Govt. committed to protection and sustainable use of water bodies

Government says it is determined to ascend to the Water Convention.

The Water Convention which is also known as the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Water courses and International lakes is a global legal and inter-governmental framework which aims to strengthen cooperation in the field of Transboundary waters and to promote protection and sustainable use of Transboundary surface waters and ground waters.

Minister of Water Development and Sanitation, Mike Mposha says once Zambia ascends to the convention, it will enable the country to accrue multiple benefits in management of shared waters.

Speaking in Chilanga today at the official opening of the National workshop related to the Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Water courses and International lakes,  the Minister noted that the Transboundary Zambezi and Congo River basins each cover approximately 75 percent and 25 percent, respectively, of Zambia’s territorial area.

Mr Mposha explained that these Transboundary river basins create socio economic, environmental and political interdependencies.

He said transboundary water cooperation is inevitable for ensuring peace and security, sustainable development and increasing climate change resilience among the people of the concerned countries.

The Minister said Zambia has over the years signed agreements with neighbors the country shares water bodies with.

“In an effort to promote international cooperation over shared river basins, Zambia has over the past years signed river basin agreements such as the 2000 SADC revised protocol on shared watercourses at regional level, Zambezi watercourse commission (ZAMCOM) with 8 Riparian states, the Zambezi River Authority between Zambia and Zimbabwe and the Lake Tanganyika authority between Zambia and other neighboring countries which include Burundi, Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo,” Mr Mposha said.

And United Nations Resident Coordinator, Beatrice Mutali said ascending to the Water Convention will support Zambia’s effort to accelerate the attainment of Sustainable Development Goal Number 6 on Clean Water and Sanitation.

Ms Mutali in a speech read for her by UNDP Resident Representative, Lionel Laurens further said ascending to the convention will strengthen the country’s bilateral standing with other countries.

“We therefore believe that the accession to the Water Convention would strengthen Zambia’s existing bilateral, basin and regional agreements by aligning to, and adhering with, the core principles of international water law at the global level.

Meanwhile European Union (EU) Ambassador to Zambia and COMESA, Jacek Jankowski said the continental body supports Zambia’s efforts to ascend to the Water Convention.

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