SADC REGION EXPLORES NEW WAYS TO BECOME FOOD SECURE

SOUTHERN AFRICA: POVERTY/SABANEWS/11/10/18 SABANews 1

LILONGWE – Experts from the SADC Region have this month met in MALAWI to discuss ways to coordinate activities in FOUR major sectors that can help end the scourge of poverty in member countries.

Lodges on the banks of the Zambezi River (Pic. Agencies)

The ZAMBEZI Watercourse Commission, ZAMCOM publication, THE RIPARIAN, says discussions have been on the inter-linkages between the economic divisions of water, energy, food, and environment.

It says MALAWIAN Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Minister JOSEPH MWANAMVEKHA graced the annual gathering of the experts and ZAMBEZI River Basin stakeholders.

THE RIPARIAN also says delegates to the 2018 Forum had their focus on the theme: Water-Energy-Food-Ecosystms, WEFE, nexus for socio-economic benefits in the ZAMBEZI River Basin.

It says the ZAMCOM has collaborated with its partners to organise the TWO-day-long event from the EIGHTH to the NINTH of this month at the UMODZI Park in the MALAWIAN capital, LILONGWE.

More than 100 delegates from the ZAMBEZI River Basin states, partner organisations and their constituents, as well as regional and international cooperating partners have attend the Forum.

A cross section of stakeholders including academics and the private sector from the Southern AFRICAN Region and other parts of the world also were in LILONGWE.

The 2018 event has brought together agents of stakeholders with interests in the management and development of water as well as related resources in the Basin to share knowledge and experiences.

THE RIPARIAN says their discussions have mainly aimed to provide advice and inputs that contribute to ZAMCOM initiatives and the ZAMBEZI Basin developments.

The publication says the WEFE Nexus Approach is a fairly new concept that looks at the inter-linkages between sectors and explore the best way to the coordinated approach to address challenges.

It says with a changing climate, increased population, and demand on depleting natural resources, coordinated planning and implementation of development initiatives is increasingly becoming important.

Already, recent droughts have had a huge impact on energy and food security in the riparian nations and the rest of the SADC Region; as these sectors depend on water and ecosystem services, clearly showing the need to coordinate programs against the challenges.

The FOURTH SADC Regional Strategic Action Plan for Integrated Water Resources Management recognises the WEF connection as a key approach to achieving water, energy, and food security.

THE RIPARIAN says a number of partners in the ZAMBEZI River Basin have started looking at the Nexus Approach in the context of the basin.

It quotes a water expert, ANDREW TAKAWIRA, as saying the Nexus Approach promotes maximising interdependencies and synergies between the THREE sectors in order to increase efficiencies, viability of projects and ensure sustainability.

The THIRD Forum has thus aimed to build on SADC Regional processes and ZAMBEZI River Basin activities to identify opportunities of a Nexus Approach to address poverty, social inclusion, gender equity, and economic development.

Authorities had expected the Forum, after considering things like decision support ways for WEFE security; nexus chances and investments; ecosystem management for water, energy, food security; and nexus governance, would address a number of issues.

They wanted ideas on how to raise awareness and enhance knowledge on how the WEFE Nexus Approach can address development challenges in the basin and support the implementation of the Strategic Plan for the ZAMBEZI River Basin.

Delegates have been expected to open channels for sharing experiences and opportunities of the WEFE Nexus Approach in shared river basins, as well as identifying gaps, challenges and chances in the implementation of the WEFE Nexus Approach.

Such channels would further help develop strategies and actions to facilitate the practical application of the NEXUS Approach by ZAMBEZI River Basin stakeholders and initiate a process to identify nexus investments in order to contribute to the ZAMCOM Vision.

ZAMCOM is a major river basin organisation set up in 2014 as an intergovernmental establishment that brings together EIGHT Riparian States in AFRICA.

The Riparian States are ANGOLA, BOTSWANA, MALAWI, MOZAMBIQUE, NAMIBIA, TANZANIA, ZAMBIA, and ZIMBABWE.

The basis for their cooperation is the Agreement on the Establishment of the ZAMBEZI Watercourse Commission, which was signed in 2004 and came into force in 2011, with its headquarters in HARARE, ZIMBABWE./Sabanews/cam