By Johannes Hangula
THE Government of Namibia through the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) is expected to fork out around N$76,6 million from its coffers to fund the water sector support project within a timeframe of five years.
An amount of N$10 million has already been availed in the current financial year for the instituting of master programmes both at the University of Namibia and Namibia University of Science and Technology in disaster management.
The Government together with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), has been working on resolutions for extreme such as floods and droughts, through the implementation of a road map following UNESCO’s expertise mission in 2011. This was after Namibia officially requested for technical support from UNESCO.
A consultative meeting co-chaired by John Mutorwa, Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry and Dr Jean Pierre Ilboudo UNESCO country representative held on Monday at MAWF headquarters was attended by key stakeholders involved in the project namely; Office of the Prime Minister, NamWater, University of Namibia, Namibia University of Science and Technology, Ministry of Mines and Energy and Namibia National Commission for UNESCO; and they discussed the implementation of the Namibia Water Sector Project proposal framework document.
Mutorwa reiterated Government’s gratitude for the support from UNESCO, adding he would ensure that the water sector support project would be practically and successfully implemented.
On his part Dr. IIboudo urged Namibia to purse and adopt more sustainable approaches to the use and management of water resources; adding the country needs to move from crisis management to risk management of water related disasters such as floods and droughts which unfortunately with the climate change will become more recurrent and intense.
“The project on the Namibia water sector for which UNESCO has been accompanying the Government of Namibia in its preparation is in line with the paradigm shift of moving from crisis management to risk management which will contribute to build capacity and enhance resilience to floods and droughts. Even though UNESCO will continue to provide technical and scientific advice if needed during the implementation of the project, the way the project is structured doesn’t allow us unfortunately to be accountable for any deliverables of the project” he said.
The Namibia Water Sector Support Project is aimed to capacitate young experts, water professionals and practitioners within this programme to establish a national platform for water security involving universities and relevant stakeholders; to develop a long term integrated flood and drought management plan for the Cuvelai-Etosha Basin; further to demonstrate the implementation of flood and drought management policies in an applicable and transferable manner in the Lishana sub-basin.
In addition the consultative meeting produced various resolutions; the parties involved re-affirmed their commitment to the implementation of project as part of the roadmap which was agreed upon in 2011. Both parties involved endorsed the project framework document and agreed to accelerate its implementation.
The consultative further resolved that the Joint Management Committee will be chaired by the deputy permanent secretary of the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry and the JMC is tasked to finalise the project proposal framework document including the implementation modalities
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