African Ministers restate commitment to regional water cooperation, security

The African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) has reiterated its commitment toward promoting regional water cooperation and water security for all.

The Executive Secretary of AMCOW, Dr Rashid Mbaziira, made this pledge in a virtual meeting with journalists in preparations to the 6th AfricaSan conference, to be held virtually from Nov. 22 to 26.

According to him, AMCOW will continue to play its role toward advocating for regional integration through water cooperation and diplomacy.

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He said the upcoming conference would serve as a platform for technical and political dialogue to address the sanitation and hygiene problems in Africa.

This, he noted would therefore mitigate the impacts of poor sanitation and hygiene on the continent.

“The first AfricaSan conference took place in 2002, since then, through a process of setting commitments, action-planning and monitoring; AfricaSan has become a continuous, country-led initiative to improve sanitation in Africa.

“The AfricaSan movement has led to two distinct high-level declarations – the eThekwini declaration on Sanitation and Hygiene in 2008, and the Ngor Declaration on Sanitation and Hygiene in 2015’’.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the overall theme of AfricaSan 6 is, “Accelerating Access to Safe Sanitation and Hygiene in Africa at SDG+5 and Covid-19 era’’ and is developed based on the sanitation situation across the continent.

The AfricaSan 6 will be organised based on five subthemes; Inclusive Policy and Strategy for Accelerating Sanitation and Hygiene Improvement in Africa, securing innovative financing for sanitation and hygiene in financially challenging times.

Others are; bridging the human resource gap for sanitation and hygiene in Africa, Faecal Sludge Management, Green Economy and Climate Change, and Improving Hygiene in Africa: Building on the Momentum of COVID Era Hand Hygiene.

Prof. Moshood Tijani, AMCOW’s Groundwater Desk Officer, said the Africa Water Week conference would be an avenue to produce policy and strategic recommendations for water, sanitation and hygiene improvements across the continent.

“It is a platform to dialogue on water issues from all over the continent of Africa. It brings together policy makers and technocrats to exchange best practices and lessons in the sector.

It is a platform that will show how best to achieve sustainable water governance to ensure access to safe water for people of the continent’’.

Mr Kitchinme Bawa, AMCOW Sanitation Project Manager, said  expected outcomes at the end of the Africa Water and Sanitation week would include a Windhoek Multi-Stakeholder Statement for accelerating Water Security and Access to Safely Managed Sanitation in Africa and the AfricaSan Country Action Plans

Others include a conference report with key recommendations for AMCOW to follow and support countries’ progress towards achieving the SDG 6 targets among others. (NAN)

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