Cabinet water crisis committee swings into action

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Windhoek

Government yesterday paved the way for addressing Namibia’s acute water shortage when Agriculture, Water and Forestry Minister John Mutorwa welcomed the Cabinet Committee on Water Supply Security that also comprises of a Technical Committee of Experts.

The committee that consists of Cabinet ministers, assisted by the special technical committee comprising of government technocrats and experts, was appointed by President Hage Geingob earlier this month.

Speaking at the occasion, Mutorwa made it very clear that the work of the committee is part and parcel of the duties of the ministry.
He said members of the committee who are not government officials should be appointed on a full-time basis and remunerated at a pre-determined rate as per government rules for the next month or until the water crisis in Windhoek has been averted.

Among others, the function of the committee is to review all existing proposed water supply solutions by various stakeholders, including proposals by the water ministry and the Windhoek Municipality.

The functions include presenting a detailed and costed implementation plan by mid-August on how to avert the projected water crisis in Windhoek before the end of this year and for the next three years.

Furthermore, the committee is also tasked to prioritise Windhoek’s water supply as soon as the implementation plan has gained necessary approval.

Once a clear and costed implementation plan for the water crisis in Windhoek has been adopted and implementation thereof is visibly on track, the committee should immediately turn its attention to other national water initiatives in a phased approach.

The committee is further expected to institute a reporting framework for Cabinet to monitor and evaluate progress towards resolving the water supply crisis that faces the country.

Additionally, the committee will be required to develop a reporting template, which will facilitate efficient monitoring and evaluation of its agenda. Furthermore, the committee is also expected to submit reports on a fortnightly basis to the president on progress and recommendations made.

Mutorwa said the committee will have decision-making powers as delegated by President Hage Geingob.
“The committee shall have powers to co-opt or invite additional experts as deemed fit,” he said.

The cabinet committee consists of Mutorwa as chairperson, Minister of Finance Calle Schlettwein, Minister of Economic Planning and Director General of the National Planning Commission Tom Alweendo, Minister of Urban and Rural Development Sophia Shaningwa and the Minister of Presidential Affairs, Frans Kapofi.

The technical committee of experts consist of Namibia Water Corporation Ltd (NamWater) CEO Dr Vaino Shivute, water expert Pedro Maritz, City of Windhoek strategic executive for infrastructure, water and technical services Pierre van Rensburg, presidential economic advisor Dr John Steytler, presidential advisor on policy monitoring and implementation Penny Akwenye and still to be named government technocrats from the National Planning Commission, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry.

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