Eighth SADC river basin organisation workshop underway

08 May 2018 17:30pm
WINDHOEK, 08 MAY (NAMPA) – The Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) on Tuesday launched the 8th Southern African Development Community (SADC) River Basin Organisation Workshop.
The two-day joint workshop with the Permanent Okavango River Basin Water Commission (OKACOM) aims to assess and evaluate all possible conventional as well as non-conservative methods to provide water for domestic and industrial development through transboundary water resources.
Launching the workshop in Windhoek, MAWF Permanent Secretary, Percy Misika said the theme, ‘Securing investments to realise the benefits of transboundary water cooperation’, befits the need to invest in extensive water supply for infrastructure to ensure industrialisation and economic development.
Misika said the workshop comes at a time SADC is grappling with plans to eradicate poverty from the region.
“The only decisive tool to reduce poverty is investment in infrastructure development and the diversification of economies through manufacturing,” he said.
Misika further emphasised that all SADC countries share one or more river basins which can be used to transform economies to the level of industrialised and developed nations.
At the same occasion, SADC Secretariat, Phera Ramoeli said there is a need to clearly demonstrate that cooperation can benefit member states through transboundary water resources.
Ramoeli added that the workshop will focus, among others, on creating a concrete understanding on benefits that can arise from cooperation and discuss the role and mandate of trans border water resources. It will also share best practices from other parts of the world on transboundary water resources and how best to secure much-needed investors.
“At the end of the workshop, we hope to have a clear strategy to communicate better in order to better understand the importance of the transboundary water resources and its benefits for social and economic development,” said Ramoeli.
OKACOM is a transboundary river basin organisation established in 1994 by the three riparian states - Angola, Botswana and Namibia.
The OKACOM agreement commits member states to promote coordinated and environmentally sustainable regional water resource development, while addressing the legitimate social and economic needs of each country.