Omatako River basin plan launched

09 February 2021 | Weather

ELLANIE SMIT

WINDHOEK



An integrated water resources management (IWRM) plan for the Swakop Upper-Omatako river basin - that has been in development since 2010 - has finally been launched this week.

The study for developing the plan was set to be finalised by the end of last May, but, due the coronavirus pandemic, some activities had to be delayed. The Swakop-Upper Omatako river basin covers mainly the central areas of Namibia which have endured periods of drought and have seen human activity impact on the quality and quantity of water resources. Director of water resource management in the agriculture ministry Maria Amakali said since the development of the national IWRM plan in 2010, the ministry has facilitated and coordinated the development of several basin plans nationwide. According to her, the IWRM is the sixth and latest to be developed.

Amakali said the ministry is grateful to have this management tool that outlines strategic interventions to be employed for the betterment of the central area basin.

The Swakop Upper-Omatako Basin is one of the most critical basins in the country, she said, due to the economic significance of the central region and pressing issues of water security and an increasing population, making the integrated water resources management plan crucial.

With its limited and vulnerable water resources, the IWRMP is crucial in ensuring the sustainable management of the basin water resources, she added. According to Amakali, water management priorities and issues in the basin have been identified through the rigorous consultative process of this plan.

“The plan provides strategic actions that aim at ensuring that all identified issues are being implemented and addressed by respective stakeholder institutions involved towards the basin vision.”