Water, sanitation in spotlight

While government has made some strides in ensuring everyone has access to potable water and sanitation, much more needs to be done.

15 March 2019 | Local News

More needs to be done to ensure that water and sanitation services are delivered in Namibia, especially to informal settlements and rural areas, says agriculture ministry executive director Percy Misika.

“Although, over the past years, the Namibian government and its stakeholders have taken important steps towards addressing the issue of access to safe drinking water for Namibians, much still remains to be done to ensure that no one is left behind,” Misika said.

He said the ministry, together with its stakeholders, needed to further improve access to water and sanitation services, particularly to the many users in informal settlements and rural areas.

This year Namibia will jointly commemorate World Water Day, International Forest Day and World Wetlands Day with a single event in Rehoboth. The commemoration will provide a platform for ongoing awareness on issues related to wetlands, water and forests to promote the wise use of these valuable natural resources. The commemoration started yesterday with educational tours for children from 10 schools in Rehoboth.

The official event will be celebrated this morning in Rehoboth on the banks of Oanob Dam.

The commemoration will conclude with the launch of 11 newly gazetted community forests by agriculture minister Alpheus !Naruseb.

Since 1992 World Water Day has been celebrated every year on 22 March with an event coordinated by the United Nations.

The event is held to raise awareness about water issues and to take action to help manage sustainable water usage around the globe.

“Today, there are over 663 million people who still live without safe water supply close to home; many spend countless hours queuing or walking long distances to fetch water. Some even have to drink contaminated water,” said Misika.

This year the international theme for World Water Day is 'Leaving no one behind'.

Misika said the theme directly identifies with Namibia, as it links to the Harambee Prosperity Plan.

According to him the theme also links directly to one of the key promises of Africa's Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, specifically that sustainable develop needs to ensure that “everyone must benefit”. The sixth Sustainable Development Goal is 'Water for all by 2030'.

Misika said that 21 March was declared International Day of Forests by the UN General Assembly.

ELLANIE SMIT

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