Future of water looks bleak

The Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, John Mutorwa, has painted a very bleak picture of Namibia’s future water resources in a speech delivered on his behalf by Acting Permanent Secretary in his ministry, Abraham Nehemiah, at the “SADC Future Challenges Forum: Food, Water and Energy Security” at the Poly on Tuesday.

The Minister said Vision 2030 states that the lack of readily available fresh water in the interior of the country remains the most important limiting factor for development.

He added that other problems facing Namibia’s water resources also need to be considered. These include the rural-urban migration phenomenon that will require major capital-financial investments to provide access to water and sanitation services, especially for the very poor who will not be able to pay for these absolutely essential services.

“The current problem of distributing the available water to where it is mostly needed, will be exacerbated and complicated in the future if the current lack of water persists. Developed water sources or resources will be fully utilised or exhausted. New, more expensive water sources such as desalination plants, dams, long pipelines and water from international watercourses, will unavoidably have to be developed,” Mutorwa said.

Speaking at the same occasion, Dr Wolfgang Maier of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation turned his attention to another topic on the agenda, Food, and said structural hunger is the consequence of wrong political policies. “It is not a technical issue in the first place!” he asserted.

“As an agricultural economist I know that we do have a huge potential to increase food production. There are huge resources that are still not utilised because there is still a lot of arable land available, especially in Africa. But this requires policies that support agricultural developments and this, in turn, requires the political will on a national level,” he said.

Maier said that if we want to solve the global food crisis and the water crisis worldwide, we will have to get interested in politics. “If the right policies are in place and if politicians understand these priorities, we can solve the problem of hunger,” Maier said.

Date: 
Friday, October 30, 2015
for Month: 
October, 2015

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