Africa Water Week is held every second year, and provides a platform for solution-driven discourse around Africa’s water resources, and sanitation challenges. The event brings together over 1000 participants from Africa and across the globe including government, regional institutions, international partners, the private sector, the scientific community, civil society, and the media.
Held in Libreville (Gabon), the 7th instalment of Africa Water Week took place 29 October – 2 November under the theme Toward Achieving Water Security and Safely Managed Sanitation for Africa. Here we’re sharing some of the most compelling stories and resources that emerged around Africa Water Week. Add your highlights in the comments field.
The links go to the websites of origin. WIN is not responsible for the accuracy of external content.
WIN Joint Session
In cooperation the African Development Bank, IRC, and Global Water Partnership, WIN hosted a session, Beyond Political Declarations: What specific measures governments and stakeholders can put in place to ensure efficient use of financial allocations and infrastructures’ development in the sector, on sub-theme 4 on Financing the SDGs. The session explored avenues to build trust and engagement through integrity, and highlighted specific measures governments and stakeholders can put in place to attract more funding for investment as well as maintenance for water security and safely managed sanitation. It explored the link between the building blocks political declarations, integrity, sustainability and funding for SDG 6.
#LIVE from Gabon #AfricaWaterWeek „Without good #Governance we cannot be successful in achieving #SDG6. And good governance is only possible with #Integrity“ – Teun Bastemeijer from @WaterIntegrityN pic.twitter.com/sgDyzIKWqk
— Water & Sanitation Hub (@WaSa_Hub) November 1, 2018
African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) Share Opening Ceremony
Missed the action of the Africa Water Week opening ceremony? Check out the visually-rich summary produced by AMCOW via Adobe Spark.
A proposal to “decolonize” formal water law and pave the way for smallholder irrigation
The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) in conjunction with Pegasys Institute has released A hybrid approach to decolonise formal water law in Africa – a new report highlighting how the rights of up to 100 million farmers in Malawi, Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, and Zimbabwe are undermined by ‘colonial-era’ water laws. The findings suggest the national permit systems give preference to large-scale water users – irrigation, mining, industry, hydropower – leaving small-scale farmers with limited access to water, and few legal rights to their claims.
IWMI and the Pegasys Institute propose a hybrid approach that would focus permit systems on regulation of the large-scale and high-impact water users, while elevating local customary water laws to level playing field with the formal permit systems.
“This is a viable alternative to the blanket permit approach — one that better matches what is already happening on the ground in Africa,” says Barbara Schreiner, Executive Director of the Pegasys Institute.
NB: Barbara Schreiner has recently been appointed as the new Executive Director of WIN, and shall be joining shortly.
Read more via IWMI.
Africa: In Libreville, decision-makers want solutions for access to drinking water
The African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) set out the objective to achieve an African Water Vision for 2025, highlighting the need to access groundwater in a sustainable manner.
Project financing is one of the major challenges hindering universal access to drinking water and sanitation. Yet, some large development partners such as the French Development Agency (AFD), the African Development Fund (ADF), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and the Italian Cooperation, are financing projects including the Kabala drinking water project in Mali which seeks to ensure all the residents of the nation’s capital, Bamako, have access to drinking water.
Read more via Afrik21.
Water Supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Poverty Diagnostic Initiative
The World Bank’s initiative, Water Supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Poverty Diagnostic, has assessed, over a period of three years, the relationship between poverty, time, physical space, and social space, with drinking water, sanitation and hygiene. Across 18 countries – ranging from conflict-affected to middle-income – researcher have asked four key questions:
- Who are the poor people in a country and where do they live?
- What is their level of access to quality Water Supply, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) services?
- What are the linkages of inadequate WASH services with health and nutrition?
- And what are the binding constraints to improving service delivery?
To better understand this relationship, this initiative undertook multidisciplinary research, developing innovative methods to fully appreciate the impacts of inadequate services on human development outcomes, and identify the binding constraints to service delivery. The research was supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).
Access the global findings (and infographics) via the World Bank.
Going underground at the Africa Water Week
According to UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), groundwater represents 15% of the Africa’s renewable water resources. However, research projects such as seven-year long (2013 – 2020) Unlocking the Potential of Groundwater for the Poor (UPGrow), see this water as largely under-valued and under-utilised both for social and economic gain, and are focused on improving the evidence base around groundwater availability and management in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Read more via UPGrow.