Zimbabwe and her two neighbours, Mozambique and Zambia, last week signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will enable the three countries to share hydro-meteorological information to mitigate the effects of natural disasters.
The signing ceremony was held in Mozambique.
Zimbabwe’s Water Resources Management and Development minister Samuel Sipepa-Nkomo said in a speech presented at the ceremony, sharing of hydro-meteorological data would assist member countries to keep accurate records of water available for development initiatives.
He said the three countries’ water authorities would make available relevant information impacting on the health, safety and economic interests of the public in their respective countries.
Sipepa-Nkomo said disaster preparedness would be enhanced “as extreme weather conditions in one country would be quickly communicated to other countries enabling our governments to plan in advance and lessen the extent of possible damage to life and property” .
The minister said there was need to jointly protect the safety of the watercourse from pollution and over-abstraction.
“If trans-boundary water is not managed in an equitable manner, it can be a source of conflict in the Sadc region.
“Our coming together as Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe in formulating this MoU is testimony that we are all driven by the desire to see our shared watercourses stimulating political, socio-economic and cultural growth in our countries.”
Sipepa-Nkomo said the MoU would also allow for sharing of expertise and experiences in the development and implementation of hydrological models for reservoir operations, flood mitigation and environmental flow requirements.
He said the signing ceremony came against the backdrop of Zimbabwe’s ratification of the Zambezi Watercourse Commission and the Limpopo Watercourse Commission Agreements.
“This further demonstrates our belief in cooperation within the Sadc region,” said Sipepa-Nkomo.
“. . . real work awaits technocrats from our ministries who have to immediately engage in the process of operationalising this MoU. It is only when the actual exchange of information happens that the noble intentions of this MoU will be celebrated. Therefore, timeous and comprehensive dissemination of information is thus the panacea to our success,” he added.