South Africa has committed to work with all international agencies and governments to ensure water security. The commitment was made during the opening of the sixth International Hydrology Programme (IHP) Africa National Committees Meeting in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape on Wednesday, 12 July.
Water and Sanitation deputy director general: planning and information Deborah Mochotlhi said delegates at the meeting must put their heads together to come up with implementable and effective international mechanisms to manage water security and protect water resources.
“These mechanisms will ensure that all the countries represented here today manage their water resources and also educate all water users about their role.
“Hydrologists play a critical role in the water sector, as they measure the properties of bodies of water, such as water quality and stream flow, and they also analyse data on the environmental impacts of pollution, erosion, drought and other problems,” Mochotlhi said.
She said they are mindful of the global issues in relation to water challenges facing most parts of the world caused by the effects of climate change. South Africa, in particular, is still grappling with and recovering from the devastating drought effects.
“In recent months, the Western Cape province has been severely affected by these natural effects and subsequently the province was declared a disaster area due to serious water challenges.
“The Eastern Cape province has also not been spared, with Nelson Mandela Bay, Buffalo City and Mnquma Municipalities being hard hit by serious water challenges.
“This is not just a South African problem, the African continent and the world at large is also battling with… drought effects, particularly developing countries. Climate change challenges need increased joint efforts by everyone – governments, international organisations, business, water sector stakeholders and the general public – to work together to find ways to manage this problem,” Mochotlhi said.