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The number of people in SADC who lack safe drinking water is 60 million.

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OKACOM convene and participate in the biennial 8th SADC River Basin Organisations Workshop

8th SADC RBO
OKACOM convene and participate in the biennial 8th SADC River Basin Organisations Workshop

Delegates from various RBO's, SADC and International patners at the workshop in Windhoek, Namibia

The 8th biennial SADC River Basin Organisations (RBO) workshop convened by OKACOM on behalf of the SADC Secreatariat/GWP-SA and, hosted by Namibia, was organised under the theme ‘‘‘Securing Strategic Investments to Realise the Benefits of Transboundary Water Cooperation’’. The workshop  took place at Safari Hotel and Conference Centre in Windhoek, Namibia on the 7-11 May 2018.

The workshop is organised with the aim of using RBOs as a vehicle for strengthening regional integration and cooperation. During these biennial meetings, RBOs shares experiences and learn from each other to enable them to respond to emerging issues and priorities within the SDAC region and beyond in relation to transboundary water cooperation.  This year’s, platform provided opportunities for RBOS and SADC member states to discuss and devise strategic approaches intended to support the establishment, institutional development, strengthening regional integration and cooperation through Shared Watercourse Institutions (SWIs) so as to rip tangible benefits from initiatives funded by partner institutions.

RBOs discussed issues that will enhance transboundary water resources development and management mechanisms in the region. The platform also offers opportunities to drive the implementation of the regional water programme, with the aim to unlock potential for using water as catalysts and engine for regional economic growth through cooperation and water resources development management.

Speaking at the opening of the workshop, Mr Percy Misika, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture Water and Forestry (MAWF) of the Republic of Namibia said ‘‘investing in extensive water supply infrastructure is needed to ensure industrialization and economic development. Therefore, this workshop and its theme comes at a right time when SADC is grappling with plans to eradicate poverty from the region. The only decisive tool to reduce poverty is investment in infrastructure development and the diversification of economies through manufacturing’’. He expressed that all SADC member states share one or more river basins with the exception of our Oceanic member states., Hence, to safeguard the resources available, SADC should employ the principle of subsidiarity, by using institutions with comparative advantage for implementing interventions that contribute to poverty alleviation in the region.

The workshop attracted a large group of participants from River Basin Organisations, SADC members states, NGOs, Private sector, International Cooperating Partners, Scientists and Water Utilities institutions, sharing experiences on how RBOs can play a key role in basin-wide investment planning and implementation process.

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