Building Linkages for Water Security and Climate Change Resilience in Zimbabwe
Key government institutions such as the Department of Water Affairs, including its parent Ministry, the Ministry of Water Resource Development and Management (MWRDM), played prominent roles at the launch of the Water and Climate Development Programme (WACDEP)in Harare, Zimbabwe, on the 10-11 April 2013, with over 70 stakeholders gathered.
The launch was officiated by the Honourable S.S. Nkomo, The Minister of Water Resource Development and Management. Other key invited guests at the launch were Mr. T. Musukutwa, Permanent Secretary for Special Affairs, Office of the President and Cabinet and Ms. F. Nhekairo, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resource Management.
It was also attended by the private sector and academic institutions such as the Institute of Environmental Studies of the University of Zimbabwe. The Office of the President and Cabinet and IES are currently guiding the process of the developing Zimbabwe’s National Climate Change Response Strategy (NCCRS), and facilitating the workshops and seminars respectively. The NCCRS is near completion and stakeholders are currently developing its action plan.
The implementation of WACDEP comes at an appropriate time as it will input into the on-going process of the development of the NCCRS. Speaking at the launch, the Secretary for Special Affairs, in the office of the President and Cabinet informed stakeholders that the climate change strategy is an important instrument for the country as it will help the government to design comprehensive and strategic approaches on climate change adaptation, mitigation, technology, financing as well as public education and awareness.
A number of presentations were made at the workshop to provide an understanding of climate change issues and to exemplify how different sectors/actors in Zimbabwe are dealing with water security and climate resilience issues. By linking WACDEP with the NCCRS and the other related programmes, stakeholders were given guidance to develop action plans that would operationalise the Strategy.
The launch reaffirmed the need to tackle the challenges of climate change through multi-disciplinary and cross-sectoral harmonised coordination amongst sector ministries. The stakeholders noted WACDEP’s coordination role, mentioned in the speech by the Minister of Water Resource Development and Management who stated: "By taking the Water, Climate and Development Programme forward, we are showing that we have understood one important lesson of our times, that is, that commitment and partnership are some of the most powerful tools any community has at its disposal, if we are to bring about development."
The event was widely publicised in media: