GIS - 5 June 2015: A two-day national workshop held in the context of the SADC Water Week opened yesterday at Voilà Hotel in Bagatelle in the presence of the Minister of Energy and Public Utilities, Mr Ivan Collendavalloo, and other stakeholders from the water sector.
The national SADC Water Week under the theme “From Vision to Action” is being held in Mauritius from 3 to 5 June 2015 at the initiative of the Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities, SADC and the Global Water Partnership Southern Africa office. Two parallel sessions comprising a media training and a youth forum were held on 3 June. The aim was to sensitise journalists to report on water issues as well as empower the youths to participate in water programmes and development through media and youth workshops.
The main workshop will focus in mapping the strategic direction of the fourth phase of the Regional Water Programme known as the Regional Strategic and Action Plan (RSAP IV) on Integrated Water Resources Management and Development.
In his opening address, Mr Collendavelloo recalled that the SADC National Water Weeks, which have already been organised in more than 10 Member States, aim to demonstrate to Member States the value of their cooperation under the SADC umbrella by clearly articulating the benefits enjoyed by each of them in the three phases of the regional water programme since 1999. He added that Water Weeks serve as a vehicle to advocate for increased investment in water resources development and management, whose ultimate aim is to attain development for improved water security and climate resilience.
Speaking about water issue in Mauritius, the Minister of Energy and Public Utilities said that it is high on Government’s agenda. He added that the country is not affected by chronic droughts but pointed out that the main challenge is water management. According to him, too much water is being wasted.
Mr Collendavalloo spoke about the restructuring of the Central Water Authority (CWA). To that end, a project competition will be launched at the level of the CWA where each staff will give its views and opinions on how to restructure the institution.
The SADC Water Division is holding SADC Water Weeks in the 15 SADC Member States to gather input towards the formulation of the fourth phase of the RSAP on Integrated Water Resources Management and Development.
The main goal of SADC Water Weeks is to support SADC to implement a platform to interact with member states on water resources management strategic issues. The expected outcome is the RSAP IV, which is set to update the RSAP III.
The SADC Water Programme has been implemented in five-year phases. The first phase of RSAP commenced its implementation in 1999 and ended in 2004. The second phase was implemented from 2005 to 2010, while the third phase runs from 2011 to 2015.
The RSAP programmes have laid a solid foundation for integrated water resources management and development including foundations for improving the development of much needed water infrastructure in the region.
Furthermore, the SADC Regional Water Programme helps to build and instill a cooperative spirit on transboundary water resources development and management among the 15 Member States.
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