The network aims to foster collaborative efforts towards issues relating to water security. The official launch of the Southern Africa node of the network took place on 16 September 2014 at Monash University and was attended by international researchers and water professionals.
In an opening statement read by read by Chief Director Mr Mbangiseni Nepfumbada on behalf of the Deputy Minister of Water and Sanitation, South Africa, Ms. Pamela Tshwete, he welcomed the initiative highlighting the need for extensive networking as one of the fundamental game changers needed to address challenges nations are facing with regards to addressing water security.
As a leading association of cities in Africa advocating for accelerated local action within the field of Integrated Urban Water Management, ICLEI Africa was invited to deliver a presentation in the opening session of the mini conference. During the session entitled “Water and the City” ICLEI Africa presented the innovative project they are implementing with support from the European Commission entitled ‘Sustainable Urban Resilient Water for Africa: Developing Local Climate Solutions’. The project aims to accelerate local action towards resilient water and sanitation planning in six cities in Southern Africa within a context of rapid urbanisation and climate change.
One of the main objectives of the project is to facilitate knowledge exchange between participating cities in respect to planning for effective Integrated Water Security Network service delivery. As such ICLEI notes the benefit of networks such as Integrated Water Security Network were current research and thinking can be shared with cities to inform them of emerging challenges in respect to water security.