Botswana: Joint Investment On Water, Energy Ideal

| June 25, 2016

Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Mr Kitso Mokaila has suggested that joint strategic investments should be a must in order to secure water and energy in the SADC region.

Speaking in an interview at a two-day SADC Joint Ministerial Workshop on Energy and Water held in Gaborone, Monday, he said it was fundamental to better the livelihoods of SADC community by co-investing, instead of competing with the resources that each country has.

"We are all endowed very differently as countries, and therefore, we should look at what comparative and competitive advantages we have over the other.

And therefore look at developing regional infrastructure to ensure we overcome our shortcomings," he said.

He said if SADC countries could work collectively, they could build the necessary regional infrastructure by asking individual countries to look at their internal schemes that could be devised.

Minister Mokaila said SADC could become one of the most powerful regional blocs if member states work together because of abundant resources to generate green hydro power that could supply the whole of Africa while Botswana has coal and could do better in solar energy.

At the same meeting, the stakeholders concluded that as a matter of urgency, member states should embark on intensive energy and water demand side management strategies.

These strategies, he added would use high efficiency technologies, methodologies and also create better awareness.

They suggested that countries should restrict the use of incandescent lamps due to the high inefficiency, and fluorescent lights due to its inherent poor disposal mechanisms that cause mercury poisoning.

Participants also suggested that countries should implement incentives that encourage efficient energy consumption as well as enact legislations that promote or obligate households to include solar geysers as an integral part of the house plan.

They also suggested that depending on the status of water supply in each country, member states should introduce rationing measures that discourage wasteful use of water for various uses including irrigation and where appropriate restrict furrow irrigation due to its high inefficiency.

The workshop also concluded that the region should promote and invest in alternative and cleaner energy generation such as hydro, solar and wind power and above thermal power generation and where possible, promote good energy mix between the various sources of energy.

On the water side, they agreed that member states should invest in rainwater harvesting, recycling and desalination depending on the circumstances and should promote conjunctive use of groundwater and surface water.

The workshop was called by the SADC Chairperson, President Lt General Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama for SADC energy and water ministers to collectively address the prevailing water and energy insecurity in the region.

The workshop was held under the theme, Accelerating Energy Delivery and Access to Water Resources in the SADC Region - A Collective Approach.

Source: Botswana Daily News


Category: Business & Finance

Comments are closed.