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STATEMENT BY THE RT HON PRIME MINISTER

DR B.SIBUSISO DLAMINI

READ BY THE ACTING PRIME MINISTER HON SENATOR PAUL DLAMINI

AT THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE KAMFISHANE AND LUGEDZENI POTABLE WATER SUPPLY SCHEMES

AT KHUBUTHA INKHUNDLA

THURSDAY 4 MAY 2017

Director of Ceremonies,

Bantfwabenkhosi

Bobabe Tikhulu

Cabinet Ministers 

Shiselweni Regional Administrator

Parastatal Chief Executive Officers

Member of Parliament form the Khubutha Inkhundla

Members of both Houses of Parliament

Indvuna Yenkhundla

Bobandlancane netindvuna temcuba

Members of the different development committees

Government officials here present

Water Committee members from Mfishane and Lugedzeni

Representatives of the Media

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentlemen

It is my honour, on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, to welcome you all to this official opening of the Kamfishane and Lugedzeni water schemes.  I regret that, owing to being out of the country at the present time, I am unable to attend this function in person.  But the Honourable Acting Prime Minister, Senator Paul Dlamini, has kindly undertaken to read my statement today.  

For the people of the Khubutha Inkhundla, who will derive the benefit from the two potable water supply schemes at Kamfishane and Lugedze, this is a very special day.  Clean drinking water is among the group of truly invaluable resources to which every individual should have access.

Under the umbrella of the United Nations the countries of the world, in 2015, voted in the successor to the Millennium Goals.  The new group, of what are known as the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), has a broad range of targets to be achieved, mainly in the coming thirteen years by 2030. 

Among those goals are targets for water and sanitation.  Around the world the tragedy of people, especially children, dying from diseases arising from the lack of potable water, has demanded the setting of challenging new targets.  One of the most conspicuous is to provide universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all our people.  Today’s launch represents yet another step towards that target of 100%.

The SDG identifies 2030 as the target date for universal access.  For the Kingdom of Swaziland, the target is to achieve it by 2022.  It is, of course, of paramount importance that, in this top priority area of clean water supply, we do set ourselves challenging targets.  We must, however, bear in mind that the percentage achieved will be a function of resources allocated.  If we achieve our national economic growth targets then that universal access figure can, and will, be achieved.  There is a significant interdependency in that respect.

We are, nevertheless, driving hard towards our Vision 2022 target.  Only last week, His Majesty performed the opening ceremony at Siphofaneni for three additional clean water projects – at Somntongo and Matsanjeni, as well as Siphofaneni itself.  Now, today, we are proudly witnessing a further group of almost 4,000 of our people being given access to potable water.  And it is in the Shiselweni region, that being an area earmarked for special attention, having suffered severely from recent drought conditions.

Water is the most essential commodity of our lives.  It saves life and it sustains life.  Although neither situation being a desirable state of affairs, a human being can go considerably longer without food than without water.  In certain conditions being without water for just a matter of hours can be fatal.  And to be safe, the water must be clean.  That is why potable water schemes are among the very top of our national priorities.  Therefore, in the new financial year, resources have been allocated to ensure that Government continues to develop potable water projects across the nation.

By its cross-cutting nature, water resources development and management need strong collaboration between different sectors. Government always ensures that water resources development is preceded by the provision of sanitation facilities, as the availability of water without proper sanitation would not serve to improve the lives of people.

Government appreciates the strong collaboration displayed by the various Ministries in the implementation of these projects. We note the contribution of the Ministry of Natural Resources through its Department of Water Affairs.  This Ministry has ensured adherence to construction standards and effective community participation. The important role of the Ministry of Tinkhundla Administration and Development, as the funders of the Lugedzeni project, is also highly appreciated. The role of the Micro-Projects Programme within the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development has contributed to the timely implementation of the Lugedzeni water scheme. The Ministry of Health through the Environmental Health Department has ensured that the communities have adequate sanitation facilities.

The two schemes being officially opened today will together benefit a total of 357 homesteads, that is around 4,000 people, under the Khubutha Inkhundla.  The Lugedzeni water scheme is serving around 33% of that number with 47 standpipes, and Kamfishane water scheme around 67% of the number through a network of 96 standpipes.

The projects will also benefit two schools, one clinic, the Khubutha Inkhundla, seven churches, four business areas and the two Royal kraals. 

 

In all, an investment by Government of E9.4 million.  Money well spent!

On behalf of His Majesty’s Government I take the opportunity to thank the local community for its active participation, working in close collaboration with the water committees established for the two schemes. I have also been informed that the community has contributed a total of E62,000 towards the operation and maintenance fund. This is greatly appreciated. 

The projects will serve you in direct proportion to the service you give to them.   I urge you to apply the skills acquired during the many training sessions, and during the construction of these projects, to ensure that the projects are kept in good working condition. Where any major maintenance challenges are encountered, please do not hesitate to contact the Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy, through the Rural Water branch offices.

 

On behalf of His Majesty’s Government I thank all who have contributed to completion of the projects and to the success of this event, and I now declare the KaMfishane and Lugedzeni potable water supply schemes to be officially launched.

Thank you.

 

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