South Africa wants to learn water conservation from Italy
Ancient Romans were praised for their irrigation and aqueducts. Water and Sanitation Minister Nomvula Mokonyane is hoping modern-day Italy has the expertise to help South Africa improve its management of water resources.
She has signed a water co-operation agreement to work on joint projects that will enhance capacity building‚ technology transfer and technical assistance in the fields of water quality enhancement‚ water resource management‚ water service management and rural sanitation technology.
A SA government statement said these projects will mainly focus on empowering previously disadvantaged groups.
“We have made it our goal to ensure that we transform the water sector by making it inclusive of women and youth‚ those who were previously excluded... Our other area of focus as the country is food security and we hope that by coming into this agreement with Italy‚ the set objectives will be realised‚” Mokonyane said at the signing ceremony in Johannesburg.
Italy’s Deputy Minister of Environment‚ Land and Sea‚ Barbara Degani‚ who led the Italian delegation‚ was quoted in the government statement as saying: “Working together will be a great opportunity for transferring expertise to fight climate change. The idea is to implement this agreement to the benefit of the people of both countries‚ especially women and the youth”.
The agreement follows a visit to Italy in September last year‚ where the departmental delegation‚ led by Minister Mokonyane and her deputy Pamela Tshwete‚ met with various stakeholders in the water sector. Subsequently‚ Minister Mokonyane hosted an Italian delegation in April this year.
This was followed by the Italian delegation visit to KwaZulu-Natal‚ Free State and North West‚ where implementable joint projects were identified.