Maseru, 21 September 2022
SADC compliments Lesotho on progress with Integrated Catchment Management
At the 10th SADC Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue held in Maseru from 5-7 September, the representatives from the SADC member states complimented the efforts made by the Government of Lesotho in conserving and restoring land and water through ReNOKA, its Integrated Catchment Management (ICM) programme.
In his official opening speech, the Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Water, Lisema Lekhooana said the SADC region is faced with several urgent challenges, including a lack of clean water and climate change-related flooding.
“The Southern African region continues to face water challenges regarding access and quality. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that water scarcity affects 1 in 3 people in the African region. The situation is being exacerbated by population growth and urbanisation . These problems are compounded by periodic floods and droughts.”
When addressing the Dialogue, the European Union Ambassador to the Kingdom of Lesotho, Her Excellency Paola Amadei, explained that agriculture is the main source of livelihood for 60% of the population in sub-Saharan Africa. She said there is a broad consensus to adopt sustainable methods of preserving the environment that many people rely on to ensure food security.
SADC Director of Infrastructure, Mapolao Mokoena, speaking during an excursion at the Makhalaneng Priority Sub-Catchment said, “We are very happy with the programme that is happening in this area to try to restore and rehabilitate the sub-catchment. We believe that with the interventions that we are proposing today, and those that are already in place, we should be able to build back and try to get what we used to have – great area, plenty of food and water.”
To showcase ICM work in Lesotho, the ICM Coordination Unit organised site visits to Metolong Dam, Makhalaneng (Puete Wetland) and Likhetla Sub-Catchment as part of the Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue.
Similarly to Mokoena, the Executive Secretary of the Okavango River Basin, Phera Ramoeli was impressed by Lesotho’s efforts in ICM and said the intervention of Lesotho youth at the 10th Dialogue showed strong engagement in ICM in the country.
“The youth highlighted that there are a lot of important activities and projects that can be influenced by them, particularly because of their innovative thinking,” he said.
Several youth entrepreneurs and leaders shared their experiences during the Dialogue, which included: addressing land scarcity through aquaponics and hydroponics, thereby accelerating Africa’s transition to sustainability and self-sufficiency; and reducing wood fuel consumption and carbon emissions through renewable energy stoves which provide clean cooking and house lighting for people in Lesotho.
The Dialogue theme was ‘Bolstering regional productive capacities for water, energy, food security and ecosystem resilience to achieve inclusive and sustainable industrial transformation,’ and it was hosted by the Government of Lesotho through the Ministry of Water and ReNOKA.
The 10th SADC Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue was funded by the European Union-supported SADC WEF Nexus Dialogue Project and the “Support to Integrated Catchment Management (ICM)” Project in Lesotho, co-financed by the EU and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
ReNOKA (‘we are a river’) is a national programme and citizen movement for the restoration of land and water in Lesotho and the Orange-Senqu basin. Support for ReNOKA is provided through a partnership between the Government of Lesotho, the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The EU and BMZ contributions are implemented through a technical assistance project “Support to Integrated Catchment Management in Lesotho” by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.
For more information
Visit the ReNOKA website at www.renoka.org
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National ICM Coordinator, ICM Coordination Unit
GIZ Programme Manager, Support to Integrated Catchment Management (ICM) in Lesotho
‘This publication was produced with the financial support of the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Its contents are the sole responsibility of the Integrated Catchment Management unit and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union or the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)’