27 Oct 2015 18:10pm
WINDHOEK, 27 OCT (NAMPA) Political activity, like any other human activity, is not possible in the absence of food and water, Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry John Mutorwa says.
He said this in a statement read on his behalf during the opening of the one-day Southern African Development Community (SADC) Future Challenges Forum on Food, Water and Energy Security in the capital on Tuesday.
The forum is aimed at discussing current and future challenges with regards to food, water and energy security in Namibia and the rest of the SADC region.
The relationship between water, food and energy challenges in Namibia and SADC could at best be described as symbiotic or interdependent. It means that the one cannot do without the other, or expressed in much stronger language, the one cannot survive sustainably without the other one, Mutorwa said.
He stressed that the high rate of urbanisation, in combination with rising incomes and industrial development, will increase urban water demand significantly.
Mutorwa said it needs to be emphasised that the rural-urban migration phenomenon requires major capital and financial investment to provide access to water and sanitation services, especially for the very poor who cannot afford to pay for these essential services.
The minister said the current problem of distributing available water to where it is mostly needed will be exacerbated and complicated.
He added that developed water resources will be fully utilised and exhausted as new, more expensive water sources such as desalination plants, new dams, long pipelines and water from international watercourses will unavoidably have to be developed.
Speaking at the same occasion, a water technician from the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Maria Amakali said Namibia needs about N.dollars 14 billion to develop and maintain water infrastructure.
Amakali said the finalisation of the Neckartal Dam in the //Karas Region will provide water for the irrigation of about 5 000 hectares of land in that region.
The proposed Neckartal Dam has a catchment area of 45 365 square kilometre (km²) with a calculated average annual runoff of 397 cubic millimetre per annum (Mm³/a).
The storage volume is expected to be 856 cubic millimetre (Mm³) and the full supply area may cover 39 km².
Over 50 experts and scholars attended the forum, which was organised by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation Namibia-Angola in cooperation with the Polytechnic of Namibia (PoN)'s School of Natural Resources and Spatial Science.