LESOTHO – The Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) is currently holding the 10th SADC Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue which is focusing on water, energy and food security in the region.
The dialogue which started yesterday is expected to end tomorrow and is held in Maseru under the theme “Bolstering regional productive capacities for water, energy, food security and ecosystem resilience to achieve inclusive and sustainable industrial transformation.”
Speaking at the event, the Ministry of Water Principal Secretary (PS) Mr. Lisema Lekhooana emphasized the Importance of water, energy and food security.
“In recent times, our region has felt the impact of the war in Ukraine. We have already witnessed how the disruption of the supply of the food commodities has driven up prices of commodities and exacerbated food insecurity in the region,” he said.
“The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that water scarcity affects 1 in 3 people in the African Region. The situation is being exacerbated by population growth, urbanization and increases in household and industrial uses. These problems are compounded by periodic floods and droughts. Just this April, South Africa experienced one of the worst floods where about 306 people were killed and infrastructure destroyed. Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Madagascar and Namibia have all experienced these devastating floods where lives were lost and infrastructure destroyed. Lesotho was no exception as we also experienced these floods in 2021 where a number of lives were lost, livestock, water and road infrastructure destroyed,” Mr. Lekhooana added.
SADC Secretariat, Director of Infrastructure Ms. ‘Mapalo Mokoena said “Strengthening productive capacities will produce balanced and sustainable development and also boost the ability of SADC Member States to respond to challenges including climate change impacts and Covid-19.”
European Head of Delegation to Lesotho Her Excellency Paula Amadei highlighted the importance of agriculture as it is the main source of livelihood for 60% of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa. She called for a broad consensus to adopt sustainable methods of preserving the environment that so many rely on to ensure food security.
The SADC Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue is a biennial event organized by the SADC Secretariat traditionally held as events driven by the Water sector. It provides a forum for practitioners and other influencing sectors to have a dialogue on pertinent issues that need to be addressed to deepen regional integration and address poverty in the region.