Thursday December 14, 2017
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SPEECH BY THE HON MINISTER FOR NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENERGY
SENATOR, JABULILE MASHWAMA
AT THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE BEKEZELA AND NGOLENI POTABLE WATER SUPPLY AND SANITATION SCHEMES


VENUE:
EZIKHOTHENI ROYAL KRAAL,
UNDER SHISELWENI 1 INKHUNDLA.

DATE:
17TH MAY 2017

Director of Ceremonies,
Bantfwabenkhosi
Bobabe Tikhulu
Shiselweni Regional Administrator
Member of Parliament form the Shiselweni I Inkhundla
Members of Portfolio Committee for both Houses of Parliament
Indvuna Yenkhundla
Bobandlancane netindvuna temcuba
Members of the different development committees
Government officials here present
Water Committee members from Bekezela and Ngoleni
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 Bekezela and Ngoleni water supply schemes.    

I have the pleasure to join the people of  Shiselweni I Inkhundla, who will derive the benefit from the two potable water supply schemes on this very special day.  

His Majesty’s Government has made the provision of clean water to all by 2022, as one of her priorities in the National Development Strategy (NDS). This is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Goal number 6, that, “by 2030 achieve universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all.” My Ministry is working tirelessly to achieve this goal as set out in our Strategic Plan (2014-2018) wherein the Ministry committed to construct four (4) reticulated water supply schemes and further drill two hundred boreholes for the rural communities every year.

To track progress on this very important strategic initiative, the Ministry in collaboration with WASH partners is engaged in a number of projects and programmes. This is demonstrated by the large water development schemes being undertaken like the SISOMA, a project recently completed by the Ministry through the Swaziland Water Services Corporation (SWSC.) Today, we are proudly witnessing another water project to benefit about 5,000 people with potable water and proper sanitation facilities.  Moreover, we are in the Shiselweni region, a region earmarked for special attention, having suffered severely from the recent drought.

Water is indeed the most essential commodity of our lives.  It saves life and also sustains it.  Although neither situation is a desirable state of affairs; thousands can live without food but none without water. In certain conditions, being without water for just a matter of hours can be fatal.  That is why the development of potable water schemes is considered a priority in the Ministry and the government at large.  It is on this regard that the government continues to allocate resources to ensure that the development of potable water projects across the country is sustained.

Water is cross-cutting by nature; consequently water resources development and management require 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 will not serve the purpose of improving the lives of people.
 
We note with appreciation and gratitude the funding provided by the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development, Microprojects Unit, amounting to E8.4 Million for both projects. We also commend the contribution by the team from the Department of Water Affairs who ensured that these projects adhere to the construction standards and that the communities participated effectively throughout the implementation of the projects.

Appreciation also goes to the Ministry of Health through the Environmental Health Department for the continued collaboration during the implementation of the water supply schemes. The Ministry has worked tirelessly to ensure that these communities have adequate sanitation facilities and proper hygiene practices.

I have learnt with jubilation that these projects will together benefit a total of approximately 500 homesteads which translates to 5,000 people. The Bekezela water supply scheme will serve about 350 homesteads through a network of 75 standpipes, whilst Ngoleni water supply scheme will serve about 150 homesteads through a network of 21 standpipes. The projects will also benefit three schools, one clinic, seven churches, four business areas and the two Royal kraals.  

On behalf of His Majesty’s Government may I take this opportunity to thank both communities for their active participation and for working in close collaboration with the water committees. I have also been informed that the communities have contributed a total of E61, 000 in cash towards the operation and maintenance of the project. This contribution is a clear demonstration of the commitment and ownership of these projects and it is appreciated.    However, for the sustainability of the projects, I wish to encourage that you continue with the contributions towards the maintenance of these schemes.

I would also like to urge you to apply the skills acquired during the many training sessions, and during the construction of these projects, to manage the projects effectively. Where any major maintenance challenges are encountered, please do not hesitate to contact the Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy, through the Rural Water Supply branch offices.

In conclusion, I would like to thank all those who have contributed to the completion of the projects and to the success of today’s event. With these few remarks, it is my honour to declare the Bekezela and Ngoleni potable water supply schemes officially opened.

May God Bless You All.


Minister Jabulile Mashwama at UN World Water Day Summit

 

Minister Jabulile Mashwama with some of the dignitaries who attended the WWDS in Durban

Minister for Natural Resources and Energy Jabulile Mashwama who also doubles up as AMCOW Vice President last week participated in the biggest World Water Day Summit and Expo held in Durban South Africa. AMCOW is the African Ministers Council on Water that was formed in 2002 in Abuja Nigeria, primarily to promote cooperation, security, social and economic development among member states through the effective management of the continent’s water resources.
The high level event which saw the participation of South Africa President Jacob Zuma and United Nations Senior officials was covered by international media including CNN, Aljazeera and CNBC was used to launch the 2017 edition of the United Nations World Water Development Report. This report is a review on the state of the world’s fresh water resources. The theme of the report was ‘Wastewater – the Untapped resource.’’.
Speaking about the event Minister Mashwama stated that African Ministers responsible for Water and Sanitation came together to make an African Statement and also discussed in detail Wastewater as a resource and how Ministers as leaders need to ensure the full use of Wastewater.    

 
The Minister stated that the summit was opportune especially because the topics that were deliberated summed up His Majesty`s Vision for increased water supply coverage and sanitation services. “The initiative on Access to Water and Sanitation Services for 10 Billion people speaks directly to us as a country as we strive to ensure 100% coverage on water and sanitation. The Minister stated that one of the most important highlights of the meeting was the focus on building on the lessons learnt from the recent drought which affected a number of the countries in Southern Africa. ‘Ministers highlighted the need to take advantage of the drought which has brought awareness on the scarcity and precious value of water and how we can build on that awareness to ensure conservative use of water going forward’ said Mashwama.


Access to clean water imminent at SISOMA as project is 97% complete

Confronted with the worst drought ever in the history of its existence, the Swaziland Water Services Corporation remains unfazed as it continues to implement capital projects aimed at increasing access to safe drinking water and proper sanitation.  This was confirmed during a site tour of the SISOMA (Siphofaneni. Somntongo and Matsanjeni) Water Project by the Minister of Natural Resources and Energy Jabulile Mashwama.
The Minister was enthralled by the speed at which the project is being implemented noting that it’s been a year since it was commissioned by the Honorable Prime Minister Dr Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini but already 97% construction works have been completed. “I am very impressed by the level of commitment demonstrated by all stakeholders involved in the implementation of this project. This part of the country is in dire need for clean water and it is very important that the project is implemented within the allocated time frame.  Water is a scarce but yet a very important commodity essential for the survival of all living things. It also plays a pivotal role in the development of the country`s economy”.
The project components included the construction of a new 200m3/hr water treatment plant in Lavumisa near the existing small water treatment plant; installation of a 300mm diameter pumping main; construction of three 3.2 ML reservoir ; construction of a booster pump station; installation of gravity supply mains  ; construction of eight water kiosk and the construction of staff houses. Most of the works have been completed and final touch ups are been done before the project is officially commissioned; increasing SWSC coverage and reducing the number of people in the country with no access to clean and safe water.
One of the water kiosks toured is located in Siphofaneni next to Siphofaneni Inkundla. SWSC Project Engineer Bongani Mdluli oriented the minister and her delegation on how the kiosk will be operated highlighting that upon completion it will be handed over to the community.  
The 15 million (approximately E205 million) European Union funded project seeks to improve the quality of life of the people living in the three areas through improved access to clean water.  Once completed around 61 000 people will benefit from the project. The implementation of this project is in line with the national Development Strategy (NDS), Poverty Reduction Strategy and Action Plan ( PRSAP), Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and the Vision 2022 Programme of Action.
The minister toured all the SISOMA areas and also had a glimpse of SWSC Nhlangano regional offices which are still under construction at the city center.  The Corporation continually looks for better ways of doing things and making its services accessible. The construction of the offices will ensure accessibility and high quality service delivery.

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