Nam should adopt sustainable water management approaches: Unesco

24 Aug 2016 08:30am
WINDHOEK, 24 AUG (NAMPA) - Namibia needs to adopt more sustainable approaches to the use and management of water resources and needs to move from crisis management to risk management in water-related disasters.
The head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) Windhoek office and representative of Unesco to Namibia Jean-Pierre Ilboudo made the suggestion during the Namibia-Unesco water sector project meeting here on Monday.
“The project on the Namibia water sector for which Unesco has been accompanying the government of Namibia in its preparation is in line with the paradigm shift of moving from crisis management to risk management which will contribute to building capacity and enhancing resilience to floods and droughts,” he said.
The Namibian Government asked for support from the agency’s International Hydrological Programme (IHP) after the flooding in the northern and north-eastern parts of the country in 2011 to assist with strengthening the water sector. Ilboudo said the agency will continue to provide technical and scientific advice if needed during the implementation of the project.
“The ministry is in the driving seat and should now lead the implementation of the project by putting in place the necessary manpower for the day-to-day implementation and management of the project. Unesco will provide advice if requested and assist to identify experts within its network and can facilitate contacts between water centres and the project management team,” Ilboudo said.
Meanwhile, the resolutions from the meeting issued on Tuesday said the parties reaffirmed their commitment to the implementation of the project as part of the roadmap agreed upon in 2011.
The meeting also endorsed the project framework document and agreed to accelerate its implementation and approved the composition of the joint management committee.
Unesco has, through the Office of the Prime Minister, developed an integrated disaster management plan and built staff capacity to effectively manage natural disasters since the inception of the project.
Some of the objectives of project are capacitating young experts, water professionals and practitioners within the programme at an early stage and to establish a national platform for water security involving universities.
It will also develop a long-term integrated flood and drought management plan for the Cuvelai-Etosha basin.