Support to the Orange River Mouth rehabilitation project
Orasecom’s UNDP-GEF Strategic Action Programme (UNDP – GEF SAP) is working in collaboration with the South African Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment (DFFE) and other stakeholders on the implementation of the Orange River Mouth (ORM) Rehabilitation Project.
The ORM Rehabilitation Project Management Committee Coordinators, DFFE recently convened the first bi-annual meeting of this year, in Springbok, Northern Cape, South Africa where all the stakeholders came together to review the progress made on the project.
The stakeholders on this critical project include the following sectors, tourism, water, agriculture, mining, non-governmental organisations and the affected communities. The stakeholders are charged with overseeing the implementation of the ORM Management Plan paramount to which is the rehabilitation of the river mouth, hence the importance of the bi-annal meeting to review progress or lack of it on interventions on this momentous project.
Meanwhile, the recent meeting came up with a number of recommendations and observations that include the need to have a Transboundary ORM Management Committee that would include the two affected riparian states, South Africa and Namibia.
Furthermore, it was noted that the ORM Management Plan is drawing to a close and therefore there is a need for the plan to be reviewed with the view to establish the successes and failures of the plan. This was agreed, would assist with mapping a way forward as there is a lot of work that still needs to be done on the rehabilitation of the river mouth.
Looking introspectively the committee regrettably noted that there a huge need for an improvement on the data sharing of the water quality monitoring by the different stakeholders that conduct the monitoring independently. The committee agreed that there must be a synergised approach to conducting and sharing data on the water quality.
For his part, the ORASECOM UNDP-GEF SAP Environment Specialist, Mr Michael Ramaano updated the committee that the project would be assisted with acquiring services of a consultant to review the ORM Management Plan including the setting up of the Transboundary Management Committee.
Ramaano further added that the consultant would also assist with developing a water quality monitoring plan which would guide the various stakeholders into a synergised monitoring approach.
Lastly, Ramaano said that it is expected that the consultant would also be evaluating the current rehabilitation plan.