The African Water Facility (AWF) has committed 1.6 billion Euros to finance water and sanitation projects in Africa.
AWF’s Chairman and Nigerian Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, announced this on Friday at the opening of the 6th General Assembly of the African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW).
Adamu said that through the projects, no fewer than 3.2 million would be able to access improved sanitation and another 2.8 million people would access improved drinking water sources.
He said the AWF’s ambitious goal was to develop the region’s water sector to achieve water security in line with the Africa Water Vision 2025.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Africa Water Vision 2025 entails sustainable access to a safe and adequate water supply and sanitation to meet basic needs of all.
Adamu said those projects were direct contributions to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
He said already, member states had committed 922 million Euros to the implementation of follow-up projects, which were relevant to total development of the sector.
He said the AWF was committed to the sector and focusing on targeting cross-cutting issues of climate change, environment protection, gender and social equity.
“As part of its climate change strategy, the AWF prioritises projects in water harvesting, conservation, storage, recycling and re-use, and the use of renewable energy to power water stations and infrastructures,” he said
Adamu expressed hope that all member states would reach a consensus on all deliberations, thereby taking the region to the next level.
He urged them to redeem their pledges for project scale-up, saying by the end of 2018, an estimated 44 million Euros would be needed.
“I wish to note that pledges made by African countries in 2012 have not been paid up, with the sole exception of Burkina Faso.
“We want to thank the Nigerian Government who recently committed one million dollars of which the disbursement is in process,” he said.
Ms. Rhoda Tumusiime, Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, African Union Commission, called for the implementation of bankable projects that should be implemented at national levels.
Tumusiime urged member states to agree on the direction that Africa needed to take toward achieving sustainable development and water security.
According to her, AU’s dream is to have an Africa where there is an equitable and sustainable use and management of water resources for poverty alleviation and socio-economic development.
The AU commissioner called for a baseline that would monitor progress to enable good reporting and promote effective communication of achievement on the sustainable development agenda by 2030.
Tanzanian Vice President, Ms. Samia Suluhu, called on African governments to tackle existing challenges and take advantage of available opportunities.
“The Africa Union has put together agenda 2063, and water is one of the priorities.
“Agenda 2013 is a call for action to all segments of African society to work together to build a prosperous and united Africa based on shared values and a common destiny.
“The Agenda strives to enable Africa remain focused and committed to the ideals envisaged in the context of a rapidly changing world, ’Suluhu said.
The AWF, managed by the African Development Bank, is a special fund to help member states achieve the objectives of the Africa Water Vision 2025 of equitable and sustainable development of its water resources.
The AMCOW, conveners of the general assembly, is expected to elect a new Executive Secretary and a new president following the expiration of the tenure of Mr Amadou Faye and Mr Bai-Mass Taal, respectively. (NAN)