The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched a five-year, $32.4-million project called Resilient Waters to address severe water challenges facing the Limpopo river basin and Okavango river basin communities.
The project will work to provide access to safe drinking water and sanitation services for nearly 21-million people in South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Angola and Namibia.
The project also will improve the management of transboundary natural resources, help to conserve biodiversity and strengthen the ecological infrastructure needed to maintain healthy water systems.
USAID will cooperate with Southern Africa Development Community structures, such as the river basin organisations and transfrontier conservation areas in the region to implement the project.
USAID Southern Africa Mission director John Groarke said in a statement that Resilient Waters was an important step toward addressing the serious water and climate change challenges facing the region.
“I visit projects across Southern Africa, and for many of them, lack of access to clean water and sanitation is an obstacle to progress. The Resilient Waters project will focus on a problem that underlies development throughout this region,” he noted.
The project reflects the US government’s global water strategy, which supports efforts to achieve a water-secure world, where people and nations have the water they need to be healthy, prosperous and resilient.