, prioritize and coordinate future catchment management investments, including those to be made under on-going or planned investments such as future phases of the Shire River Basin Management Program.

LTS provided the following services:

  • Collation of material to produce a knowledge base for Land Use Management Analysis
  • Development of an Analytical Framework for this Integrated Assessment
  • Establishment of a baseline and preparation of potential future environmental, climate and land use scenarios
  • Biophysical and economic analysis of alternative scenarios
  • Consultation with and Capacity-building of Key Stakeholders
  • Prioritisation of watersheds and identification of Key Potential Land Use Management Investments.
  • Design of portfolio of potential land use management investments for climate change mitigation and adaptation.
  • Preparation of a land use management Investment Plan for 5 priority watersheds in the country.
  • Preparation of online database available via National Climate Change Programme Website, including an interactive PDF allowing users to produce their own maps offline.
  • Main techniques used were:
  • Integrated land use and climate change impact modeling
  • Cost benefit analysis of existing spatial and agronomic data; field surveys to enhance understanding of household level economics and constraints; review of existing data on ecosystem services.
  • Carbon finance portfolio assessment through local and national consultations; institutions and platforms for stimulating supply of certified emissions reductions (CERs), linking buyers to sellers of CERs.
  • Watershed planning

The project’s online data store and interactive maps can be accessed here.

Kagera River Basin: Feasibility Study for an Integrated Watershed Management Programme
Last Updated: May 15th, 2011

The Kagera basin covers approximately 60,000 square km covering portions of the four countries of Burundi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda with an estimated to have a population of nearly 15 million people. The Kagera basin experiences degradation of its water resources quantity and quality as a result of inter alia over-abstraction of surface water in some regions; unsustainable land use management practices; soil erosion; encroachment on river riparian lands and wetlands; increased sediment loads and siltation of water courses. The project objective was to establish a sustainable framework for the joint management through the Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Program (NELSAP) of water resources of the Kagera river basin and prepare for sustainable development oriented investments, in order to improve the living conditions of the people and to protect the environment. The Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) received financing through the World Bank Nile Basin Trust Fund and part of the proceeds are devoted to promote investment opportunities in the Kagera River Basin. The feasibility study for an Integrated Watershed Management Program for the Kagera Basin will contribute to addressing catchment degradation issues and optimal and sustainable integrated use of natural resources of the watersheds.

The Kagera Trans-boundary Integrated Water Resource Management and Development Project designed by LTS is a five year investment programme built upon 25 subprojects together with support packages covering programme management, coordination, capacity building and policy development. The total financial cost of the KIWMP over five years is US$ 614.72 million.

Water Supply and Sanitation Sector Reform Programme
Last Updated: May 15th, 2011

The WSSSRP was a continuation of the EC support to Water Law in Nigeria with a total budget of Euro 119.63 million (EC, Federal Govt Nigeria, Unicef). The project provided broad interventions across four fronts to achieve improved water supply and sanitation under an entirely new policy and institutional framework and water sector reform, resulting in improved decentralised delivery of services. The project worked with 39 Local Government Authorities in 6 States to benefit 3 million people from 1,400 rural communities and 60 small towns. LTS expert input was concerned with advising and ensuring that policy and law developed at the State level was harmonised with Federal Water Law. The Federal Water Law was concerned with new forms of decentralised administration and management of water including river basin commissions as well as privatised management of infrastructure. Consequently the law now being developed at the State level must provide the appropriate legal basis for these new institutional arrangements and forms of management and these must be compliant with the national constitution.

Environment and Natural Resources Management Action Plan in the Upper Shire River Basin
Last Updated: May 15th, 2010

Being the single most important water catchment in Malawi, the Shire Basin (inclusive of Lake Malawi) is a natural asset of national importance. Through a range of ecological services the Shire Basin supports key economic sectors in Malawi and further downstream, including food production, transport, energy, tourism, agriculture, fisheries and industries. In order to maintain the vital role of the Shire Basin in contributing to the health and prosperity of Malawi, the Government of Malawi and cooperating partners decided to develop a long-term Environment and Natural Resources Management Action Plan (ENRMAP) which provides a sustainable solution to managing the basin and upper catchments. LTS prepared a comprehensive ENRMAP for the Malombe East and Malombe West catchments based on an integrated ecosystem services approach that considered the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of land use and resource management problems in the Upper Shire with the primary objective of identifying and prioritising specific interventions to promote more sustainable land use practices.

Service areas:
climate change