Thumbs up for  Orange River deal

Thumbs up for Orange River deal

MASERU – MEMBERS of the Orange-Senqu River Commission (ORASECOM) have signed an agreement on how they will save and use water from the Orange River.
This was discussed at the 5th ordinary meeting of ORASECOM two weeks ago.
ORASECOM members are drawn from four African countries that the Orange River passes through them.

And these countries have decided to work together to save and take care of water from that river.
These countries are Lesotho, Namibia, Botswana and South Africa.

The Minister of Water Samonyane Ntsekele said he wished to appreciate the signing of the agreement that the ORASECOM members had done.
“We have a slogan that says one river, four nations, because the river of Senqu is uniting us,” Ntsekele said.
“I understand that Lesotho has recently experienced zero percent from some rivers but Senqu River is always giving us water. For that reason, I think this decision of saving water which we have joined, is good”.

Ntsekele said drought that the country is currently facing, demands more initiatives in order to give water to the people, animals as well as crops.
He said Lesotho is a country with more water but some of “our people do not have enough water, so the signing of the agreement has come at the time when some communities are grappling with water woes.

For that matter I think this cooperation is very important to us because when working together, we can change people’s lives, but working in isolation cannot help us, the minister said.
Ntsekele said taking the responsibility together and making sure that resources like these are taken care of will be so helpful “but if we let this opportunity, we will struggle in the near future.”
Botswana’s Minister of Water Kefentse Mzwinila said they have decided to work together as four countries because they have realized that water is a priority that their people need the most.
“Water is a priority and it will remain like that, there is no one who could live without water,” Mzwinila said.

He said they had numerous meetings as four countries and were discussing the measures they have to make so that they could make water available for their communities.
We want to increase the access in providing and saving water to our communities, he said.

Namibia’s Minister of Water Alpheus Naruseb said the Orange River is one of the biggest rivers which provides water for millions of people.
“It is therefore important to promote peace, good health and good livelihood for our people by giving them clean water from this river,” Naruseb said.

He said the meeting had come at a time when they are facing drought in most of the ORASECOM countries due to lack of rain, which he said is caused by climate change.
He said to deal with this problem there was need for them to come together and work together as they have already forged a relationship of marriage as the four countries.
“We will improve water resources and provide our communities with clean and safe water. For that matter we have signed the ORASECOM agreement today and this will be helpful to us,” Naruseb said.

Gugile Nkwiti, the South African Minister of Water, said as ORASECOM was founded way back in 2000, it had proved very effective over the last 18 years.
He said they will soon be celebrating their 18 years as members of ORASECOM and they are very satisfied with this project because it has improved the standard of living for their people.
“So we are very happy and we will be so willing to work together even for some many years to come,” Nkwiti said.

Thooe Ramolibeli


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