Countries cooperate to share Senqu resources

  • 15 December, 2018

The revised Orange-Sengu River Commission Forum of the Parties (ORASECOM) agreement was signed in Maseru on Friday where Lesotho also assumed ORASECOM chairmanship.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, Lesotho’s water minister, Samonyane Ntsekele congratulated his counterparts from South Africa, Botswana, Namibia for showing commitment towards ORASECOM.
He explained the agreement seeks to ensure that economies of these countries grow as a result of the cooperation, whose objective is to ensure effective utilisation of a scarce commodity like water.
“Water is a contributing factor to economic growth hence our responsibility as leaders must be to ensure its protection for continuity purposes,” he stressed.
He said there was need for more cooperation amongst member states for eradication of poverty and hunger.

According to Ntsekele, even though climate change poses a huge challenge to water sustainability, protection of such sources will go a long way in ensuring continuity of water.

“As a result of climate change where some rivers were affected by drought, Lesotho had to release water through the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP),” he said and revealed that on the basis of ORASECOM cooperation, Lesotho and South Africa have a relationship through the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) and Lesotho and Botswana have signed water agreement in relation to water.
The outgoing chairperson, Botswana’s water minister Kefentse Mzwinila assured the forum of Botswana’s commitment in protecting the precious commodity that is water.

Sharing similar views, Namibia’s water minister, Alpheus Naruseb stated that Sengu has the ability to spread water throughout the four states, and urged that the countries must therefore always have measures and strategies that will ensure that their respective nations have access to clean water.
Sharing his sentiments, the water and sanitation minister from South Africa, Gugile Nkwinti said water highlighted `water is life’ even though it has been turned into business lately.
Nkwinti said it was imperative for all to think in terms of securing water, availing it to nations as climate change has now become a reality.
“Climate change is indeed a challenge facing all of us and all of us must come up with means of tackling the challenge,” he stressed.
The forum was attended by water ministers from four sovereign states mentioned above.
ORASECOM, bearing a slogan ‘One River, Four Nations’, is an 18 years old cooperation between the countries to share Senqu River and as such work together in protecting water as a scarce resource.
Lena

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