ZANZIBAR: PRESIDENT Hussein Ali Mwinyi has called for consolidated position and strategies towards securing water for the people, economies as well as the environment in response to emerging climate change effects.
He said in Zanzibar on Wednesday that the impact of climate change leads to increasing vulnerability due to severe weather patterns, hence causing growing urban water demand, inadequate existing supplies and land use changes.
“These challenges call for sustainable water resources management so as to meet current ecological, social and economic needs,” he stated at the opening of the ‘24th WaterNet/water research fund for Southern Africa (WARFSA) /global water partnership-southern Africa (GWP-SA) symposium.
“We need to have a consolidated position and develop strategies towards securing water for our people, and our economies as well as the environment.”
He explained that evidence suggests that the environment is constantly changing, attributing it to climate change.
This leads to the global challenges, which have led to various issues of concern including the deterioration of water sources, pollution, biodiversity loss, and loss of general health of the environment.
The theme of the three-Day symposium, which has brought together policy makers, academia, researchers and other actors in the industry is “Accelerating Change: Fostering Innovation and Integration for Sustainable Water Resources Management in Eastern and Southern Africa”.
Mwinyi pointed out that the theme of the symposium was very timely and relevant to water investment programme.
He stated that the contributions from the symposium are important, and that the water sector has the responsibility to carry them towards SADC development goals and regional integration.
The main aim of the symposium is to share knowledge and experiences in order to explore ways and means of addressing underlying challenges and prospects in the water sector in Eastern and Southern Africa.
President said for Zanzibar, the symposium has come at a right time, adding: “As we are looking forward to accelerating change through innovative and integration approaches for sustainable water resources management.”
He expressed optimism that sharing of experiences and expertise during the symposium will bring new ideas and ways to better harness and manage the limited freshwater.
“Zanzibar has developed a water investment programme (2022-2027). The programme aims at mobilising resources for water security investments for the implementation and long-term sustainability of water supply for basic needs and water projects for economic needs,” Dr Mwinyi said.
He mentioned that the focus areas in the programme include water investment scorecard and finance for improved water and sanitation services; Building climate resilience; Gender equality and social inclusion; Strengthening institutional arrangement; and blue economy and sustainable water resources management
Minister for Education, Science and Technology – Prof Adolph Mkenda (mainland), and the Vice Chancellor, University of Dar es Salaam, Prof William Anangisye, thanked Dr Mwinyi for his initiatives in finding solutions to water shortage and climate change in Zanzibar.
Key areas of focus in the symposium include changing hydro-climatic regimes and planning tools for climate resilient pathways, water, ecosystems and the environment, and innovative approaches, practices and technologies for affordable water supply, and sanitation services.