Namibia has earmarked N$26 million for the construction of the headquarters for the Southern African Science Service Centre for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Management (SASSCAL) in Windhoek.
The announcement came from Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform, Anna Shiwedha, during the third Ordinary Meeting of the SASSCAL Council of Ministers in Luanda, Angola.
Although the project has encountered challenges that have delayed progress, Shiwedha confirmed that construction is slated to begin in the first quarter of 2024.
She emphasized that building the SASSCAL headquarters is a top priority for the member states involved, which include Namibia, Angola, Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, and Germany.
Highlighting the significance of the initiative, Shiwedha remarked, “Climate Change is an undeniable reality, affecting not only our environment but also the social and economic sectors of our nations. The collective decision by Angola, Botswana, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia, and Germany to establish SASSCAL in response to global climate change challenges is highly pertinent. As Member States, our commitment must be to bolster and enhance the governance of this essential institution.”
She further elucidated that SASSCAL’s mission revolves around collaborative measures to tackle climate change issues within the region, focussing on research, adaptation and the promotion of scientific advancements and knowledge-sharing.
Additionally, Shiwedha disclosed that Namibia has received 64 Automatic Weather Stations from SASSCAL, which have been disseminated throughout the nation, benefitting a wide array of stakeholders. Yet, maintenance of these stations has proven challenging.
“We’ve encountered hurdles in maintaining many of these stations, primarily due to outdated technology, a lack of spare parts, and limited technical expertise internally. However, I’m pleased to announce that we are currently in discussions with our Development Partner, BMBF, and the respective ministry in Namibia responsible for the Weather Station Infrastructure to devise a sustainable maintenance plan. This also includes considerations to augment the budget and fortify internal technical capabilities within the Ministry,” Shiwedha concluded.