NAMIBIA’S high rainfall variability and the associated threat of drought are some of the most critical constraints to the country’s water resources, which are already under pressure as the demand for water continues to rise annually.
This was highlighted by the Executive Director (ED) of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, Ndiyakupi Nghituwamata, during the Regional Association I Hydrology and Water Coordination Panel meeting.
She explained that one of the goals of the meeting is to discuss the achievement of outcomes that can ensure the efficient and sustainable management of water resources and, in turn, address the impacts of climate change as well as its impact on people and their livelihoods.
Nghituwamata explained that as the demand for water continues to rise in the country, water scarcity has become a problem for all areas that are geographically far from the perennial water resources. She revealed that the annual water demand in 2015 was about 334.1 million cubic meters (m3). This demand, she said, is projected to reach 583.4 million m3 by 2025 and 771.7 million m3 by 2030.
As the demand increases, she explained, water scarcity in the country will likely be worsened by climate change and rainfall variability.
“According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) the African continent remains vulnerable to the impacts of hydro meteorological events which will increase in frequency and intensity which have a serious impact on socio economic development and progression,” she said.
Nghituwamata therefore stressed the importance of hydrological and meteorological services to address the impact of climate change, highlighting risk assessment, proper planning and mitigation as the cornerstones of such services.
However, she added, Africa’s national and hydrological and meteorological services are faced with challenges of low capacity to disseminate early warning services and information to mitigate against the impacts of climate change. For this reason, she said, there is a need for collaboration from all sectors to effectively address these challenges.