By Hileni Nembwaya
MINISTER of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, John Mutorwa, says that Namibia and Angola will remain sisterly nations, with shared borders and resources, such as water.
Mutorwa said that there are no impending conflicts between the two countries, as they continue to strengthen their bilateral relations and work together, in order to realise better living standards for all of their people.
Mutorwa made these comments amid critical water shortages in the northern-central regions, due to Namwater experiencing problems with pumping enough water from the Calueque Dam in Angola.
“It is in this vein that the two countries are currently engaged in bilateral discussions on how to share responsibilities, relating to the operation and maintenance of the Calueque Dam. There are also other projects underway, such as the Baynes hydropower project, in which the two countries are engaged in bi-national discussions, and which are aimed at coming up with joint solutions to supply the peoples of the two countries, with reliable sources of energy, by utilising the waters of the Cunene River,” Mutorwa said.
Since 1926, Namibia and Angola, through their then colonial powers, have been collaborating on the use of water from the Kunene River.
The two countries have adopted the principle of best joint utilisation, in the planning and development of the water resources of their common rivers.
Mutorwa said that this cooperation has led to Angola conceding the rights to Namibia to construct the Calueque Dam and related works within Angolan territory, so that it is able to draw and convey water from the Kunene River, free of charge.
“Therefore, the historical water use agreements make provision for the sharing of the water of the Kunene River, but nowhere in these agreements is it provided for or envisaged that Namibia would receive the water from Calueque scheme at a cost,” he said.
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