SADC population lacks safe drinking water
Written by Millennium on March 23, 2019
LINDA SOKO TEMBO writes
ABOUT 40 per cent of the population in the SADC region has no access to safe drinking water, says the group’s Groundwater Management Institute, executive director, James Sauramba.
Mr Sauramba said SADC presently had a population of 280 million people and more than 60 percent had no access to adequate sanitation services.
He said there was a large dependence by communities in SADC on groundwater for health and well-being, food production, and economic growth.
Mr Sauramba said groundwater was increasingly becoming a resource of choice for people in the region as climate variability altered the amount of surface water that was available, which was already challenged by threats of depletion and pollution.
In a statement to celebrate the World Water Day, which fell on March 22 under the theme “Leaving no one behind”, would be commemorated under the theme “Water for all means Groundwater.”
Mr Sauramba said the sustainable management of groundwater was critical for the region, particularly in trans-boundary aquifers where the potential for conflict was heightened.
He said that SADC played a critical role in supporting member states to improve their groundwater management capabilities.
“World Water Day allows us to express the importance of groundwater in the region. We view groundwater as critical to the future of the agricultural and industrial sectors, and people in the region, particularly in the rural areas, where the majority largely dependent on it.