The Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Hon.John Mutorwa joined other ministers responsible for water in SADC to review progress and provide guidance on the implementation of the third phase of the Regional Strategic Action Plan on Integrated Water Resources Management and Development (RSAP III), from 3 to 7 July in Zimbabwe.
The ministers noted that the implementation of the SADC Water programme continued to register remarkable progress despite human resource capacity challenges at the Secretariat, and urged member states to continue facilitating the implementation of programmes that were lagging.
The ministers also noted that the implementation on the Kunene Trans-boundary Water Supply and Sanitation Project, which involves southern Angola and northern Namibia slowed because of new changes in the project scope and urged the two member states and the SADC Secretariat to fast tract the project implementation in view of the time already lost and the delayed benefits to the intended communities.
The project entails development and rehabilitation of water supply and sanitation infrastructure for communities and towns in the project area. The aim of the project is to establish and build the capacity of water utility entity in the Kunene province in Angola.
The meeting also found out that Namibia and Angola concluded and signed the process to establish the Cuvelai Commisison (CUVECOM) inline with the provisions of the regional Water Protocol on Shared Water courses in September 2014. SADC Secretariat is also mobilising resources to support the strengthening of the CUVECOM and added to that Namibia and Angola are working out modalities to establish the Kunene Basin Commission.
It was also noted that programmes on water quality and environment, economic accounting for water use and assessment of surface water resources did not receive resources to facilitate their implementation.
At the meeting, the delegates also adopted the report on the Mid-Term Evaluation on the implementation of the RSAP III and the Protocol. The report highlights achievements and challenges faced in implementing the RSAP III and describes the SADC Water Programme as a unique regional programme that helped to build and instil a spirit of cooperation in trans-boundary water resources management and development.
The meeting was attended by the ministers from Namibia, Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Swaziland, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe while the Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius and the Seychelles did not attend.