GWPSA mourns death of SADC water pioneer Michael Mutale

GWPSA received news of Michael Mutale’s passing on 20 June 2021 with deep shock. Michael’s dedication, passion, commitment and contribution to the water sector is well known within the SADC region, Africa, and globally. We have lost a true patriot, committed professional, and a dedicated champion of water.

As an Associate of GWP, Michael’s involvement with GWP goes back to its early days in 1996. He was instrumental in many of GWP’s projects in Zambia and Southern Africa. At a Pan-African level, Michael was part of the organisers of the first ever Africa Water Forum that laid the foundation for the Africa Water Vision 2025 and AMCOW.  He was a pioneer, a gallant soldier ahead of us.

The late ZAMCOM Executive Secretary Mr Micheal Mutale (05.06.1962-20.06.2021)

The late ZAMCOM Executive Secretary, Mr Micheal Mutale on the right  (05.06.1962-20.06.2021)

"I have been fortunate to always be the first," Mutale said when asked how it is to be the first UNESCO-IHE Alumni Award winner ever. "I was the first to develop a strategic action plan for the Global Water Partnership in Southern Africa, I was the first to set-up an Africa Water Forum and I was the first to establish the Zambezi Watercourse Commission (ZAMCOM). You just need to be proactive and grasp the opportunity when it arises."

Michael Mutale was Coordinator of the GWPSA Regional Technical Committee (RTEC). His career has been interlinked with the GWP network for a long time:

“I have been fortunate to have been associated with GWP from its nascent stages when I served a member of the Southern African Technical Committee (SATAC, 1996-2001). SATAC was an embryonic mechanism to test how the partnership would function. As SATAC member, a vivid memorable moment was when I successfully facilitated the establishment and launch of the Zambia Water Partnership in 2000. Since then I have been contributing regularly to the various thematic efforts of GWP and GWPSA in particular, especially when I served the role of coordination of the RTEC from 2008 to 2011. At the moment I still continue collaborating with GWP, only this time with a ZAMCOM hat,” said Michael in 2013 when he was reflecting on his UNESCO-IHE Award and association with GWP. 

Go well our brother, you ran your race and Rest in Peace. We will continue to advocate, to call for increased investments in water and raising awareness, as you reminded us:

"Awareness is not a one-time event! We need to repeat the message that water knows no boundary and is cross-cutting sectors. It's important that water-experts are aware of the fact that they are not the ones making major decisions about water-issues. Therefore, it's important not to preach to the converted, but try to convert people and institutes that manage finances, strategies and policies.”