Home | Help | Search | Login | Register

mulonga.net forum  |  IT Centers  |  Sinazongwe.Online  |  Topic: ENVIRONMENT-SOUTHERN AFRICA: Ministers to meet over Zambezi Commission « previous next »
Pages: [1] Print
Author Topic: ENVIRONMENT-SOUTHERN AFRICA: Ministers to meet over Zambezi Commission  (Read 9500 times)
Peter Kuthan / AZFA
Global Moderator
Hero Member
Posts: 819

« on: September 20 2008 »

17 SEPTEMBER 2008 
By Moses Magadza

Water ministers of countries that share the Zambezi River will finally launch a long-standing initiative to promote sustainable utilisation of water resources at a meeting in Tanzania in November 2008.
The Zambezi River flows through eight southern African countries (Angola, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe) and sustains more than 40 million people in its 2,700 km journey to the Indian Ocean.

Experts say the great river faces a plethora of challenges that include pollution, acidity, deforestation, agricultural expansion and outbreaks of diseases among fish.

Hilary Masundire, who has conducted research focusing on waste disposal and pollution along the Zambezi, said one study revealed that pollution in the river basin had reached appalling proportions.

"In Kasane/Kazungula (a district between Botswana and Zambia) as you drive in, one of the first things you see is the dump site. In Victoria Falls as you are driving from the airport into the city of the 'Smoke that thunders', you are welcomed by the 'Smoke that stinks' because dumpsites are at the entrance to the city," he says.

Imasiku Nyambe, a geologist with the University of Zambia's School of Mines, says mining activity has also contributed to pollution in the Zambezi River Basin.

"For many years, copper mining has supported the social and economic development of Zambia, accounting for about 93 percent of Zambia's foreign exchange in 1991. By 1995, mining employed 47,500 people, although this dropped to 23,000 people in 2000," he said.

However, Nyambe says, there was scant regard to the effects of the industry in the environment and people's health. "This led to contamination problems that include industrial effluent discharge into water bodies, eutrophication, erosion and sedimentation as well as air pollution," he said.

Nyambe says a study between 2002 and 2006 to determine the extent of industrial contamination and its impact on agricultural plants revealed problems and underscored the need for a basin wide approach in managing water resources.

"Among the findings were: deterioration in the state of health in the local population -- skin allergies, chronic poisoning, chronic bronchitis -- loss of aquatic species, death of cattle due to drinking contaminated water, harmful elements in agricultural produce leading to low yields."

Other experts say the greatest challenge facing the Zambezi River Basin is lack of collaboration among water experts.

Sithabile Tirivarombo of Zimbabwe's Chinhoyi University of Technology says a basin-wide water quality management mechanism is needed in the basin.

Abwino Munjoma, the communications expert for the Zambezi Action Plan Project 6, Phase II (ZACPRO 6.2) a SADC body set up to improve water availability and protection against floods, droughts, water resources pollution and environmental degradation in the Zambezi River Basin, told IPS the ministers were scheduled to meet Nov. 5.

Phera Ramoeli, an official with the 15-member SADC's secretariat in Botswana said countries that share the Zambezi had agreed that Botswana will host an interim ZAMCOM secretariat which is expected to be in place by January 2009, "while the process of ratification and coming into force of the ZAMCOM Agreement is taking place".

In 2004, ZACPRO 6.2 facilitated the signing of the ZAMCOM agreement. However, ZAMCOM can only be established once six of the eight Zambezi basin countries ratify the agreement. So far, only Angola, Botswana, Mozambique and Namibia have ratified the agreement.

Munjoma says the function of an interim secretariat will be to facilitate the establishment of ZAMCOM.

"The interim secretariat will also be expected to facilitate the implementation of the just developed Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) Strategy for the Zambezi River Basin.

The IWRM Strategy was developed under the auspices of ZACPRO 6.2 to facilitate ratification of the ZAMCOM agreement and establishment of a permanent ZAMCOM secretariat as well as facilitate the implementation of the IWRM strategy and implementation plan for the Zambezi River Basin," Munjoma said.

Turning to the benefits expected from an envisaged ZAMCOM, Munjoma said they would include coordinated collection, evaluation and dissemination of all data and information on the Zambezi Watercourse as may be necessary for the implementation of the Agreement.

"It would also advise Member States on measures necessary for the avoidance of disputes and assist in the resolution of conflicts among Member States with regard to the planning, management, utilisation, development, protection and conservation of the Zambezi Watercourse," she said.

Zimbabwean scientist Christopher Magadza, part of the team of scientists who sit on the 4th Climate Change Assessment Panel who were collectively awarded a Nobel Peace Prize along with Al Gore, believes that there is need for a body that goes beyond shared watercourses for the protection of all the basin's water sources and encourages greater cooperation between government and non-government experts.

He says although SADC has a protocol on shared watercourses, the protocol is limited in that it has no jurisdiction over water bodies that are entirely contained within one state.

"ZAMCOM needs to come with a protocol that engages non-governmental institutions such as the Zimbabwe Academy of Sciences and the Zambian Academy of Sciences and promote cooperation between public and private sector scientists," Magadza.

source: http://ipsterraviva.net/Africa/print.aspx?idnews=N2142
Posts: 16

« Reply #1 on: October 01 2008 »


Peter Kuthan / AZFA
Global Moderator
Hero Member
Posts: 819

« Reply #2 on: June 29 2009 »

Climate proofing the Zambezi

JOHANNESBURG, 25 June 2009 (IRIN) - The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has launched a USD$ 8 million initiative to help build the disaster resilience of 600,000 people living along the Zambezi river in seven southern African countries.

The Zambezi River Basin Initiative (ZRBI) is a response to "a dramatic increase in the numbers of floods along the river basin” according to Farid Abdulkadir, IFRC disaster management coordinator for the southern Africa region.

At 2,574 kilometers, the Zambezi is Africa's fourth largest river. Some 80 percent of the 32 million people in the fertile basin depend on agriculture or fishing.

While the Zambezi and its tributaries have always been prone to occasional flooding, changing weather patterns and years of land degradation has meant that “for many communities, these events are now annual crises, leaving them in an almost perpetual cycle of disaster, displacement and recovery,” said Abdulkadir.

The focus of the ZRBI, launched on 25 June, would therefore be on disaster preparedness rather than post emergency relief operations: “The Zambezi Initiative aims to break this cycle; to help communities be prepared for these disasters, and to encourage them to take steps to reduce the devastating impact that they have on their lives,” he said.

A joint programme between the Angolan, Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe Red Cross Societies, the ZBRI would combine risk reduction efforts with food security, health, HIV prevention and capacity building activities.

There would be a centre focus on helping communities adapt to climate threats, using conservation based farming techniques, water harvesting technologies and reforestation.

The US Agency for International Development, USAID, has committed $1 million to the project. Harlan Hale, USAID Principal Regional Advisor for Southern Africa, said: "It just makes good sense, we are always still committed to responding to disasters but we would also like to commit ourselves equally to helping to prevent and mitigate those disasters".

Pages: [1] Print 
mulonga.net forum  |  IT Centers  |  Sinazongwe.Online  |  Topic: ENVIRONMENT-SOUTHERN AFRICA: Ministers to meet over Zambezi Commission « previous next »
Jump to:  

Powered by SMF 1.1.8 | SMF © 2006-2008, Simple Machines LLC