States should communicate funded water projects

Water and Sanitation Deputy Minister, Dikeledi Magadzi, has called on the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to report regularly and indicate specific funding they receive in order to ensure that member states are conversant of projects that are undertaken.

The Deputy Minister made the remarks while addressing the 40th joint committee of SADC Ministers meeting responsible for energy and water held virtually on Thursday in Malawi.

The department in a statement said the assembly of SADC Ministers was arranged for the common purpose of constructing some practical and feasible solutions to resolve, among other things, the financing of the regional energy and water projects.

“The high-level gathering was also convened to lay out a strategic direction which seeks to allow Ministers to evaluate development and take firm decisions on water and energy projects,” it said.

One of the major issues that was under the microscope during the engagement was SADC Groundwater Management Programme which seeks to support sustainable management of groundwater at national and transboundary levels across SADC countries.

The adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic which has exacerbated the challenge of water security were also discussed extensively.

“South Africa supports decisions on SADC-Ground Water Management (SADC-GMI) and we further stress the importance of strengthening the GMI and its related networks in the region and the rest of the continent,” said Magadzi.

She reaffirmed the importance of being appraised as member states about the total number of projects that are currently taking place and the amount of money that is being allocated in those projects for transparency purposes.

“As member states we need to be made aware of who is funding who and where, as well as the type of projects that are happening on the ground” Magadzi emphasised.

During the engagements, it was revealed that the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA) has been appointed as the project executing agency of SADC Regional Fund for Water Infrastructure and Basic Sanitation which is aimed at strengthening the coordination function of SADC in the water sector. This agency will go a long way in far as improving regional water infrastructure is concerned. –