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May 23, 2024
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NUL, ReNOKA, WATERNET LAUNCH NEW PROGRAMME

Maseru, July 28 — The National University of Lesotho (NUL) on Friday launched the Master of Science in Integrated Catchment and Water Resources Management (ICWRM) programme which was developed through the support of ReNOKA and WaterNet Trust.

MSc ICWRM was developed to build the capacity of the natural resource management professionals and future leaders in Integrated Catchment Management (ICM) in managing the resources in the catchments of Lesotho and help reverse degradation of land and water resources.

In his remarks, Acting Principal Secretary at the Ministry of Education and Training Mr. Rats’iu Majara said that this marks an important history in this institution.

He said that with this programme, NUL is moving towards a green economy therefore commended the institution together with stakeholders for ensuring that it becomes a success.

He stated that water is termed Lesotho’s white gold saying however it cannot be there forever if it is not conserved. He said that programmes aimed at conserving water are very important saying this newly launched course will contribute immensely to the world in conserving water.

He added that this is in line with the country’s strategic plan and promised they are going to support it as it is going to respond to the needs of Lesotho.

On one hand, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources Mr. Habofanoe Makopela said that launching the programme responds to challenges of climate change and sets a milestone for the development of capacities for future leaders of ICM in Lesotho.

He said that it further provides opportunities for professionals of the region to learn from Lesotho’s unique topography.

He indicated that the government invites participation of all stakeholders including private sector, civil society, non governmental organizations and development partners to join hands to address the impact of land degradation and to ensure production in the agricultural sector which will contribute to food security.

On the other hand, NUL Vice Chancellor (VC) Professor Isaac Fajana said the aim of this programme is to provide training for an effective and sustainable management of land and water resources.

“It would be amiss of me not to point out the significance of this wonderful programme which will be offered by NUL from this point onwards. I cannot think of an institution better equipped to provide such training in this very important field,” he said.

He noted amongst other wonders of nature, Lesotho boasts of an effervescent flow of water, a much treasured resource in bountiful quantities saying it is for this reason therefore that a programme such as this one had to be formulated.

He thanked all the parties that have made this significant milestone a possibility saying in particular as NUL they have noted the resolve of ReNOKA to live up to its name which means ‘We are a river’. 

“The activity we are witnessing this morning is another intervention by ReNOKA to protect and conserve the natural resources of Lesotho and the Orange – Senqu River Basin,” he added.

He assured that they intend to make the NUL Water Institute (NULWI) and its ICWRM Master programme a centre of excellence in water resources, research and innovations. Therefore he requested support from government officials, captains of industry and other well meaning development partners and institutions to make NUL’ s vision a reality.

Moreover, Waternet Executive Manager Professor Jean-Marie Kileshye Onema said that Waternet principle is to make sure that there is adequate human and institutional capacity for water resources management.

He said that this is not going to only benefit Basotho students but students across the SADC region that would come to Lesotho.

He said that this is in line with SDGs 1 and 6 which he said to date have reported that about 2 billion people globally are without water while 3.6 billion have no access to sanitation.

He indicated that in 1992 which is 30 years ago, all countries of the world committed to ICM saying however as far as ICM is concerned now this calls for them to embark on training, adding that it is critical for people to be trained to solve real problems of water at ground level.

Furthermore one of MSc ICWRM students ‘Matlotla Pheko said that with this Master’s programme, they are aiming at harnessing all necessary skills and expertise saying that they will then use those to save their beloved Lesotho and resources so that future generations become proud.

Meanwhile there is a first cohort of 20 students enrolled in this programme, 15 with full scholarships and five with partial scholarships.

In 2021, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), ICM Coordination Unit and NUL signed an MoU for joint activities in the area of formal education and institutionalization of services for ICM.

Ends

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