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House of Democracy hosts first SADC Youth Water Forum in Namibia

SADC Youth Water Forum member in charge of resource mobilisation, Ms. Bernadette Shalumbu
Dr. Mary Seely of the DRFN engages participants on water and environment issues in Namibia.
Namibian youth propose actions for the Forum to take forward.
Participants consider the role of the youth in the water sector and how to address challenges in the water, sanitation and environment sectors.

The SADC Youth Water Forum aimed at creating awareness of the forum to stakeholders, soliciting inputs to draft an action plan and most importantly discussing ways to proactively engage the youth in matters of national importance in the sector: sustainable water management, environmental protection, sanitation, health and hygiene. 

Ms Nicole Bogott, the Head of Office at the Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF) Namibia, welcomed all present and opened the forum. A number of presenters set the scene for the meeting by highlighting the duties of the SADC Water Youth Group in Namibia. They also described the expected outcomes of the forum, the state of the environment and water resources in Namibia, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH). 

The presenters at the forum were:

  • Dr. Mary Seely, the Founder of the Desert Research Foundation of Namibia (DRFN)
  • Ms. Luiza Shekupe, Senior Manager: Grant management and mobilisation, from the National Commission on Research Science and Technology (NCRST) and
  • Mr. Gabriel Moses, Environmental Health Practitioner, from the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MOHSS).

The main talking points at the forum were sustainable development in the sector and governance at decision-making levels. This included capacity building of the youth in the sector for economic development as well as the importance of accurate and consistent datasets to effect water resource planning and compliance. The forum also encouraging innovative ideas by the youth to address the challenges in the water and related sectors

Conscious Citizens is HSF’s youth dialogue platform. It seeks to create synergies amongst the youth and encourage dialogue on current issues amongst the youth. Institutional representatives and tertiary education students from various sectors attended the forum.