For two days from 31st January until the 1st of February, stakeholders from different entities comprising of government, private sector, civil society organisations /non-governmental organisations met in Lesotho under the auspices of ORASECOM to consult on the development of the Climate Resilient Water Investment Plan of the Orange-Senqu River basin.
The Orange-Senqu River Commission (ORASECOM) promotes the equitable and sustainable development of the resources of the Orange-Senqu River. ORASECOM provides a forum for consultation and coordination between the riparian states to promote integrated water resources management and development within the basin. The commission is comprised of the following member states: Namibia, South Africa, Botswana and Lesotho. At this meeting the nominated stakeholders from Namibia represented the following institutions: the DRFN, the Ministry of Agriculture Water and Forestry, The Ministry of Gender and Child Welfare, The National Planning Commission and NamWater.
One plan that the commission is currently busy studying involves the supply of piped water from Lesotho to Botswana, given that country’s water constraints. Invited stakeholders were thus taken on study tour of the prospective sites in the Lesotho lowlands where three sites have been identified for the construction of the dam from where water will be piped to Botswana. Consultants for this project have already been contracted and they are busy with pre-feasibility studies. Other activities included the launch of the stakeholder’s consultation forum where the climate resilient water resources plan was discussed in elaborative detail, followed by the discussion of the appointed consultant’s inception report, gender has been brought to the forefront in many aspects of development and thus a session was reserved for how gender aspects can be mainstreamed into the project and the last agenda points focused on the identification of stakeholders for the National level consultations as well as their capacity needs.
ORASECOM should certainly be commented for bringing together important role-players from within the basin to ensure that all stakeholders are on-par with future planned activities.