Schlettwein calls for intensified collaboration among sectors to safeguard water for the future
The Minister of Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform, Hon Calle Schlettwein called for intensified collaboration among sectors to ensure sustainable water supply and to safeguard the country’s freshwater resources.
Schlettwein highlighted the growing challenge faced by Namibia in managing freshwater resources sustainably due to the increasing demand for water resulting from population growth, socioeconomic development, and food production.
Schlettwein spoke on the commemoration of World Water Day marked on 22 March annually. He said that the effects of climate change, such as rising temperatures and increased rainfall variability, are taking a toll on surface water resources, making them increasingly unpredictable and vulnerable to pollution.
Water is valuable to households for food production, cultural norms, provision of health, education, economic activities, and maintenance of the natural environment, Schlettwein said, adding that if water demand is mismatched with available water resources, there is a risk of depleting resources and not meeting the Sustainable Development Goals.
To address these challenges, Schlettwein called for increased investment in water infrastructure, including water treatment facilities, and equitable distribution of water to all communities, including rural areas.
He also emphasized the need to encourage young water professionals to develop interests in water-related research to determine resource potential and sustainable development.
Informed management requires an improved knowledge base, institutional capacity, and enhanced governance to unlock sustainable development of groundwater resources for socio-economic development, water and food security, and climate change resilience, according to Schlettwein.
“We aim to create awareness that we need to increase our efforts and interventions to accelerate change so that our communities, who are less privileged, have access to improved sanitation and water services,” he said.