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SADC Water Ministers Further Water Governance

SADC1 June 2013: During a meeting held in Luanda, Angola, the Ministers Responsible for the Water Sector for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) met to review progress on the implementation of the third phase of the Regional Strategic Action Plan on Integrated Water Resources Management and Development (RSAP III) 2011-2015.

The meeting highlighted an increase in the number of water basin institutions established and strengthened, citing the establishment of the Limpopo Water Commission (LIMCOM) and the Zambezi Water Commission (ZAMCOM). They noted that these institutions, along with targeted capacity building, have ensured significant progress in water governance. During the meeting, the ZAMCOM Council agreed that the Government of Zimbabwe would host the permanent ZAMCOM Secretariat.

Ministers also addressed the importance of managing and developing water resources in the region, particularly in realizing regional economic integration and poverty alleviation. They urged member States to access the Regional Water and Sanitation Fund to facilitate implementing priority regional and cross-border infrastructure projects.

Going forward, the Ministers noted the need to develop a water sector plan that mainstreams gender. They also approved the Water Programme Priority activities for 2014/15 and instructed that the final implementation of the Water Programme take cognizance of the recommendations from the Regional Indicative Strategic Plan (RISDP) Mid-Term Review.

The meeting also addressed: matters pertaining to water infrastructure; and various projects in river basins including the Okavango, Limpopo, Save, Ruvuma and Zambezi.

The meeting of the Ministers Responsible for the Water Sector, which took place on 30 May 2013, was preceded by meetings of Senior Officials Responsible for Water, as well as the Zambezi Council of Ministers. SADC is comprised of Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Seychelles, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. [SADC Communiqué from the Meeting of SADC Ministers Responsible for Water]