01 Jun 2013 04:00
WINDHOEK, 01 JUN (NAMPA) - The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Region needs a water sector plan which mainstream gender issues and is responsive to the needs of its people.
This is one of the recommendations made at the just-ended meeting of SADC Ministers Responsible for Water on Thursday in Luanda, Angola.
According to a media statement issued by the SADC Secretariat on Friday, one of the highlights at the meeting was the adoption by the Zambezi Watercourse Commission (ZAMCOM) for the Government of Zimbabwe to host the permanent ZAMCOM Secretariat.
On capacity-building and training programmes, the ministers noted that the SADC Secretariat was currently putting together a training programme to empower member states in implementing the Regional Strategic Action Plan on Integrated Water Resources Management and Development (RSAP III) and the Protocol on Shared Watercourses, and directed the Secretariat to expedite the development of a comprehensive training plan for consideration at its next meeting in June 2014.
On water infrastructure, the meeting noted progress made especially in setting up and commissioning of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) pilot projects in a number of member states, which collectively share the Orange-Senqu, Limpopo, Buzi, Save and Ruvuma river basins.
The ministers took note of the Regional Water and Sanitation Fund established by the SADC Secretariat to facilitate implementation of priority regional and cross-border water infrastructure projects included in the Regional Infrastructure Master Plan, and urged member states to utilise the funds accordingly.
The ministers urged member states to facilitate the implementation of the various strategic water infrastructure projects in the Master Plan within their respective countries.
Meanwhile, the meeting announced that the 6th SADC Multi-Stakeholder Water Dialogue is scheduled to take place in October 2013 in Lusaka, Zambia.
The overall objective of the 6th SADC Multi-Stakeholder Water Dialogue is to create awareness and understanding of the ?Water, Energy and Food Nexus? and why it is important to focus on it.
Ministers and representatives from Angola, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Botswana and Mozambique attended the event.
The ministers met to review progress on the implementation of the third phase of the Regional Strategic Action Plan on Integrated Water Resources Management and Development (RSAP III) 2011-2015, which is the framework for action to achieve the sustainable development of water resources in the region through the development of water infrastructure on the basis of sound water governance and water management.