WINDHOEK-- Namibia's Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) is hosting the 8th Southern African Development Community (SADC) River Basin Organization Workshop here together with the Permanent Okavango River Basin Water Commission (OKACOM).

The two-day workshop which began Tuesday aims to assess and evaluate all possible conventional as well as non-conservative methods to provide water for domestic and industrial development through trans-boundary water resources management.

Launching the workshop in Windhoek, the Ministry's Permanent Secretary, Percy Misika, said the theme for the meeting, "Securing investments to realise the benefits of trans-boundary water co-operation", was a fitting one in view of the need to invest in extensive water supply infrastructure to ensure industrialisation and economic development.

Misika said the workshop was taking place at a time then the 16-nation SADC was grappling with plans to eradicate poverty from the sub-region. "The only decisive tool to reduce poverty is investment in infrastructure development and the diversification of economies through manufacturing," he said.

Misika further emphasised that all SADC countries shared one or more river basins which could be used to transform economies to the level of industrialised and developed nations.

The Director for Infrastructure and Services at the SADC Secretariat, Phera Ramoeli, said there is a need to clearly demonstrate that co-operation can benefit member states through utilizing trans-boundary water resources.

Ramoeli added that the workshop would focus, among other issues, on creating a concrete understanding on benefits that can arise from co-operation and discuss the role and mandate of trans-border water resources. It will also share best practices from other parts of the world on trans-boundary water resources and how best to secure much-needed investors.