Cabinet has in principle approved the Water Resources Management Bill of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, and directed the Cabinet Committee on Legislation to scrutinise and finalise the Bill before it is tabled in the National Assembly during 2010.
Soon after the implementation of the Water Resources Management Act during December 2004 it was realised that certain technicalities hampered the practical implementation thereof.
Legal experts were of the opinion that it would be extremely cumbersome to make amendments to the Act. The Ministry was therefore advised to revise and rewrite the whole Water Resources Management Act of 2004.
The Water Resources Management Bill acknowledges water as a scare and unevenly distributed natural resource in Namibia and that water belongs to the people and should be harmoniously shared between them and the environment.
Since water is a finite resource with an economic value, it must be used and managed in an integrated and sustainable manner. The Bill recognises the need to delegate the functions to regional or basin level to enable people at grassroots level, especially women, to effectively participate in its management.
The draft Bill, therefore, seeks to bring gender issues up front, giving them the prominence they deserve.
Source: The Namibian, 13 July 2010