Political activities impossible without food and water: Mutorwa

WINDHOEK: Political activities like any other human activities are not quite possible in the absence of food and water.

Minister of Agriculture, Water and Forestry John Mutorwa said this in the statement read on his behalf during the opening of one-day Southern African Development Community (SADC) Future Challenges Forum on Food, Water and Energy security in the capital on Tuesday.

“The correlation or relationship between water, food and energy challenges in Namibia and SADC, in my humble view could at best characterized or described as symbiotic or interdependent. It means that the one cannot do without the other one, or even expressed in much stronger language, the one cannot survive, sustainably without the other one,” Mutorwa said.

He stressed that the high rate of urbanization, in combination with rising income and industrial development, will increase urban water demand significantly.

Mutorwa noted it need to be lucidly emphasized that the rural urban migration phenomenon, require major capital financial investments to provide access to water and sanitation services especially for the very poor who cannot and will not afford to pay for these absolutely essential services.

The minister said the current problem of distributing the available water, to where it is mostly needed will be exacerbated and complicated.

He added that the developed water resources will be fully utilized and exhausted as new more expensive water sources such as desalination plants, new dams, long pipelines and water from international watercourses will unavoidably have to be developed.

Speaking at the same occasion, Water technician from the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry Maria Amakali said the country need about N.dollars 14 billion to develop and maintain water infrastructure in Namibia.

Amakali said the finalization of the Neckartal dam in Karas Region will provide water for the irrigation of about 5 000 ha of land in the region.

The proposed Neckartal Dam has a catchment area of 45 365 square kilometer (km²) with a calculated average annual runoff of 397 cubic millimeter per annum (Mm³/a).

The storage volume is expected to be 856 cubic millimeter (Mm³) and the full supply area may cover 39 km².