BY PAUL TENTENA
In Africa, out of the 1.3billion population, over 300million people have no access to clean drinking water with over 700million without adequate sanitation.
This açcording to the Global Water Partnership for Africa is due to fresh water which is limited, Africa being the driest continent after Australia, 40% of its Population living in Arid, Semi Arid areas and with 18% of the world population, 9% of the world’s freshwater.
“Unequal distribution, 6 countries in Africa have 54% of the water resource bringing the population under water stress to 65% in 2025 and 74% by 2040,” says Dr. Abdoulaye Sene, the President of the Global Water Partnership for Africa.
He says that three quarters of the Arab countries on the continent are already living below the water scarcity threshold with renewable water per capita at 25 cubic meters per person in Egypt.
The Sustainable Development Goal number 6 on water is a pillar to ensure water security because water is Life, development, peace, resilience and a human right.
“With the above trends, few states in Africa will have universal access to water and sanitation in 2030,” stresses Sene.
He says of the 5400billion cubic meters of water available in Africa, only 4% is developed for irrigation, food and hydro Electricity.
“The hydro Electricity potential in Africa is estimated at 1.4 million Gigawatts hours per year is exploited at only 8%.
“Increased public and private investment is critical to ensure water security and close the infrastructure Gap that is holding back Africa’s transformation,” notes Sene.
According to Dr. Tobias Schmitz of the Water Diplomat, the Blue Deal on Water Security for peace and development, which was adopted by the 9th World Water Forum in Dakar in March last year, fell apart as countries moved away from agreed upon principles to voluntary commitments.
There are five principles that were agreed upon and adopted. These include the acceleration of the implementation of the rights to Water and Sanitation, ensuring the availability and resilience of water resources and ensuring adequate financial resources to invest in water and sanitation.
The other adopted principles by the 9th World Water Forum in Dakar were ensuring inclusive water governance and enhancing cooperation in the domain of water and sanitation.
The Dakar declaration was intended as a contribution to a broader diplomatic process on water issues that will culminate in the UN Water Conference in New York this March.