25 Oct 2017 18:20pm
SWAKOPMUND, 25 OCT (NAMPA) - The 18th symposium on how to achieve water sustainability in eastern and southern Africa started here on Wednesday.
The annual event is hosted by WaterNet in conjunction with Water Research Fund for Southern Africa; Global Water Partnership; and the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry in Namibia amongst other partners.
It takes place under the theme Integrated Water Resources Development and Management: Innovative Technological Advances for Water Security in Eastern and Southern Africa.
WaterNet is a regional network of university departments and research and training institutes that aim to build capacity for water resources management in southern Africa.
Namibia is hosting the event for the second time since 2004.
The three-day conference is attended by 302 participants, some from as far as the Netherlands. Other participants include student and professional researchers from across African countries, including the Namibia University of Science and Technology, policy makers, academics and other stakeholders in the water industry.
The symposium will allow them to exchange views, research findings and discuss technological options with the objective of achieving water sustainability and security in Africa as well as solutions on how droughts and floods should be handled.
Speaking at the official opening, WaterNet Trust Chairperson, Dr Lapologang Magole said she is thankful that this is the first time a Government is involved in the symposium.
Magole asked stakeholders to support the water network as it is the platform where knowledge and ideas can be exchanged in order to improve the water shortage.
Let us start by increasing innovation in order to achieve water sustainability, she said.
Chief Executive Officer of the Namibia Water Corporation, Vaino Shivute said a study was conducted in 2000 which indicated that the central region will face water shortages, and it indeed happened.
The same study, Shivute said, recommended that to avoid such a crisis water aquifers should be recharged with water from the earth dams.
Due to lack of money we did not recharge the aquifers until last year when the central region was about to run dry by December, he said.
Shivute said the crisis was acted upon by drilling extra boreholes in Windhoek which brought the water supply to normal.
He said about 20 per cent of Namibians still need access to clean water.
Having enough water is crucial especially for Namibia, where investors always ask if there is water before investing, said Shivute.
The convention ends Friday.