These recommendations were made at the end of a workshop held in Gaborone, Botswana, and was attended by SADC minister of water and energy resources and released Tuesday in a communiqué.
The objective of the workshop was to facilitate exchange of ideas and forge practical and sustainable solutions in addressing energy and water challenges in the region with a view to map out a strategic direction and agree on a way forward.
The workshop observed that some of the challenges which are contributing to energy insecurity in the region are the focus on national self-sufficiency by member states, which leads to stretching the little resources and yield of minimum generation capacities.
“On a similar note,” the communiqué said, “Riparian States sharing a river basin are still inward looking and aiming at building national dams to meet their national needs which tend to be very expensive and create some competition within the river basin.”
Furthermore, the communiqué said despite the region’s abundant potential for hydro-power, solar power, wind power, coal and gas, it is experiencing energy insecurity because of poor investment in these energy sources.
According to the communiqué, lack of consumer education on efficient use of both energy and water is another cause of water and energy shortages.
The workshop proposed joint investments on strategic water and energy projects, citing the example of the Grand Inga hydropower project in the Congo basin that could contribute towards the regional energy supply if implemented.
Another recommendation was that a study should be carried out on transferring water from the water rich basins to the water stressed parts of the region through inter/intra basin transfers. Enditem