See also:
» 17.03.2011 - Southern Africa to get infrastructure master plan
» 15.02.2011 - New major Lesotho dam ready to be built
» 04.02.2010 - Tarring scenic Lesotho-SA mountain pass causes protest
» 05.10.2009 - Lesotho signs $25 million agreement with WB
» 21.09.2009 - SADC partnership could solve energy shortage by 2016
» 23.11.2006 - German firm finally debarred over Lesotho bribes
» 10.04.2006 - NGO calls for audit of dam construction tenders
» 01.03.2006 - Crack in Lesotho dam sparks safety concerns

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Lesotho | Southern Africa
Economy - Development

"Water critical for development in SADC"

afrol News, 14 May - Water has been placed high in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) agenda as key issue for development. Lesotho government official, Maieane Khaketla, said at the SADC Multi-Stakeholder Water dialogue in Maseru today that "awareness is critical at this stage if we could make appropriate decisions to confront water challenges in our region."

Mr Khaketla said Lesotho like the rest of the region had been experiencing erratic rainfall, late raining seasons which in the end devastate the agricultural sector. "Water scarcity in the region results to poor access to water for basic needs. This is a daunting challenge for Lesotho to meet the Millennium Development Goals," he added.

Acting Chief Director for SADC Secretariat, Remmy Makumbe said SADC member states had adopted Integrated Water Resource Management as a critical tool to water resources management. "This has been done to ensure that water is adequately contributing to poverty eradication, regional integration and socio-economic development," he said.

He said the principles of this water management are geared towards maximising the water sector activities for economic and social welfare without compromising the ecosystems. "This task is getting complex given the reality that global climatic change is significantly altering the hydrological cycle," he added.

Mr Makumbe further said that climate change would add up to vulnerability of people due to water related disasters like drought, floods and cyclones. He said Southern Africa thrives on the activities of climate sensitive sector, like agriculture, therefore called upon on all stakeholders to enhance disaster management strategies.

"It is increasingly becoming evident that climate change is no longer a story about the future, but it is the story of today, adding that climate change effects were evident on the slowly shrinking livelihood opportunities, threatening biodiversity and food security, and up-scaling water related disasters.

"While region has made advances in formulating, reviewing and developing policies, there is a need to reflect on how climate change has been mainstreamed into these policies, Mr Makumbe held.

Senior Advisor to the Global Water Project, Professor Torkil Jonch Clausen said water is elementary toward the attainment of Millennium Development Goals, adding climate change also adds to strain.

"Change in temperatures and unprecedented heavy rains and droughts leading to poor agricultural output, increases vulnerability of the poor in the region," Mr Clause said. He added that, unless communities are empowered on water management, attainment of these goals would not be visible.

The first dialogue was in Maputo Mozambique in May 2007 and it was a result of an Awareness creation initiative of SADC Water Division.

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