Water Specialist at MCA Lesotho II


Water Specialist – Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) Lesotho II

About MCA

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is a U.S. government corporation focused on assisting countries dedicated to good governance, economic freedom, and investing in people. In May 2022, MCC signed a five-year agreement (“Compact”) with the Government of Lesotho (GoL) aimed at poverty reduction through inclusive and sustainable economic growth in the country.

The Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) – Lesotho II, is an entity established by the Government to act as the accountable entity to implement the Compact, with the authority to bind the Government with regard to all program activities.

Lesotho Compact

The Lesotho Health and Horticulture Compact aims to benefit 2.5 million people by growing, strengthening, and organizing the private sector in Lesotho and improving the government’s coordination to deliver critical services necessary to support private sector development.

It will achieve this goal through investments in Health System Strengthening (HSS), strengthening of the business environment, and Market Driven Irrigated Horticulture (MDIH), providing sustainable income for smallholders and increasing climate resilience by replacing rain-fed subsistence farming with irrigated commercial horticulture in select locations.

The GoL is committed to passing several key reforms that will help make this compact successful, including reforms that address gender equality, working conditions and worker safety, as well as land and water rights. All of the Compact’s projects focus on overcoming barriers to the economic inclusion of women, youth, and the rural poor.

Market-Driven Irrigated Horticulture (MDIH) Project

The MDIH Project’s objective is to increase rural incomes related to commercial agriculture, including for women, youth, and the rural poor, and establish a sustainable and inclusive model of irrigation, water resource, and land management. The project provides extensive technical assistance and investments in institutional reforms and capacity building of both the GoL and beneficiaries of the project’s investment in irrigation infrastructure to develop a successful and sustainable horticulture industry. The budget for this project is $118 million.

Position Objective

The Specialist, Water (MDIH) will be responsible for support to implementing the Water Reforms Activity within the Market Driven Irrigated Horticulture (MDIH) Project. This role involves an oversight of the developing and implementation for water and irrigation management reforms, including support to the review of water resources law and associated regulation. The Specialist will support the design, implementation and operations and maintenance of irrigation infrastructure, and establishment and training of Agricultural Land and Water Organizations (ALWO) responsible for managing the irrigation infrastructure.  Additionally, the Specialist will support the water resources technical assistance to government including the efforts in training and capacity building of water and irrigation sectors of effective water resources management.

Key Responsibilities

  • Conduct review and analyze hydrological, hydrogeological, and geophysical studies for project planning purposes and provide technical advice on related water use efficiency and irrigation interventions proposed under the MDIH Project
  • Contribute to the design, implementation and commissioning of irrigation infrastructure at the four proposed project sites as needed.
  • Support preparation and implementation of national and local level water reforms including policy, legal, regulatory and administrative frameworks and tools in line with best international practices in water resources planning and management, including enactment of Water Act, Irrigation Policy and the proposed Irrigation Act.
  • Support MCA-Lesotho II technical assistance projects to the Ministry of Natural Resources entities including the water resources planning and management capacity strengthening for dam safety approach, and regulations for the Department of Water and Commissioner of Water.
  • Foster coordination and collaboration with stakeholders on issues related to water resources management including Integrated Catchment Management (ICM) or Watershed Management Plans (WMP), Water and Sanitation (WASH) and climate change mitigation and adaption projects.
  • Support institutional strengthening of irrigation sector through ensuring integration of water resources management and climate change issues to ensure sustainability of operation and maintenance of irrigation schemes including the MDIH Project.
  •  Partake in identification of issues, aspects, risks and impacts emanating from establishment of the proposed irrigation schemes, in accordance with Lesotho and MCC policies and guidelines.
  • Coordinate with the Gender and Social Inclusion team to ensure integration and alignment of gender and social requirements for the Compact in water resources planning and management, in accordance with Lesotho and MCC policies and guidelines.
  • Contribute in providing strategies for training and capacity-building support to Agriculture and Water Organizations (ALWOs) to enhance their understanding of water governance principles, rights, and responsibilities.
  • Collect and management georeferenced water data, produce required status updates, routine monitoring reports and timely communications to the Activity Manager Water Reforms highlighting key implementation issues and opportunities.
  • Assist in the preparation of the progress reports for the MCA Management, MCC and Government of Lesotho and other Stakeholders.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in water resources management, environmental science, agricultural engineering, or related field;
  • Minimum of Seven (7) years of experience in water resource management, with a focus on infrastructure construction, operations and maintenance;
  • Demonstrated experience in project management, including planning, implementation, and monitoring of water reform initiatives;
  • A minimum of two (2) years’ experience collecting and manipulating data using Geographic Information Systems (GIS);
  • Experience in environmental, social and gender integration requirements;

Skills and Competencies

  • Knowledge of water policy, regulations, and governance frameworks relevant to Lesotho’s agricultural sector;
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to effectively engage with diverse stakeholders, including government officials, community leaders, and technical experts;
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite and other relevant software applications for data analysis and reporting;
  • Proficiency in English required; proficiency in Sesotho preferred; and
  • Have excellent driving skills

How to apply

Complete applications must be submitted online, on or before Friday June 14th, 2024.

Applications should be accompanied by the following documents:

  1. Curriculum vitae containing detailed work experience;
  2. Cover letter confirming interest and availability;
  3. Soft copies of higher education and professional certificates (if available);
  4. A completed online application form (can be accessed from https://lesotho-jobs.tenderwell.app   – CV Template MCA Lesotho II)

Only applications that are submitted on or before the deadline will be considered.

We thank all applicants for their interest; however, only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Submit your application online via: https://lesotho-jobs.tenderwell.app – Hard copy applications will not be considered.