Eveline de Klerk Swakopmund-The Cape Town water crisis should be a lesson to all African countries that are facing water challenges. Hence, countries such as Namibia, Botswana and South Africa should use the crisis to encourage sustainable water usage. Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries should also explore other water management plans to ensure the availability of water on a long-term basis to prevent a similar predicament. This is according to the deputy permanent secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Abraham Nehemia. He was speaking to New Era shortly after the conclusion of the 5th annual Zambezi Commission (Zamcom) meeting in Swakopmund last Thursday evening. Zamcom is one of the organs of SADC that consists of 10 African countries sharing the Zambezi River. The countries are Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Zamcom was established in 2014 to promote sustainable use of the Zambezi River Basin. The organisation promotes and coordinates the cooperative management and development of the Zambezi River. The forum was established to promote the equitable and reasonable utilisation of the water resources of the Zambezi watercourse as well as the efficient management and sustainable development thereof. Speaking shortly after the conclusion of the meeting attended by ministers of the member countries, Nehemia said South Africa, Namibia and Botswana are some of the African countries that are severely affected by the water crisis partly as a result of climate change. “We all thought that we will have water for years but the crisis is at our doorstep and we will only be able to ensure water sustainability if we find new ways that can ensure the availability of water. According to him, it is of utmost importance that countries faced with water shortage, explore other means and put measures in place that can ensure water security. “Water shortage also challenges food security and farming activities, which in turn affect the production of our people and threaten their livelihoods,” he explained. He said it is a matter of ensuring that the Zambezi water basin members plan ahead, review existing plans and see how feasible such management plans are. “We must understand the flows of our rivers and engage each other to see how far our current water capacities can take us. One thing we know is that we don’t have as much water as we thought and that is why we should learn from the Cape Town water crisis, as the message is clear. We don’t have water that will last us as long as we think,” he said.
2018-02-27 09:26:18 6 months ago