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Delegates welcome new water ministry


Rethabile Pitso

Minister of Water Affairs Ralechate Mokose
Minister of Water Affairs Ralechate Mokose

Delegates attending the recent Southern African Development Community (SADC) Water Week held in Maseru, commended government for creating a ministry that would deal with water issues only, noting  the move would ensure this precious commodity is high on Lesotho’s national agenda.

The 21-23 April workshop, held under the theme ‘from vision to action’, sought to share developments on policies pertaining to water in the SADC region as well increase coverage of water issues in the mainstream media.

Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa and Botswana share a water course termed the Orange-Senqu River basin. The Orange River originates in Lesotho where it is known as ‘Senqu’, and covers an area of 2 300 kilometres across all four countries.

Delegates to the three-day seminar included Professor Kenneth Msibi and Phera Ramoeli from the SADC secretariat in Botswana, Orange-Senqu River Commission (ORASECOM) Executive Secretary Lenka Thamae and ORASECOM Commissioner for Lesotho Advocate Bokang Makututsa Commissioner of  Water Mokake Mojakisane, as well as representatives from the Ministry of Water, Lesotho Electricity and Water Authority, German non-governmental organisation GIZ and Transformation Resource Center.

The Minister of Water, Ralechate ‘Mokose also attended the workshop.

According to Mr Ramoeli, creating the new ministry would allow efficient management of water for the benefit of Lesotho and her neighbours.

“The formation of this ministry is a positive development in the country since the 1980s when Lesotho was tasked with the management of water in the region. This development will place water high on the national agenda on behalf of countries sharing the same watercourse and we are confident this ministry will assume sufficient responsibility of taking care of this valuable resource together with other partners.

“SADC member-states have concurred through policies such as the Regional Strategic Action Plan (RSAP) that water resources are integrated, developed and managed in harmony with regional partners and this step is one in the right direction towards fulfilling that responsibility,” he said.

In his address, Mr ‘Mokose reiterated the need for increased investment in water management resources to improve the current conditions which do not secure enough to sustain the continent throughout the year.

“I note that on your agenda, you will be discussing national water  resources management and development issues and your aspirations will be contained in the fourth phase of the Regional Strategic Action Plan on Integrated Water Resources Management.

“This initiative should also advocate for increased investment in water resources development and management. The need for water-infrastructure in our region remains central to economic growth and poverty alleviation.

“The increased investment will help to ensure water security and improve climate resilience. In recognition of the above facts, the new Lesotho coalition government has identified the need to enhance the strategic management of natural resources through creating a Ministry of Water,” Mr ‘Mokose said.


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