Today, the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) kickstarts National Water Month which is conceptualised along the annual commemoration of World Water Day spearheaded by the United Nations (UN) and to be observed on 22 March 2023.

This year’s theme is “Accelerating Change”, and the Department calls on all South Africans to effect this change and to make a difference by changing the way they use, consume, and manage water in their respective lives.

The theme also seeks to inform policy and decision-makers, inside and outside the water community, how improvements in water resources management as well as access to water supply and sanitation services, are essential to overcoming poverty and addressing various other social and economic inequities.

The UN uses World Water Day as a basis for longer-term action, to ensure that everyone in the world has access to safe water by 2030, while not impacting the environment. The day is also used to bring attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.

During the National Water Month, the Department together with sector stakeholders in the water sector will also observe the National Water Week between 20 to 24 March 2023, through organised advocacy activities and awareness campaigns on water conservation and sustainable use of water.

The Department will also participate in activities and deliberations at the UN 2023 Water Conference in New York between 18 – 24 March.

National Water Month will enable the Department to reflect and showcase its efforts to respond to challenges of water security, infrastructure maintenance and investment, recurrent droughts driven by climatic variation, inequities in access to water and sanitation, as well as deteriorating water quality as outlined in the National Water and Sanitation Master Plan.

The highlight of the National Water Month is the launch by the Minister of Water and Sanitation, Senzo Mchunu to take place in Mpumalanga province. Minister Mchunu will inspect the progress on the Loskop Regional Bulk Water Supply Project which is planned to abstract water from the Loskop Dam and to supply water to the communities of Thembisile Hani Local Municipality (THLM) under the Mpumalanga Province, and to eight (8) villages of Moutse-East area under the Sekhukhune District.

During these month-long activities, the Department will also engage various other water augmentation projects that include the Nandoni to Nsami Regional Bulk Water Project in Giyani, and the handing over of Phase 1 of the Vaalgamagara Regional Water Supply Scheme in the Northern Cape.

The Department of Water and Sanitation is working towards achieving water security and to manage water and sanitation services effectively, and through the National Water Month, it encourages entities, partners and stakeholders to participate in a new orientation around the country’s water resources in South Africa.

For more information, contact Wisane Mavasa, Spokesperson for the Department of Water and Sanitation on 060 561 8935.

Source: Government of South Africa

News Reporter