SA puts world water matters on spotlight

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Cape Town - The obligation for all humanity to save water will be the focal point during World Water Week.

Preparations for the event, set to be hosted by the Mother City between 20 and 22 March at the Cape Town International Conventional Centre, are at an advanced stage.

Government dignitaries from around the globe, lobby groups and international organizations, among other concerned stakeholders, are set to grace the occasion. Last year, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gave a keynote address to mark the event.

The proceedings coincide with the Department of Water Affairs' National Water Week, which kicks off in KwaZulu-Natal on 19 March.

The week, which will be held under the theme; "Water is life, working together we can save more water," will see the department hosting a major expo in Khayelitsha Township, outside Cape Town, on water conservation.

Speaking at a briefing on World Water Week this morning, Piers Cross of the UN Habitat said the focus would be on making the world understand water saving.

With rapid urbanisation across Africa, he said water issues were a big challenge for the continent.

The Consul General from the Kingdom of the Netherlands, David de Waal, said that they wanted to share with South Africa their experiences in managing water. "Water is a responsibility for us all. It's a matter that concerns us all ... let's raise the awareness," he said.

In that regard, de Waal said that they had partnered with the Water Institute of South Africa. 

Cabinet spokesperson Jimmy Manyi announced on Thursday that Cabinet had approved the hosting of the World Water Day in Cape Town on 22 March 2011 by the United Nations Habitat in partnership with the African Ministers Council on Water. - BuaNews