Climate change negatively impacts socio-economic development – Mutorwa

Climate change continues to bring changes to the state of environment negatively impacting socio- economic development, the agriculture minister John Mutorwa said at the 4th official opening of Orange Senqu River Commission (ORASECOM) forum meeting underway in Kasane, Botswana.

The Orange Senqu river is one of Southern Africa’s largest and important watercourse that spread over four SADC counties namely Namibia; Botswana; Lesotho and South Africa.

“Though our countries received normal to above rainfall during during the past rain season is some parts of the countries, this meeting here comes at a time when human activities, climate change and climate variability continue to bring changes in our basins state of environment negatively impacting heavily on socio-economic development,” Mutorwa has said. 

He added that it is incumbent on the authorities to find ways to protect and sustain the water resources of the Orange Senqu-Basin so that water continues meeting the current and future needs for the riparian states and SADC generally. 

The basis supports and sustains the livelihoods of millions of people, the manufacturing sector, service industries and the ecosystems overall. 

Mutorwa said Namibia is a signatory to the SADC treaty, which is the umbrella legislation, and has ratified the SADC revised protocol on sustainable development, utilisation and judicious management of water resources in the Orange- Senqu Basin. 

“The Orange Senqu- Basin certainly also holds enormous potential for cooperation by annually bringing us together as four sovereign states to deliberate on issues related to environmental governance, cultural and heritage preservation, economic development, building trust and the promotion of peace, security and sustainable economic growth,” said the minister. 

He added that Namibia is delighted to note some positive interventions and constructive efforts being undertaken by ORASECOM and the SADC secretariats water division in particular, in implementing thematic water programmes and projects which are aimed at uplifting the livelihoods of the people. 

Mutorwa further highlighted that Namibia embarked on the construction of Neckartal Dam near the town of Keetmanshoop in the //Karas region. 

The Neckartal dam will be one of the biggest in Namibia meant to alleviate water shortages particularly in Southern Namibia and work is still in progress with construction expected to be finished in 2018.