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The SDG Agenda in Swaziland has found an advocate in Manzini Regional Administrator, Prince Gqokoma. The RA called on Regional and Constituency Development officers to ensure that they mainstream the SDGs in their development plans in their respective areas of work. He was speaking to the officers during an advocacy meeting for SDGs conducted by the Ministry of Economic Planning and Development (Poverty Reuction Unit), supported by UNDP.
The El Niño induced drought has contributed to a projected 64% decrease in production of the small Kingdom of Swaziland’s staple food, maize. With the scarcity of water leading to 64,000 cattle (11% of the national stock) dying, disruption in provision of basic services in the health facilities and schools, Swaziland became one of the countries in the SADC Region that has declared the drought-induced impact a national disaster. The precarious situation has been the worst the SADC region has witnessed in 35 years, with widespread crop failures exacerbating chronic malnutrition. Vulnerable families in rural areas have been hit hardest by the ensuing increase in prices of maize and other staple foods.
A National Emergency Response Mitigation and Adaptation Plan (NERMAP) that is supported by the UN has been developed to guide the relief and recovery activities in the country. This was presented to a donor forum in March 2016 and has prioritized six (6) sectors for response to the drought emergency, namely: agriculture and food security, WASH, Education, Health and Nutrition, Social Protection and Coordination. Informed by the Rapid Multi-Sectoral Assessment Report technically supported by UN Technical Working Group, 317,000 people (26% of the population) need food aid, while, 189,000 teachers and learners need emergency food for school feeding and water.
UNDP working with the UN Agencies joined hands to support the Government of Swaziland in the operationalization of the NERMAP. Such support included strengthening of the coordination mechanism, provision of emergency water and planning for early recovery. Basic service delivery has been enhanced as 10 clinics and 10 schools received water harvesting infrastructure and emergency water in promotion of climate change adaptive capacities through rain water harvesting. Highlighting on the assistance that has been received the Headteacher for Etjendlovu Primary School, in the Shiselweni region, indicated that they can now store up to 15,000 Litres of water, lasting for two months for school feeding and sanitation purposes. “It is helping us feed children with at least one meal and retain the teachers as most teachers prefer to teach in schools with access to water and electricity.”
This is up-scaling on the climate change adaptation pilot that was promoted by the GEF-funded intervention from 2012 to 2016 under the Adapting National and Trans-boundary Water Resources Management to Expected Climate Change project implemented by the Department of Water Affairs. Further utilization of the water harvesting technology will be facilitated through planned UN support through the UNOCHA CERF $3.14 Million to benefit 50 more schools. Working with World Vision the support will ensure complementary protection and WASH activities.
As the world commemorated the International Day for the Preservation of Ozone Layer, Swaziland had more than just the day to celebrate with an environmental milestone of ozone friendly refrigerators manufactured in the Kingdom.
This comes after the successful conversion of HCFC 14 1b pre- blended polyol in foam manufacturing to cyclo-pentane initiatives. The country identified that the refrigeration and air-conditioning industry consumes a significant amount of HCFC, which contains large amounts of ozone depleting substance. HCFC do not only deplete the Ozone Layer but are also contributing to emission of Greenhouse Gases responsible for global warming and extreme effects of climate change.
This is a project funded by UNDP through the Swaziland Environment Authority (SEA) and was handed over to Palfridge in May. This contributes to the significant reduction of the consumption of ozone depleting substances from 69.6 metric tonnes in 2009 to 18.5 metric tonnes in 2015 for the country as a whole, another milestone noted by the Minister of Tourism and Environment Jabulani Mabuza.
Women face different challenges in society, from economic to social aspects of their lives they are presented with challenges that call for them to develop strategies for a way forward and make an impact in society. Women in Cross Border Trade (WICBT) in Swaziland saw these challenges as an opportunity to develop themselves further. As such, they have formed an apex body known as Sivelesinebunye Women in Cross Border Trade which help them to collectively address issues and challenges faced by the women in this sector.
UNDP has facilitated the creation of the apex body for women in informal cross border trade. The apex body known as ‘Sive Lesinebunye Women in Cross Border Trade’ was officially launched
World Water Day is commemorated world over each year on March 22nd, since 1993. The United Nations created this calendar day to magnify the international focus on water related issues and to inspire people and organizations to act to make a positive difference in the lives of others.
The Sustainable Development Goals, launched in 2015, include a target to ensure everyone has access to safe water by 2030, making water a key issue in the fight to eradicate extreme poverty.
Under the theme “Waste Water”, commemoration of this day was held with different stakeholders working together to support the Government of Swaziland, though the Ministry of Natural Resources and Energy, Department of Water Affairs. These included the United Nations Swaziland (UNICEF and UNDP), Swaziland Water Services Corporation (SWSC), Swaziland Water Development Enterprise (SWADE), Water Aid Swaziland, River Basin Authorities and KOBWA.
The commemoration was held on March 30, instead of March 22, 2017. It involved a site visit to a SWSC Waste Water Treatment Plant at Ezulwini, attended by Minister of Natural Resources and Energy, Senator Jabulile Mashwama. Worth noting is that the minister was fresh from attending the Water Indaba in Durban, on invite by her counterpart in South Africa.
In September 2012 Swaziland ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The Convention seeks to promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities including the promotion of respect for their inherent dignity....
The livelihood of about 40 farmers of rural Mpatheni, under Kontshingila Chiefdom in the Shiselweni Region in the small Kingdom of Swaziland, is largely dependent on growing vegetables for both commercial and subsistence purposes. “Vegetable farming is our life. We are grateful to have received assistance which will go a long way in improving our lives,” one of the farmers, Patricia Mazibuko said.