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The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced the Resilient Waters project. Taking place over five years, the $32.4 million project aims to address severe water challenges facing the Limpopo River Basin and Okavango River Basin communities.

USAID project to address water shortages in Southern AfricaOn its completion, Resilient Waters will increase access to safe drinking water and sanitation services for nearly 21 million people in South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Angola, and Namibia. In Zimbabwe, the Limpopo River and its tributaries carry water to more than 800 000 people who depend on its consistent supply for their health and livelihoods.  

The river runs through a semi-arid region that is particularly vulnerable to climatic events, including the devastating 2015-2017 El Niño-induced drought. Resilient Waters will work with local communities to improve water management and increase access to safe drinking water and sanitation services along the Limpopo River Basin and within its catchment areas such as Matobo Hills.

This project will also improve management of trans-boundary natural resources and strengthen ecological infrastructure needed to maintain healthy water systems, USAID said in a statement. “Resilient Waters follows the U.S. Government’s Global Water Strategy, which supports efforts to create a water-secure world where communities can be resilient, retain this essential resource, and foster healthy, prosperous lives,” it said.

“By conserving one of Zimbabwe’s most important natural resources, USAID’s Resilient Waters project will protect health and livelihoods and make communities more resilient in the face of climate change,” says USAID Zimbabwe Mission Director Stephanie Funk.

Image credit: http://www.limpopo.riverawarenesskit.org/LIMPOPORAK_COM/EN/RIVER.HTM

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