Namibia is one of the driest countries in the world. Water is a fundamental resource for sustainable development. That is why water management is a topic of particular importance to the country. Water is pivotal for economic growth and essential to human sustenance, food production and energy. Especially in urban areas Namibia’s population is growing rapidly and water plays a vital function in sustaining ecosystems for future generations.
The water scarce environment of Namibia has immediate consequences for citizens, policy-makers and the environment itself. With harsh hydrological conditions and increased climate variability compounding water scarcity, water has become a precious resource controlled by privatised authorities and cost-recovery measures.
Given these realities, addressing water and sanitation governance challenges is key for the equitable use of water as a scarce resource that requires socially and environmentally sustainable management regimes. The policy formulation processes for managing water in Namibia have been dynamic, and moving forward, the potential exists for greater inclusion of integrity, accountability and transparency for improved water and sanitation service delivery.
At the outset of the 25th year of Namibia’s democracy, the public discussion on promoting good governance in the provision of this precious resource, asked the question at the Business Breakfast on the 25th of March 2015 in Windhoek: “What are the challenges and where do the opportunities lie?”
Dr. Wolf Krug, the Southern Africa Regional Representative of the Hanns Seidel Foundation, welcomed the panellists and guests and also introduced Nicole Bogott, the new head of office of the Hanns Seidel Foundation in Namibia as well as Lesley-Anne van Wyk, the new programme coordinator for the climate project.
Rennie Munyayi, who is the programme coordinator – water programmes at the Desert Research Foundation of Namibia moderated the event. There were presentations and panel discussions by:
Godfrey Pazvakawambwa (Namibia Water Cooperation)
Johan de Vos (City of Windhoek)
Dr. Johannes Heeb (Centre for Water Management Services)
Nampa Nengola (Anti-Corruption Commission of Namibia)
The business breakfast serves as a platform to create awareness on a variety of topics that are of importance to Namibian society. The event highlighted that there is a need to address governance challenges in the water and sanitation sector in Namibia. The discussion with the audience revolved around investments in integrity, accountability and transparency. Highlighted were also the significance of cross-sectorial engagement on sustainable and equitable use and distribution of water in Namibia; especially in the Swakoppoort Basin.