Posts tagged ‘Barbara Lopi’

February 25, 2016

Southern Africa: SADC Prepares for El Niño Impact

WaterSan Perspective

February 25, 2016

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) secretariat has today convened a two-day multi-sectoral stakeholder consultative meeting to develop a regional preparedness and response strategy to address the impacts of El Niño on Agriculture and Food and Nutrition Security in Southern Africa.

SADC Logo

SADC Logo

The El Niño phenomenon is caused by warmer than average sea surface temperatures in the eastern Equatorial Pacific and is usually associated with reduced total rainfall over a shorter period than normal across the region.

In a region where over 70 percent of the population depend on rain-fed agriculture for their livelihood, the El Niño event has greatly   impacted on food and nutrition security of millions of vulnerable people.

According to Barbara Lopi, the communications and awareness expert at the water sector of SADC Secretariat, some 165 delegates from the agriculture, environment, food and nutrition, disaster management, climate change, water, health, planning and finance sectors from the 15 SADC member states are participating in the meeting which is being organised with support from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP). Other participants include representatives from the humanitarian, development and donor communities.

Climate-related natural disasters including floods, storms and heat waves have steadily increased across the globe over the past 40 years. Photo by Muchunguzi Emmy

Climate-related natural disasters including floods, storms and heat waves have steadily increased across the globe over the past 40 years. Photo by Muchunguzi Emmy

Lopi notes that the meeting, at Southern Sun OR Tambo International Airport Hotel in Johannesburg, South Africa, is meant to help form a common understanding of El Niño and agree on essential actions and commitments on how to best prepare, respond and mitigate its impact through a coordinated, multi-sectoral regional approach.

September 18, 2015

SADC Ranks Top Position In Water Cooperation

Barbara Lopi
September 18, 2015

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has ranked the top position in a global comparison of indicators of water cooperation prepared by international think-tank, Strategic Foresight Group (SFG).

According to SFG’s Water Cooperation Quotient Index 2015, SADC has scored 100 in the Water Cooperation Quotient, which is a tool with a set of ten indicators created to measure the intensity of cooperation in the management of shared water resources in shared river basins globally.

SADC Logo

SADC Logo

The 10 indicators include legal, political, technical, environmental, economic and institutional aspects.

In the SADC region, more than 70 percent of the region’s fresh water resources are shared between two or more Member States and cooperation is facilitated by the Protocol on Shared Watercourses.

In line with SADC’s Protocol on Shared Watercourses, river basin organisations such as the Orange-Senqu River Commission (ORASECOM), the permanent Okavango River Basin Water Commission (OKACOM), the Zambezi Watercourse Commission (ZAMCOM), and the Limpopo Water Course Commission (LIMCOM) have been established for promote cooperation in the management, development and use of shared water resources.

The biggest river basin organisation, ZAMCOM, comprises eight riparian states, Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Four riparian states, Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique belong to LIMCOM, while ORASECOM comprise Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and South Africa; and Angola, Botswana and Namibia belong to OKACOM.

Strategic Foresight Group (SFG) is a think – tank engaged in crafting new policy concepts that enable decision makers to prepare for a future in uncertain times. For more details, the Water Cooperation Quotient is accessible online from the link: http://strategicforesight.com/publication_pdf/28799WCQ-web.pdf

March 15, 2015

SADC Embarks On Conducting Water Weeks in Member States

WaterSan Perspective Reporter
March 15, 2015

The Water Sector of the Southern African Development (SADC) has embarked on holding of three-day-long SADC National Water Weeks in each Member State to gather input towards the formulation of the fourth phase of the Regional Water Programme.

According to Barbara Lopi, Communications and Awareness Expert for the Water Sector at SADC Secretariat, the SADC National Water Weeks aim to demonstrate to Member States the value of their cooperation under the SADC umbrella by clearly articulating the benefits each Member State has enjoyed in the three phases of the Water Programme since 1999.

Clean water shortage affects the lives of individuals and the vitality of entire communities

Clean water shortage affects the lives of individuals and the vitality of entire communities

The SADC Water Programme has been implemented in five year phases normally called Regional Strategic Action Plan (RSAP) on Integrated Water Resources Management and Development. The first phase of RSAP commenced its implementation in 1999 and ended in 2004. The second phase was implemented from 2005 to 2010, while the third phase runs from 2011 to 2015.

Jointly organised by SADC and the Ministry responsible for Water in the Member States in collaboration with the Global Water Partnership Southern Africa office, the SADC National Water Weeks will be held between March and July 2015.

The first Water Week took place in Dar es -Salaam Tanzania from 11 – 13 March 2015, with the next two being in Malawi and Zimbabwe from 17 – 18 March and from 18 – 20 March respectively.

Held under the theme “From Vision to Action”, the Water Weeks will also sensitize Journalists to report on water issues as well as empower the youths to participate in water programmes and development through media and youth workshops according to Lopi.

The SADC National Water Weeks are funded by the Government of Germany in delegated cooperation with the Governments of Australia (AUSaid) and the United Kingdom (UKaid) managed by GIZ.

August 18, 2014

SADC Awards: Six Journalists Scoop Wards for Excellent Reporting

Barbara Lopi
17 August 2014

Six winners of the 2014 SADC Media Awards have been announced and presented with the prize of US$2000.00 each during the opening ceremony of the 34th Southern African Development Community (SADC) Heads of State and Government Summit in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.

The Chairperson of SADC, President Arthur Peter Mutharika of Malawi presented the awards to Ms. Felicity Male from Botswana, Mr Simango Alfredo Henriques from Mozambique, Ms Jacqueline Hindjou-Mafwila from Namibia, Mr. Factmore Dzobo from Zimbabwe, Ms Emelda Shonga-Mwitwa from Zambia and Mr Munyaradzi Chamalimba from Zimbabwe.

SADC logo

SADC logo

Two of the Awards are for excellence on reporting on transboundary Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) in the region and the other four are for excellence in promoting regional integration in SADC.

Mr. Dzobo from the Chronicles Newspaper in Zimbabwe received the Award in the Print Water Category, for his report on the need for SADC Member States to utilize transboundary watercourses to promote regional integration.

The Award in the Photo Water Category went to Ms. Male from Botswana Press Agency for her photo depicting water cooperation by, Botswana, Lesotho and South Africa ministers responsible for water during the signing of the memorandum of understanding for the three countries to draw water from the Orange Senqu River.

The Awards for excellence in the coverage of integrated water resources management was introduced in 2007 by the SADC Water Sector programme with funding from the Royal Danish Embassy to enhance awareness raising on water issues within the region, and to motivate journalists to write about transboundary water issues.

The Awards for excellence in promoting regional integration in SADC went to Mr Chamalimba for the Photo Category for his entry which highlighted how Zambia and Zimbabwe collaborated in co-hosting on the United Nations World Tourism Organisation General Assembly.

Ms Shonga-Mwitwa’s received the Award in the Print category for her feature article which appeared in the Zambia Daily Mail focusing on the strides made by the SADC Region in Gender equality.

The Award for the Television Category went to Mr Henriques for his entry which highlighted the effects of poaching of rhinos on the South African and Mozambican tourism industries and discussed the future of rhinos which are in demand in the SADC region.

Ms Hindjou-Mafwila received the Award in the Radio Category for a feature on desertification in the SADC region and how Member States were addressing its effects of land degradation.

March 21, 2014

2014 World Water Day Theme To Spur Increased Links Between Water And Energy Sectors In SADC

Barbara Lopi
March 21, 2014

As the international community commemorates the 2014 World Water Day tomorrow, March 22 whose theme is Water and Energy, Member States in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) should consider the occasion as an added opportunity in their efforts towards improved, combined and coordinated management of water and energy.

World Water Day (WWD) is an international event which is held every year on 22 March to focus global attention on the importance of water and the need for sustainable management of the resource.

WWD 2014 Logo

WWD 2014 Logo

The goal for this year’s WWD is to encourage increased awareness among decision-makers, inside and outside the water and energy domains, as well as stakeholders and practitioners about the interlinkages, potential synergies and trade-offs. Furthermore, the goal of this year’s theme is to highlight the need for appropriate responses and regulatory frameworks that account for both water and energy priorities.

The theme, water and energy, therefore, challenges national governments and other stakeholders to collectively address the water-energy nexus, particularly addressing inequities, especially for the majority who are struggling to survive without access to safe drinking water, adequate sanitation, sufficient food and energy services.

One of the overarching key messages behind the 2014 WWD theme of water and energy is that, “water requires energy and energy requires water”. This is because water is required to produce energy and energy is needed for the extraction, treatment, and distribution of water as well as its collection and treatment after use.

Clean water shortage affects the lives of individuals and the vitality of entire communities

Clean water shortage affects the lives of individuals and the vitality of entire communities

The water and energy sectors are closely interlinked and interdependent, hence the need for more integrated planning and crosscutting frameworks that will bridge ministries and sectors, leading the way to interlinked energy security and sustainable water use.

The SADC region which comprises of Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, has more than 40 per cent of its Member States having water and energy sectors sitting in one ministry, thereby facilitating sectoral linkages.

The growing demand for limited water supplies in the SADC Member States put increasing pressure on water intensive energy producers to seek alternative approaches, especially in areas where energy is competing with other major water users such as agriculture, manufacturing, drinking water and sanitation services for cities. Furthermore, with increasing climate variability, many parts of the region will start to experience water restrictions in their uses to maintain healthy ecosystems.

In October last year, delegates from SADC Member States who were attending the 6th SADC Multi-Stakeholder Water Dialogue held under the theme, Watering Development in SADC: Exploring the Water, Energy and Food Nexus acknowledged the interlinks between water and energy and called for more practical interventions to facilitate breaking down the culture of working in sectoral silos towards integrated planning and implementation of development programmes.

The delegates noted that while policy instruments existed at the SADC regional level which took cognizance of the nexus approach, such as the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) and the SADC Regional Water Policy, more practical interventions were needed to break the practice of working in silos.

Other fundamental frameworks that are in place to ease coordination and integrated planning between the water and energy sectors in the SADC region are the revised Protocol on Shared Watercourses, and the Southern African vision for water, life and the environment.

Competition for water resources is perceived by a majority of countries to have increased over the past 20 years

Competition for water resources is perceived by a majority of countries to have increased over the past 20 years

As the region will be joining the rest of the world in commemorating the 2014 World Water Day, activities that will improve understanding of the connections and effects that the water and energy sectors have on each other should be promoted to facilitate improved coordination in planning and subsequently result in optimized investments and reduction in inefficiencies.

Integrated approaches and solutions to water-energy issues can achieve greater economic and social impacts, hence governments need to be encouraged to create enabling environments to foster greater coordination between the water and energy domains. – Barbara Lopi is the communications and Awareness Expert in the Water Sector at the SADC Secretariat.

April 6, 2013

Water: A Source of Peace in SADC

Barbara Lopi
April 06, 2013

In the Southern African Development Community (SADC), water in is seen as a source of peace rather than conflict.

This was a key message emphasized by SADC’s Director of Infrastructure and Services Mr. Remigious Makumbe during a workshop to Promote Cooperation and Conflict Prevention in Transboundary Water Resources held recently as part of the activities to commemorate the 2013 World Water Day whose theme is Water Cooperation.

SADC’s Director of Infrastructure and Services Mr. Remigious Makumbe

SADC’s Director of Infrastructure and Services Mr. Remigious Makumbe

The a three-day workshop held in Phakalane, Botswana, was organized by the SADC Secretariat and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in line with the theme for this year’s World Water Day, commemorated on March 22.

The 2013 World Water Day theme of Water Cooperation coincides with the UN General Assembly Declaration of 2013 as the International Year of Water Cooperation (Resolution A/RES/65/154).

2013 is International Year of Water Cooperation

2013 is International Year of Water Cooperation

The workshop was attended by decision makers from the Ministries responsible for Water in the SADC Member States, and representatives of River Basin Organizations in the region. The aim of the workshop was to enhance the capacity of high level water decision makers on transboundary water conflict management and cooperation.

Participants shared and exchanged sub-regional experiences on water cooperation as well as learnt more about designing and conducting negotiation processes on transboundary water-related issues.

Within the SADC region, cooperation is a key component in the regional instruments such as the SADC Treaty, the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) and the Strategic Indicative Plan of the Organ (SIPO).

Water cooperation is specifically promoted through the revised SADC Protocol on Shared Watercourses which was first ratified in 1998 and revised in 2003 to foster close and coordinated co-operation in the management, protection and utilization of Shared Watercourses, and to advance the SADC agenda of regional integration and poverty alleviation.

In his welcome remarks to the workshop Mr. Makumbe noted that water was playing a major role in promoting transparency, dialogue and very high degree of cooperation among Member States in SADC.

SADC Secretariat Senior Programme Officer for Water, Mr. Phera Ramoeli said the signing and ratification of Watercourse Agreements such as the Permanent Okavango River Basin Water Commission (OKACOM), covering Angola, Botswana and Namibia; the Orange-Senqu River Commission (ORASECOM), covering Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and South Africa; the Limpopo Water Commission (LIMCOM) covering Botswana, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Mozambique; and the Zambezi Watercourse Commission (ZAMCOM) covering Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe is testimony to the high degree of cooperation and working as one family.

Senior Programme Officer for Water at the SADC Secretariat  Phera Ramoeli

Senior Programme Officer for Water at the SADC Secretariat Phera Ramoeli

Over 70 per cent of the SADC region’s fresh water resources are shared between two or more Member States, a situation that has been the basis for the development and adoption of a series of regional instruments to support the joint management and development of shared water courses.

The SADC instruments for water cooperation include the Regional Water Policy, adopted in 2005; the Regional Water Strategy adopted in 2006 and Regional Strategic Action Plan on Integrated Water Resources and Development Management which was first approved by SADC Summit in August 1998 to run in five-year phases.

SADC logo

SADC logo

The SADC Water Division is currently coordinating implementation of the third phase of the Regional Strategic Action Plan on Integrated Water Resources Management and Development (RSAP) 2011-2015.

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