Wetlands International joined thousands of delegates including decision-makers, civil society organisations and citizens from all over Africa to chart a way forward to tackle the water scarcity crisis and potential ways to resolve it at the recently concluded 6th Africa Water Week held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Under the overarching theme “Achieving the SDGs on Water Security and Sanitation”, discussions were centred on the importance of sustainable management of water and wetlands, including the key contribution of improved policy, financing and monitoring in the sector to strengthen the services they provide in order to enable the society achieve sustainable social and economic stability.
Speaker after speaker recognised the need to better link water resource conservation using the holistic landscape approach, with the role of wetlands and groundwater as being essential for maintaining ecosystem resilience and protecting water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure against the impacts of natural disasters and climate variability was one of the key messages from the conference.
“We need to protect critical catchment areas in order to ensure sustainable water supply for WASH. Natural infrastructure should be incorporated in both the design and implementation of WASH projects’’, said Dr. Callist Tindimugaya - Ministry of Water and Environment in Uganda during one of the side-events.
With climatic changes expected to further increase the stress on water resources in many regions, and if we are to achieve SDG 6, this integration is needed now more than ever. Wetlands International through the Watershed programme - a strategic partnership between the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Akvo, IRC, Simavi and Wetlands International – is responding to this challenge by working towards integrating the linkages between water resource conservation and WASH resources in four African Countries (Ghana, Kenya, Mali and Uganda).
The roadmap provided by the African Ministers Council of Water (AMCOW) at the end of the event translates high-level commitments including N’gor Declaration on Water Security and Sanitation, and further places emphasis on matching commitments and plans with concrete actions with impact on the ground. This gives the Watershed programme legitimacy to bring about measurable improvements in the governance and management of water, sanitation and hygiene services, as well as of the water resources in Africa.
Here’s a storify on some of the tweets from the event
Pape Diomaye THIARE
Communications and Media Coordinator
Wetlands International Africa
Phone: +221 33 869 16 81