The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has developed a SADC Integrated Water Resource Management initiative in vulnerable areas in Southern Africa.
The project will cater for long-term resilience building to climate variability and climate change on water resources.
Speaking at the UNESCO Regional Workshop on needs assessment for climate services for improved water resources yesterday, Environment, Water and Climate Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri said the workshop came at the opportune time to proffer solutions and strategies for southern African countries which are once again faced with an imminent drought.
"Southern Africa has become particularly vulnerable to the effects of both La Nina and El Nino phenomenon that pose significant and real threats to SADC's goals for regional economic development and growth," she said.
Minister Muchinguri-Kashiri said there is need to pay particular attention to how climate change is impacting on water resources.
"With the variability of our rainfall seasons now, it has become evident that much of the SADC region's access to water is becoming even more challenging and problematic, at the moment, Cape Town (South Africa) is living dangerously with only three months of water supply left," she said.
"This underscores the importance and urgent need to implement initiatives on climate services for improved water resources management."
Speaking at the same event, Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology Development, Professor Amon Murwira said that science is important in understanding climate change and adaptability.
"Drought and floods will always be there, but there is need to be able to anticipate these disasters and there is need to adopt the adaptive capacity and the ability to adjust to climate change," said Mr Murwira.
The UN Resident Coordinator to Zimbabwe, Mr Bishow Parajuli said the UN in Zimbabwe recognises the effects of climate change, which are causing extreme weather, severe droughts and floods, resulting in unprecedented hardships, deaths and destruction of livelihoods and assets and increasing threats to water and food security in the region.
"The UN team through its joint programme aims to ensure that targeted communities adapt to the reality of climate change through promotion and adoption of climate-smart agriculture production technologies, diversification of livelihoods and asset base and post-harvest management and linking farmers to markets," said Mr Parajuli.
The platform was meant for stakeholders from international and national meteorological and hydrological agencies, non-governmental organisations, intergovernmental organisations, UN agencies, bilateral donors and policy and decision makers to share information and generate a shared understanding and partnership for long term resilience against climate change.