Speaking in a Q&A session published on Allafrica.com, Phera Ramoeli, senior programme officer at the Southern Africa Development Community Secretariat said that the Southern African region "needs to do a lot of work in terms of improving its infrastructure, because water supply and sanitation are dependent on the availability of water as a source."
Water-sector infrastructure is expensive. "We do not always find enough financial resources to build new infrastructure, to maintain existing infrastructure, and to operate them in a way that is efficient," he explained.
Ramoeli noted that the region is "trying its best to achieve access to water for all people. Of course it is something that is going to take some time, but it needs to be addressed urgently." The Southern African region does not have adequate infrastructure to treat water and make it available to all people in the region. "Even with the infrastructure that does exist," Ramoeli said, "we have a problem of operation and maintenance" Climate change tends to exacerbate the water problems; as does population growth.
According to Allafrica.com, the cost of maintaining and expanding water infrastructure in southern Africa is high. And while South Africa may be in a better economic position than the rest of the region, it also faces funding challenges that are similar to those of its neighbours.
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