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Africa awaits major crisis unless governments make interventions


ACCESS to safe and clean water is still a problem facing most African countries. Recent global statistics show that about 800 million people still lack access to safe and clean water, while about 2.5 billion do not have access to improved sanitation.

This implies that Africa awaits major crisis unless governments become unified in giving priority to water security management and sanitation. Almost 98 per cent of the affected people live in the developing world and particularly in Africa, which accounts for almost 40 per cent of the population.

According to water experts and stakeholders, for Africa to attain sustainable development on water security and sanitation, the governments in the continent should come up with proper financing mechanisms, taking into account huge funding requirements for the sector.

Others say that African governments should tackle corruption in the sector to ensure that the resources allocated are efficiently utilised and direct their focus on the significant results of scientific research to underpin the solutions of the challenges facing the water sector.

Last week, more than 1000 participants from public and private sectors, researchers and development partners from across Africa and beyond gathered in Dar es Salaam to mark the 6th Africa Water Week convened by African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW).

Themed “Achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SGD) on Water Security and Sanitation,” the conference offered an opportunity for the stakeholders to discuss and collectively find sustainable solutions regarding water security management and sanitation in the continent.

Tanzanian government has taken initiatives to improve water access in the country where by at present, the rural populations access the precious liquid by 65 per cent while in urban areas the access to the service is 75 per cent.

The Minister for Water and Irrigation, Eng Gerson Lwenge, said that Tanzanian government has placed priority on the water sector by allocating 1tril/- in this year budget to ensure that the country’s population has access to clean and safe water by 100 per cent in 2025.

“African countries had set the target of ensuring that all the countries have access to water by 2030, but Tanzania has set out strategies to ensure that the target is achieved by 100 percent in 2025,” Mr Lwenge said.

Speaking at the official opening of the 6th Africa Water Week, Prime Minister Kassim Majaliwa said that Tanzania places a high degree of importance to the water sector. He reiterated the government’s commitment to continue giving priority to water resources management and sanitation according to the national plan.

Mr Majaliawa said that access to clean safe water is still a challenge facing most African countries, especially the rural population, thus through the conference the countries will collectively find sustainable solutions regarding water security management and sanitation.

The premier further said that African governments should address the daunting challenges such as shortage and gaps in human resource and capital investment facing the water sector if the continent is to achieve meaningful cooperation and sustainable development.

“We need to build capacity in various fronts, including hydrology, water resources engineering, water quality, infrastructure, resource planning, water law, conflict resolution and socioeconomics,” the premier said. He said Africa can not achieve meaningful trans-boundary cooperation if the governments lack capacity to establish coordination.

He also called for joint management mechanism including regular formal communication, coordinated water management plans and regular exchange of data and information. “The challenges can easily be managed if we co-operate and develop joint initiatives for capacity development,” he said.

The PM further said that African countries should direct their focus on the significant results of scientific research to underpin the solutions of the challenges facing the water sector on the continent. He said that research findings are projecting a future climate of above normal rainfall by 2035 in East Africa region.

“This capital climate perspective should be taken into account in all our activities related to water resources management … we need to manage potential impacts of climate change within the context of managing floods and drought,” Premier Majaliwa said.

He added that such management efforts also require cooperation among various actors, both at regional, national and international levels. Mr Majaliwa, however, challenged all researchers in the water and all related sectors in Tanzania, Africa and beyond to develop and lead innovative research efforts that could directly contribute to attaining Sustainable Development Goal on water.

He noted: “The importance of water for growth and economic development is no longer a scholars’ hypothesis, but rather reality of which requires sustainable capital investment.”

The PM further detailed that Africa has the highest number of transboundary river basins that collectively cover 64 per cent of Africa’s surface area and contain over 93 percent of its surface water resources. Mr Majaliwa insisted the need for co-operation in managing water resources as the key element in achieving SGD number six.

Officiating at the 10 AMCOW General Assembly held in Dar es Salam on the sideline of the 6th AWW, the Vice- President, Ms Samia Suluhu Hassan, said that water has multiple uses in the development of any country. She said African countries should tackle challenges facing the water sector by diversifying its sources of water by being innovative in its financing mechanism, taking into account huge funding requirements for the sector.

Ms Hassan said that availability of water in Africa and many other parts of the world is facing several natural challenges, including impact of climate change on water. She said for many countries in Africa, including Tanzania, climate change has continued to exacerbate the already familiar water disasters with addition to new threats and risks.

“There is therefore a need for actors at country, regional and international levels to initiate climate resilient initiatives through investment in innovative water management practices and infrastructural development aimed at mitigating impacts of climate change on water,” Ms Hassan said.

Expounding, she said it is estimated that more than 322 million Africans have gained access to safe drinking water and 189 million have access to an improved sanitation. “We all know that the task is huge, we must, however, increase our efforts and embark on innovative strategies to close the gap in terms of access to drinking water and sanitation within the SDGs framework,” Ms Hassan said.

AMCOW Executive Secretary, Mr Bai Mass Taal, said that without proper financing mechanisms, it will be difficult for Africa to attain sustainable development goals particularly on water and sanitation.

According to him, Africa needs 11 billion USD per year for the implementation of its projects, thus stressed the need for mobilising financial resources from domestic and international sources. “This conference is crucial because it gives us an opportunity to sit down and draw out our strategies and road map on financial mechanisms to achieve the SGDs.” Mr Taal said.

He said that it is high time for African governments to act now on water problems facing its people, adding that approximately 340 million people in Africa have no access to drinking water. German-based Water Integrity Network Executive Director, Mr Frank van der Valk, said that a lot of resources are lost in the sector or used for wrong purposes due to corruption.

“If Africa wants to achieve the SDGs, particularly number six, it is crucial to reduce corruption in the water sector,” Mr Valk said. He observed that if the efficiency in the water sector increases by reducing corruption, it will be much easier for African countries to achieve the SDGs.

Former Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki, who is also the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Special Envoy for Water in Africa, said that water is a critical driver of economic progress.

Mr Kibaki said that water availability and management are crucial for human existence, but yet its availability has been the biggest challenge in Africa.

He detailed that Africa comprises of 18 per cent of the world population, but it has only 9 per cent of fresh water sources, adding that Africa is the second driest continent after Australia. He, however, called upon governments, civil societies and entire populations to undertake course of action to spare the continent from further depreciation of water.

29 Comments on "Africa awaits major crisis unless governments make interventions"

  1. claman on Sun, 31st Jul 2016 10:23 am 

    Safe drinking water probably means emptying ground water resources, while improved sanitation probably means that human waste goes into lakes, rivers and easy accessible groundwater instead of back to the soil.
    Sorry for being negative, but that’s the way it use to go.

  2. claman on Sun, 31st Jul 2016 10:52 am 

    The solution could be to put a high price on drinking water (political impossible), and restricting ground water use to be only drinking water.
    Human waste should be composted for agricultural use, and should NOT involve contact with any water resources. This is not possible in a big city environment with to days technologies.
    So what to do ? You tell me.

  3. Hello on Sun, 31st Jul 2016 11:00 am 

    No sweat. Europe is but a short trip to the north. Merkel and friends are eager to turn Europe into an ape zoo.

  4. onlooker on Sun, 31st Jul 2016 11:09 am 

    Africa is poised for severe die off . I do not see anything changing that

  5. makati1 on Sun, 31st Jul 2016 11:14 am 

    claman, all of that is still the norm today most everywhere. A bit of ‘treatment’ and it all gets dumped into the nearest lake or river or ocean. And nothing will changer that.

    BTW: Human waste is toxic today. The chemicals we ingest daily in our processed, GMO, Monsanto, Dow Chemical food comes back out in our waste, including heavy metals and drug residue. Even well water in farmland is not clean and pure anymore. Toxic chemicals and excess nitrogen seeps down into the water table and you pump it into your house.

    You can buy bottled water, plastic toxins included for free. lol

  6. claman on Sun, 31st Jul 2016 11:40 am 

    Mak,LO,The intentions are all good, and they will surely get a lot of money from the west to make their plans come true. I just doubt that it is a real solution. And what is worse, it’s going to destroy their future environment even more than it is today.
    “Jevon’s paradox” will be working hard to destroy any good intentions when it comes to water security and sanitary benefits.

    And Hello, yes they are coming.

  7. Brad on Sun, 31st Jul 2016 11:45 am 

    Africa’s main problem is gross incompetence and lethargia. The worst thing that happened to Africa was that the new American overlord told the Europeans to dismantle their empires, including Africa, an act of cruelty. Africans didn’t and don’t have a clue how to develop, unlike the people of Korea:,8599,1713275,00.html

    Article contains a rare admission that Africa should be recolonized. Perhaps the Time chief editor was on vacation to Israel at the time when the article was written.

    The good news is that the American era will soon be over and the new powers Europe (including Russia) and China can sit together and divide Africa in two parts and next ‘adopt’ these territories and implement a development program in return for Africa resources (‘colonialism lite’).

    This would be the most humain thing to do.

  8. claman on Sun, 31st Jul 2016 11:53 am 

    Waterborne sanitation in a large scale is an incredible evil and should be avoided at any price. It destroys ground water, lakes, rivers and in the end the oceans.
    And as Mak says, human waste today is toxic, which does not help in the present situation.

  9. claman on Sun, 31st Jul 2016 12:07 pm 

    Brad, Bill Gates and his wife are spokesmen for waterborne sanitation in the third world, and they are supporting it with lots of money. Even whiteys can be ignorant.

  10. Davy on Sun, 31st Jul 2016 12:15 pm 

    All of us are on a collision course with a die off but some sooner and more extreme. Asia and Africa because of their overshoot combined with their motivation to consume more as the west does is a recipe for disaster. We can talk about sustainable but if we include development than it is not sustainable. At this point it is only decline that is sustainable. Adjust and adapt to decline than you will be resilient and sustainable if you are not killed in the process.

    Africa is set to be severely impacted by climate instability. We are already seeing the Congo Basin on fire. Egypt and other over populated African countries will see their water resources diminished as their populations continues to rise. It is just a matter of time before Ebola returns especially if we have an economic collapse event. Even a mild event will spell tragedy for millions because we are so far past an equilibrium the degree of change may be too extreme for mitigation. Recovery may not be in the cards and this will result in failed states which themselves are contagions. This is coming to all locations but Africa and Asia appear to be the first in line because of location and population densities.

  11. claman on Sun, 31st Jul 2016 12:28 pm 

    Davy, I guess you’re right, except for your use of then/than.
    You don’t wanna challenge The National Grammar Police Agency, or NPGA as it were.

  12. Anonymous on Sun, 31st Jul 2016 12:48 pm 

    Africa, has been in a state of crisis for as long as I can remember. Things never seem to really change over there, except for the scale of the crisis.

  13. Davy on Sun, 31st Jul 2016 12:57 pm 

    Is grammar more important than the thoughts expressed by the grammar? If a thought process is valid but there is some poor grammar should that valid thought process be disqualified? Does eloquent discourse with all the proper mechanics but based on lies superior to a message grounded in the truth but lacking eloquence and proper mechanics? If a person is not gifted with language but has a meaningful message should that persona not engage those thoughts for fear of breaking grammatical rules? IOW, who gives a shit.

  14. claman on Sun, 31st Jul 2016 1:09 pm 

    Davy :The declining glacier’s supply of water from the himalayas will soon challenge the lively hood of southeast Asia as a whole, while the aquifers in the lowlands are systematically being emptied.
    Africa still have their aquifers, and they should be very cautious about them. They really shouldn’t use it for toilet water or temporary industrial/agricultural projects, but that is what’s going to happen.
    “At this point it is only decline that is sustainable. Adjust and adapt to decline than you will be resilient and sustainable”
    I agree so completely, but try and tell it to those investing in “modernising” Africa.

  15. claman on Sun, 31st Jul 2016 1:13 pm 

    Davy, for heavens sake get a grip of then/than and swallow your pride. I love your comments.

  16. Davy on Sun, 31st Jul 2016 1:18 pm 

    Clam, who has the last laugh? I can’t spell and my grammar is bad and when you say as much as I do for heaven’s sake you can’t have much pride hence I could give a shit. No offense taken.

  17. claman on Sun, 31st Jul 2016 2:05 pm 

    Davy, I didn’t know you would take it that hard, but I still DO love your comments.
    You kind of summarize things in a very good way that I appreciate very much. Excuse me for being a petty grammar nazi.

  18. Truth Has A Liberal Bias on Sun, 31st Jul 2016 10:10 pm 

    Lol Davy doesn’t know the difference between then and than! What a fuuuuuucking retard!! Go back and get your grade 10 dumb ass. Fuck are you stupid.

  19. Apneaman on Sun, 31st Jul 2016 10:52 pm 

    Truth, what are you the spelling police? Did you make up a little badge for yourself too? I bet you and your loser buddies made up a little spelling police force eh? Bunch of little half faggot closet cocksuckers meet up in your treefort for a weekly circle jerk. Have a nice day officer knob gobbler.

  20. Cloud9 on Mon, 1st Aug 2016 4:51 am 

    Cheer up Davy. I suffer from a mild dose of dyslexia. A symptom of which is my brain’s tendency towards creative spelling. You may have a smattering of that in your circuitry as well. It is not a total curse. What it does for me is it causes me to see things a little differently than the average person.
    I suspect a lot of nit pickers are OCD.

  21. Davy on Mon, 1st Aug 2016 6:01 am 

    Funny Cloud, I was going to say something on the board but I am careful anymore about too much personal info. Yes I suffer dyslexia and it makes spelling, pronunciation, and grammar problematic. I have struggled all my life with it. Schooling was hard but I still managed to get a finance degree with most of my electives in philosophy, theology, and geology. I graduated cum laude from St Louis University which is a respected University. I worked my ass of in school. Those were the days before computers with spelling and grammar checking in word processors and googling everything else. A degree back then was more work than today. BTW, I wish I would have gotten a different degree but I ended up with a business degree because my family has a business and I was expected to go into it. I tried to avoid it but got sucked into it anyway. I am finally doing what I enjoy and that is farming. Finance is interesting but does not fit my mentality.

    I actually have spatial dyslexia and dysgraphia. It has gotten much better with age and was never debilitating just a nuisance. For some it prevents normal schooling. For me it made school difficult in some ways and easier in others ways. I especially excelled in theology and philosophy. What is has done for me has been to allow me to see thing differently than others. This comes from the fact the brain processes differently. It is a curse and a blessing as you say. This may be a reason I am seeing a coming collapse differently than others. I have the abilities other don’t because of my disability or this could just be my imagination. LOL

  22. Apneaman on Mon, 1st Aug 2016 5:50 pm 

    Seems like there’s a crisis somewhere every time I look up.

    1 AUGUST 2016
    Third Severe Flash Flood In July Hits Maryland/Delaware

  23. Apneaman on Mon, 1st Aug 2016 5:52 pm 

    When it rains it pours.

    Fire-ravaged Fort McMurray now facing flooding

  24. Apneaman on Mon, 1st Aug 2016 6:03 pm 

    Structures destroyed, at least 500 homes ordered evacuated due to Roaring Lion fire south of Hamilton

    Bitterroot National Forest spokesman: ‘This is the one we didn’t want to happen’

  25. Apneaman on Mon, 1st Aug 2016 6:48 pm 

    Ellicott City Flood — 1,000 Year Event Looks a Lot Like One of the Rain Bombs of Climate Change

    “We live in a strange new world, one in which the familiar is all mixed up with the radically altered.
    Such was the case this weekend when a weather pattern that was pretty normal for summer spawned a single thunderstorm that produced a once-in-a-thousand-years flood event in Ellicott City.”

    -Normal Weekend, Typical Weather Pattern, Abnormal Conditions

    -A Wet Atmosphere Crackling with Unusual Energy

    -Thunderstorm Dumps More Rain on Ellicott City than Any of the Past Deluges or Hurricanes in its History

    -Two 100+ Year Flood Events For Ellicott City in the Past Five Years

  26. Sissyfuss on Mon, 1st Aug 2016 6:54 pm 

    I’m sorry Claman but as a second lieutenant in the NPGA I must procure a summons against you for the egregious misspelling of the word livelihood. This means that all previous comments by you will be rendered null and void and new ones will be classified as questionable bordering on insouciant. Thank you for your continued suppart. Sissy.

  27. Sissyfuss on Mon, 1st Aug 2016 7:01 pm 

    Toot out your liberally big ass says,”go back and get your grade 10 dumb ass”.
    A statement that challenges the works of Shakespeare himself!

  28. claman on Tue, 2nd Aug 2016 6:50 am 

    Sissy:”This means that all previous comments by you will be rendered null and void and new ones will be classified as questionable..”

    I actually said that I do like Davy’s comments.
    It was just the spelling that I critizised. Be fair now.
    I try to check my spellings but non the less I make a lot of bad spelling.
    Of course we don’t wan’t the grammar police to rule. I’m sorry I brought it up

  29. Kenz300 on Thu, 4th Aug 2016 7:20 am 

    Too many people demand too many resources……yet the worlds population grows by 80 million every year…..

    How many charities are dealing with the same problems they were dealing with 10 or 20 years ago with no end in sight.

    Every problem is made worse by the worlds growing population.

    If you can not provide for yourself you can not provide for a child.

    Birth Control Permanent Methods: Learn About Effectiveness

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