Windhoek — The just concluded Namibia Water Investment Conference was hailed a resounding success, as the objectives of the conference were met.
Under-Secretary for Water Affairs and Forestry in the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Abraham Nehemia, says synergies were established between the water sector and potential investors, with specific opportunities and partners identified for follow-ups.
“The ball is set to roll, networks are established, [what is left is] just explore and expand. The conference gave 10 percent inspiration and now comes 90 percent perspiration,” Nehemia said at the closing of the three-day international conference.
The next step forward, he said, is for conference organisers to provide linkages for possible engagement between developers and investors. Nehemia noted that a project file should be developed for continuous updates by potential investors.
“We should have projects ready for potential investors, so that they do not get discouraged,” he added.
He suggested the holding of regional conferences, especially in other regions of the country, in order to look into specific regional needs, in addition to annual monitoring and evaluation of conference recommendations.
A second follow-up conference is envisaged in the next five years.
The N$3 million conference was meant to explore and showcase business opportunities; to familiarise potential investors with available technologies and financial resources; to learn about new innovations in water-based industries; to encourage potential entrepreneurs to tap into the vast opportunities available and to promote domestic production of plants and to act as an interactive platform for industry players.
Currently, access to improved sanitation services is still lagging behind, especially in rural areas, while rapid economic and population growth, along with climate variability, is putting pressure on water supply.
Although the government has made significant strides in terms of water supply and sanitation, investment patterns remain skewed with little participation by the private sector. Other issues identified relate to cost and recovery and affordability in the water sector.
Nehemia further said that there is a need for enabling policies and legislation relating to water resources management and to ensure risk minimisation, in case of floods and droughts.
The need to explore non-conventional water sources such as desalination and artificial recharging, were also highlighted to ensure water security, in the arid Namibia.
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Namibia: Water Conference Hailed Great Success
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