Water and Waste: Reduce and Reuse 27 August – 1 September 2017
As part of the Orange-Senqu River Commission (ORASECOM) Delegation, the Desert Research Foundation of Namibia attended the 2017 World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden from 27th August – 1st September 2017.
A total of 24,5% of the Basin area lies within the Republic of Namibia with a population of app. 370000 who depend on water resources to be managed in a sustainable manner. Apart from Governments mandate to manage key water installations, civil society organisations in Namibia also play a vital role in addressing water related issues such as improving local skills in water demand management and strengthening rural sanitation initiatives in communities within the Basin area. It also entails to build understanding and encouraging local communities to take responsibility of funded projects.
As a non-Governmental Organization, the Desert Research Foundation of Namibia (DRFN) is involved in various water and sanitation related projects with the aim to address the adverse effects of climate change and to address appropriate adaptation measures. Within the Basin area this is being done with the involvement of affected communities and addressing environmental, social and gender aspects to ensure that the scares water resources are being utilized in a sustainable manner. At the same time new opportunities for wastewater treatment, improving solid waste management and desalination opportunities powered by hybrid technologies are being discussed with local communities and regional Government Authorities within the ORASECOM Basin area in Namibia.
It is against this background that the DRFN was given the opportunity to attend the 2017 World Water Week as a representative of Civil Society organizations in Namibia with the aim to learn, network and strengthen its experience and to support the Orange-Senqu River Commission and its international cooperating partners at the event.
2017 World Water Week presented a wide spectrum of events, seminars, plenary sessions and showcases relating to water issues with an emphasis on how to reduce and more efficiently and effectively reuse waste water and further improve water treatment. At the same time, this event provided important opportunities to lobby support for the work of the Orange-Senqu River Commission and the envisaged expansion of sustainable use of water from the Orange River Basin. A special session to showcase the work of ORASECOM took place on Tuesday 29th August 2017 under “The Africa EU Water Partnership Project” meeting which allowed members of the ORASECOM delegation to present their work and projects.
The opportunity to participate in the 2017 World Water Week was made possible by support through/from UNDP South Africa, the Ministry of Agriculture, Water + Forestry, Windhoek/Namibia and the Secretariat of the Orange-Senqu River Commission, Pretoria/South Africa.