Posts tagged ‘Southern African Development Community (SADC)’

September 21, 2016

Feature: Zambia’s Eastern Water and Sewerage Company Invests In Water Management

JULIUS MANDALIZA PHIRI
September 21, 2016

WATER and energy are undoubtedly important players in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) regional social and economic development.

The proportion of the Zambian population without access to safe drinking water remains high estimated at 47 percent with rural dwellers being the worst affected.

It is noted that several deaths each year are caused by unsafe water, poor sanitation and hygiene.

Public spending on water and sanitation has been quite low at about 0.4 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) with Government spending at only 0.01 percent.

Water scarcity especially in rural areas is one of the World’s leading problems affecting more than 1.1 billion people globally meaning that one in every six people lacks access to safe drinking water.

Over half of all people in developing countries suffer at any given time from a health problem caused by water and sanitation deficits

Over half of all people in developing countries suffer at any given time from a health problem caused by water and sanitation deficits

The World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund(UNICEF) defines safe drinking water as water with microbial, chemical and physical characteristics that meets WHO guidelines on water quality.

It is noted that availability below the threshold of 1,000 cubic meters represents a state of water scarcity while anything below 500 cubic meters represents a state of absolute scarcity.

As of 2006, one third of all nations suffered from clean water scarcity but Sub-Saharan Africa had the largest number of water stressed countries of any other place on the planet and of an estimated 800 million people who live in Africa, 300 million live in a water stressed environment.

Human Development Report indicates that human use of water was mainly allocated to irrigation and agriculture adding that developing areas such as those within Africa, agriculture accounts for more than 80 percent of water consumption.

However, the geographic limitations and seasonality in availability of water hinder its optimal use for the purpose of necessitating the need for increased storage, inter-basin transfers and cooperation among
countries.

To adequately address the issue of water scarcity in Zambia, Eastern Water and Sewerage Company Limited (EWSC) with the help from various partners has emphasized the need to invest in water resources to reduce unnecessary suffering and ensure that the commodity was always available to its customers.

Dahlia Lungu, a Chipata resident said the investing into water supply kiosks by the water utility company EWSC had assisted a number of people to access safe drinking water.

“This is a good move what the company has done to invest in water supply service. The company must continue investing into the projects that increase access and reliability of water supply service,” she
said.

According to Company Managing Director Lytone Kanowa, the water project covering Nyimba, Katete and Chadiza has been completed and waiting commissioning.

In Nyimba, the major works carried out includes the construction of an elevated storage tank of 500 mm3 capacity, water distribution system and the district office and Chadiza works had involved major rehabilitation of the raw water pump station, water treatment plant and elevated storage tanks, which were heavily leaking making a loss of over 70 percent of water produced.

A new water distribution network was worked on including an 8 kilometre long water transport pipeline from Sadzu Water works to the township adding that a new office was also constructed.

In Katete the major works included the construction of a 1.1 million m3 earth dam and a new water treatment plant which had necessitated the migration from groundwater system.

“The ground water supply system was highly inadequate mainly due to low output. Therefore, the districts of Nyimba, Katete and Chadiza are now on 24 hours water supply service following this investment.

Initially before the water project was implemented, the hours of water supply for the districts were a maximum of 12 hours for Nyimba, 4 to 8 hours for Katete and 12 hours for Chadiza district,”Mr Kanowa said.

He explained that the total project cost was 13.92 million Euros which was equivalent to K158 million adding that the construction of the dam and water treatment plants and system has improved the quality of life.

“As you may be aware water is life. This project has already made it possible for Eastern Water and Sewerage Company Limited to supply 24hours of water service and improve reliability and availability of
water,” he said.

Water supply and management remains a problem in several developing countries

Water supply and management remains a problem in several developing countries

Mr Kanowa said the plant capacity for all the district was much bigger than the current demands meaning that the company needs less than 12 hours of pumping to satisfy 24hours the customers in the project district.

Therefore EWSC will be able to provide reliable service even in the districts of Nrimba, Katete and Chadiza the midst of the current load shedding

He said the major output of interventions for the company plan for the next five years was to improve accountability of water by reducing non-revenue water which stands at approximately 39 percent at
corporate level to less than 25 percent, increase coverage and of water supply hours especially for Chipata which has the lowest coverage of all.

To achieve this, Mr Kanowa said the company needs to expand water distribution system in the districts with excess water to supply thereby expanding to some growth centres and new districts of Vubwi
and Sinda.

He said through the National Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Programme(NUWSSP) under the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, the company was optimistic to increase coverage to all urban and peri-urban areas of Eastern Province and Chama District in Muchinga Province which later was under its jurisdiction.

“The programme for expansion of water supply services in Chipata is underway. Through Gauff Engineering Consultants, details designs for complete facelift of the water supply system in Chipata is underway and is planned to will be completed by the end of in 2017,”he said.

He said currently the company does not have capital funding for the water and sewerage project in the new districts of Vubwi and Sinda.

He said with support from Government, the detailed designs of the water supply scheme for Sinda were ready and at the moment Government was making arrangements to purchase the dam in Sinda belonging to a local business man as efforts to get groundwater did not yield good results yet.

“Perhaps hydro-geological survey needs to be done on a much larger area than what was done,” he said.

As for Vubwi, Mr Kanowa said Government through the Ministry of Local Government and Housing (MLGH) was also looking for funding through the frameworks of the NUWSSP to implement a centralized water supply scheme and probably sewerage system.

The managing director said the Ministry of Local Government has facilitated the drilling of boreholes in both Sinda and Vubwi districts.

On illegal connections, he said the company has commenced customer database cleanup in its quest to establish the number of illegal connections among other objectives.

He said the company was estimating that approximately 3200 out of a total of 17,900 customers were not billed either as a result of having illegally connected or reconnected water supply, or inactive due to
own supply from boreholes and wells.

He said the billing ratio for company was as low as 82 percent while the benchmark set by the regulator National Water Supply and Sanitation Council (NWASCO) was a minimum of 98 percent.

Mr Kanowa said he was elated that last year, the company was recognised as the third best performing water utility on a number of performance indicators assessed by the regulator of the water sector NWASCO.

Eastern Province Permanent Secretary Chanda Kasolo said people must settle the bills with the utility company.

Strides which have been made by the company could be frustrated if people do not pay the water bills.

June 30, 2016

Southern Africa: Record Drought Leaves over 41.4 Million People Food Insecure

WaterSan Perspective
June 30, 2016

An estimated 41 million people – 23 per cent – of the 181 million rural population in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) are food insecure, and out of this figure, more than 21 million are in urgent need of assistance.

This is according to the latest Vulnerability Assessment Results released at the 10th SADC Meeting of Regional Vulnerability Assessment and Analysis (RVAA) held in Pretoria, South Africa. The Report also reveals that nearly 2.7 million children are currently suffering from severe acute malnutrition, and this figure is expected to rise significantly if support to vulnerable population is not immediately provided.

“We are deeply concerned about the scale of food insecurity in the region. We are experiencing the worst drought in the last 35 years. I call upon Member States and our development partners to act now, to avoid a further deterioration of the situation. People continue to lose their means of survival and we can lose lives if we do not act now,” said SADC Director for Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mrs. Margaret Nyirenda.

SADC Director for Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mrs. Margaret Nyirenda

SADC Director for Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Mrs. Margaret Nyirenda

The SADC region has been hit by a devastating El Niño-induced drought, the worst in 35 years, following the failure of two consecutive rainy seasons. The severe drought conditions have already taken toll on lives and livelihoods and the situation could deteriorate further if urgent assistance is not provided.

Almost half a million drought-related livestock deaths have been reported in Botswana, Swaziland, South Africa and Zimbabwe alone. Water sources and reservoirs are severely depleted, forcing communities and their livestock to use untreated water sources.

The severe drought conditions have resulted in widespread crop failure and a decrease in cultivated area. Cereal harvest assessments indicate a nearly 9.6 million metric ton shortfall in production, with only 72 per cent of required cereals available in the region (excluding DRC, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles and Tanzania). South Africa, usually the main producer of maize in the region, is facing an estimated 2.6 million metric tons of deficit. Food prices continue to spike. Zambia is the only country currently forecasting a cereal surplus (556,000 tons) during the 2016/17 marketing year.

There are concerns about the most vulnerable communities, and especially people living with HIV and AIDS, with the region being the global epicenter of the AIDS pandemic. Lack of food and other factors could aggravate the fragile nutrition situation of vulnerable groups including people on HIV or TB treatment. Similarly, the closure of health facilities due to lack of water is likely to affect ART access and may reverse the gains made in the prevention of mother to child transmissions.

The October 2016 to March 2017 lean season is projected to be the peak of the current food insecurity. While the crop harvests from April 2016 could provide some relief, this will quickly be exhausted. Meanwhile, there is an above 70 per cent chance of a La Niña phenomenon by late 2016. This may help reduce water deficits, as well as potentially improve recovery of the agricultural sector. The prediction of La Niña also implies a likely increased risk of floods.

May 30, 2016

Botswana: SADC Secretariat Establishes a Regional El-Niño Response Team

Nantale Abbey
May 30, 2016

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat has established a Team to coordinate a regional response to the impacts of the 2015/2016 El-Niño phenomenon on livelihoods in close collaboration with Member States.

The SADC region is experiencing a devastating drought episode associated with the 2015/2016 El-Niño phenomenon which is affecting livelihoods and the quality of lives especially for women, children and the elderly in the region.

Dry weather in southern Africa has left several crops and pasture for livestock dry and affected 9 per cent of the SADC’s 293 million population

Dry weather in southern Africa has left several crops and pasture for livestock dry and affected 9 per cent of the SADC’s 293 million population

At least 27 million people, translating to about 9 per cent of the SADC’s 293 million population, are already affected by the current disaster and this figure is likely to increase.

The SADC El Niño Response Team has been established in response to a directive from the SADC Council of Ministers at their meeting held in Gaborone, Botswana on 14-15th March 2016.

The Team comprises of staff from the Secretariat and the UN Agencies such as the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the World Food Programme (WFP), the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

According to SADC Secretariat, the SADC El Niño Response Team will: “Analyse and communicate the regional extent of the impacts of El Niño and the financial and logistical requirements for an effective response; coordinate the systems and institutional requirements for an effective importation and distribution programme of food and non-food commodities in the SADC region to mitigate the impacts of the El Niño event of 2016; perform monitoring and evaluation of the response to allow for effective decision making during and after the response; and based on lessons learnt during the response, make recommendations for future disasters.”

The SADC El Niño Response Team is currently preparing a regional drought appeal for assistance with the aim of mobilising resources to meet the needs of people requiring humanitarian support in the Region.

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 29, 2015

Namibia: SADC Convenes a Stakeholder Dialogue on Role of Water in Driving Industrialization

Anita Matsika Ritah
Windhoek, Namibia.
September 29, 2015

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) in collaboration with the Global Water Partnership Southern Africa (GWP-SA) has convened a Multi-stakeholder Dialogue on the role of water in driving industrialization.

The dialogue that kicked off today Tuesday will end tomorrow Wednesday. It is going on at Safari Court Hotel, in Windhoek, Namibia.

Most African countries struggle to provide access to water and sanitation to their people

Most African countries struggle to provide access to water and sanitation to their people

The event is being held as part of the SADC Multi Stakeholder Water Dialogue, a biennial activity which provides a platform for regional stakeholders to discuss and share experiences on different aspects of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).

The Dialogue is running under the theme: Watering Development in SADC: The central role of water in driving industrialization”, comes at an opportune time as the region recently approved the SADC Industrialisation Roadmap and Strategy 2015 – 2063.

Mindful of water’s critical role in driving industrialization, the Dialogue has brought together about 150 stakeholders from the water, energy, agriculture, industry, civil society, private, and the academic sectors in the region to strategize on the role that water will play in driving industrialisation.

Almost every industrial process requires water, and water demand grows in parallel with increases in the industrial base, hence the need to plan and ensure that water does not become a constraint, both in quality and quantity, in order to achieve the aspirations set out in the SADC Industrialization Strategy and Roadmap.

The 7th SADC Multi-stakeholder Water Dialogue is also serving as a platform to validate the fourth Regional Strategic Action Plan which details the five-year programme for the water sector (2016 – 2020) and supports the implementation of the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) and the Industrialisation Roadmap and Strategy.

The Dialogue is sponsored by the Government of Denmark through the Royal Danish Embassy, the Governments of Germany in delegated cooperation with the Governments of Australia (AUSaid) and the United Kingdom (UKaid) managed by Deutsche Gesellschaft für ineternationale zusammenarbeit (GIZ); and the Climate Resilient Infrastructure Development Facility (CRIDF).

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