Contacts Details

Head Office

Telephone: (+268) 2404 2476/7/8

Fax: (+268) 2404 3357



Swaziland is, once again, joining the rest of the world in celebrating the World Day for Water under the theme ‘Water and Jobs. This year’s theme aims to showcase how enough quantity and quality of water can change workers' lives and livelihoods - and even transform societies and economies.

Water is an essential component of national and local economies, and is needed to create and maintain jobs across all sectors of the economy. United Nations reports reveal that almost half of the global workforce (1.5 billion people) is employed in eight water and natural resource-dependent industries namely: - agriculture, forestry, fisheries, energy, resource-intensive manufacturing, recycling, building and transport. Nearly all jobs depend on water and those that ensure its safe delivery.
Sustainable water management, water infrastructure and access to a safe, reliable and affordable supply of water and adequate sanitation services improves living standards, expand local economies, and lead to the creation of more decent jobs and greater social inclusion. Sustainable water management is also an essential driver of green growth and sustainable development.

Swaziland and the Southern African region have recently undergone and are still reeling from the effects of a very serious drought situation. The rainy season has gone almost to completion and it is only recently that we started receiving some rainfall to give us hope. Concerns, panic and dismay was observed all over as water sources were diminishing and resources in storage dwindled due to lack of the expected summer rains. The effects of this phenomenon had far reaching consequences on the economy, livelihoods as well as agriculture.

We observed without a doubt that insufficient or erratic water supplies affect the quality and quantity of employment in the agri-food sector. We bear testimony that in such situations, agricultural productivity is constrained and income stability is compromised with dramatic effects for the poorest households who have limited assets and safety nets to cope with risks. As food prices skyrocket and the cost of living increases, the role of stable jobs and reliable income becomes all the more evident.

Furthermore, agriculture plays an important role in supporting livelihoods, notably for the poorest. Agricultural production, which includes forestry, is also a generator of jobs and self-employment in the supply of inputs, machinery and rural infrastructure.

Climate change is making rainfall more erratic and unpredictable. In a situation where the competition for water is getting tougher, these changes are making water availability for sustainable development even more important. The future water scarcity scenarios predicted in the climate change discussions is likely to limit opportunities for economic growth and the creation of decent jobs in the upcoming years and decades. Unless there is sufficient infrastructure to manage and store the water, as is the case in many developed countries, water availability might vary significantly, leaving vast areas ‘water scarce’ for extended periods.

It has been observed that critical relationships and essential linkages exist between the management of water and employment opportunities at all levels of development. Sustainable water management, combined with access to safe and reliable supply of water and appropriate sanitation services, create an enabling environment for employment opportunities to develop and grow across economic sectors. It can be argued that there exists a strong positive correlation between water-related investments and national income, as well as between water storage capacity and economic growth

“Investing in water is therefore investing in jobs”

Water investments are a necessary enabling condition for economic growth, jobs and reducing inequalities. Conversely, failure to invest in water management not only represents missed opportunities, but may also impede economic growth and job creation. The Swaziland government has noted this fact and has actively made efforts to invest in the water sector to improve the standard of life for its citizens and also contribute to poverty eradication and job creation. In the celebrations of the 21st March 2016 at Siphofaneni, the contribution of government to the agenda of water and job creation has been sufficiently elaborated.

It is my belief that from the combination of expertise and experience that is in this house today, productive discussions will be held especially around the ongoing water shortage situation and its effect on our job security and economic productivity. We look forward to receiving recommendations that will better equip us to deal with such a situation should it present itself to us in future without suffering a huge economic blow.
I therefore wish you all a successful information-sharing exercise today. May God bless you.

OffCanvas Menu