16 July 2003

Mozambique: Meeting On Limpopo Basin

Maputo — The countries which share the Limpopo basin, namely Mozambique, South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe, are advancing towards the establishment of a commission to manage the entire watercourse.

Senior officials from the four countries met in Maputo on Tuesday and Wednesday and agreed that the agreement to set up the Limpopo Watercourse Commission should be signed before the end of the year.

According to a joint press release issued at the end of the meeting, it was held "in the spirit of the SADC (Southern African Development Community) Protocol on Shared Watercourses, as well as the willingness of the member states to implement development and poverty alleviation initiatives, and ensure a sustainable and integrated management of the Limpopo watercourse".

The meeting approved the terms of a reference for a Limpopo basin study, which is to gather information on the current use of the Limpopo water resources, and the future demands that will be put upon them. This study is to form the basis for agreements on drought and flood management, sharing of water among riparian states, transboundary impacts, information exchange and water quality.

The officials also agreed "that a donor meeting should be held to present the Limpopo River Basin Study, and mobilise financial resources".

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