The Southern African Development Community (SADC) region is subjected to severe climatic variability scenarios which negatively impact more than 70% of the region’s population, who are dependent on groundwater for their livelihoods. Tapping into the region’s groundwater resources can significantly strengthen the region’s water security, improve livelihoods, enhance economic growth, and reduce vulnerability to climate change.
The rationale for the establishment of the SADC-GMI was based on the importance of groundwater in the region and the need to set up a “Centre of Excellence” for groundwater resources and groundwater-dependent ecosystems development and management in the region; and to have an institution that will serve as an interlocutor with national, regional and international groundwater initiatives and institutions.
Water security is pivotal, and water is an indispensable basic need linked to the thriving of every sector in a country’s economy for sustainable and inclusive economic growth. Failure to secure an adequate and reliable water supply to support water-dependent sectors results in the loss or disappearance of jobs. Living up to its mandate, since its inception, SADC-GMI has helped many Member States to tap into groundwater resources to strengthen water security and improve livelihoods for vulnerable communities.