Namibia Tackles Water Scarcity During SADC
By Wallace Mawire, Windhoek, Namibia.
The 7th SADC multi-stakeholder water dialogue opened in Windhoek, Namibia on 29 to 30 September 2015 with the country’s Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Theo Diergaarat, applauding the SADC region’s road map and strategy as a major milestone which will enable the country and the rest of the region accelerate economic growth, diversity while broadening their manufacturing and industrial base.
The road map and strategy for the SADC region which has since been developed and launched in June 2015 following a directive from Heads of States and governments during their summit in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe in
2014 seeks to drive industrialisation as a way of promoting socio-economic growth and value addition in the region.
“Water cuts across all sectors of our economy and is not a one man business as it requires all sectors to work together in a nexus approach. We acknowledge the efforts made by GWP-SA together with the SADC secretariat
water division who singled out Namibia to be the host for the water dialogue,” Diergaarat said.
Assistance has also been received from the Desert Research Foundation of Namibia (DRFN) as the secretariat for Namibia Water Partnership and support staff from the Namibian Agriculture ministry, according to Diergaarat. He also added that Namibia like most African water scarce countries is looking to take advantage of cooperation in international shared water resources so as to miximise the benefits derived from the resources for industrial development.
According to Phera Ramoeli, Senior Programme Officer: Transboundary Water at the SADC Secretariat, the multi-stakeholder water dialogue is a bi-annual activity which originated through the Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) awareness creation component of the SADC-DANIDA Regional Water Sector Programme in the SADC Regional Strategic Action Plan (RSAP).
“Since 2007, SADC has conducted the dialogues as a platform for regional stakeholders to discuss and share experiences on different aspects of IWRM.This has also offered the region a platform to contribute to the national, regional and international debates on very topical issues that influence or are influenced by water,” Ramoeli said.