WINDHOEK, Oct. 13 (Xinhua) -- Namibia's Minister of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform Calle Schlettwein said Thursday that collaborative efforts are needed to manage transboundary and shared water resources regionally.
Speaking during the 13th session of the executive committee of the African Ministers' Council on Water (AMCOW) in Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, Schlettwein said 2022 has been a year in which Africa has had to deal with climate change and its devastating water-related disasters that have ravaged every corner of the continent.
Urgent responses are required to strengthen the ability to reduce the disease burden and mortality rates associated with failures in sanitation and hygiene services provision and invest in water to create greater resilience to climate, health, and food system shocks, and improve the management of water-related disaster risks, he said.
"It is against this background that I invite you to champion a new narrative on water that emphasizes the full potential of water in the economy and society," he said.
"Notably, we must be at the forefront of promoting water infrastructure development as a means to provide a service (which is water) to the economy," he said, adding that it is this service that in turn enables growth and development to happen.
"More importantly, we have to emphasize the packaging of such water resource management functions as water storage and flood control, from a socio-economic perspective," he said. "Promoting such interventions for investment should underscore their eventual utility in both economic and social terms to provide water for food and energy production. In so doing, the synergies between and among the four sectors will optimize strategies to achieve water, food, energy, and environmental security."
Namibia is hosting the 13th session of the Executive Committee of AMCOW where officials of African governments are meeting to discuss what can further be done to facilitate action on the achievement of the water and sanitation goals of the continent.