Southern African River Assessment Scheme: establishment of a capacity-building research framework to promote river health and biodiversity in tropical southern Africa

This project aimed to establishment a capacity building research framework to promote river health and biodiversity in Southern Africa. It had multiple partners and stakeholders, led by the University of Glashow in the United Kingdom. The project developed rapid assessment protocols for use in Zambian rivers and provide training to help ensure future uptake and development of the protocols. Over 200 sites were sampled across most of Zambia and biotic components included diatoms, aquatic macroinvertebrates and macrophytes. Preliminary rapid biomonitoring protocols developed for macrophytes (ZMTR), Macroinvertebrates (ZISS), and diatoms (ZDTR). Data indicate that Zambian rivers are generally in good health; but potential future pressures exist. Identification guides have been produced and training courses delivered to allow implementation of biomonitoring in future years. This biomonitoring will be useful to understand changes as a result of anthropogenic pressures. Ongoing work is now being led forward (2012 onwards) by Zambian stakeholders at university research and agency level to further develop protocols and identify impacted sites.





Project Leader
Helen Dallas (for FRC / UCT)