WINDHOEK: Preparations are in full swing for the first-ever Water Conference organised by the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) from Wednesday to Friday this week at a local hotel.
More than 300 delegates have been registered so far.
The conference will address investments in water supply and sanitation infrastructural development and technology; the management of water supply and sanitation services; water for economic development; water resources’ management; public/private partnership; and capacity-building.
At a media conference at the MAWF headquarters here on Monday, MAWF Under-Secretary Abraham Nehemia said there is a continuous need for the improvement of water services to keep abreast with the changing demand patterns through innovations and skills.
“The absence of, or lack of private sector investment in the water sector has an impact on the manufacturing and development of technology to the extent that the country has to import all equipment, plants, machinery and spares at very high costs, which makes the development and maintenance of water infrastructure unsustainable,” he stressed.
Nehemia explained that it is against this background that the conference, which is taking place at a cost of N.dollars 3 million, is an important vehicle to collectively address the increasing demand and pressure on the country’s water resources and sanitation facilities.
The extraction, treatment and distribution of water to all levels of water users are major challenges, which require collective intervention and investment, he added.
President Hifikepunye Pohamba is expected to deliver the keynote speech, while Trade and Industry Minister Hage Geingob; Minister of Finance Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila; the Director-General of the National Planning Commission (NPC) Tom Alweendo; and the Chief Executive Officer of the Namibia Water Corporation (NamWater) Dr Vaino Shivute, are among the local speakers.
International speakers include representatives from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat’s Water Division; the African Development Bank; the European Union (EU); Mozambique’s National Director of Water; the United Nations’ Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA); and the Orange-Senqu River Commission (ORASECOM).