Water experts, policy makers, government representatives, UN agencies, donors and nongovernmental organisations kicked off the celebration of the seventh edition of the Africa Water Week in Libreville city of Gabon on 29th October 2018, calling on African governments to reflect on achievements made so far towards availing clean water and sanitation services to all.
The one week long event is convened by the African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW) in collaboration with UPGro, USAID, AfDB, The Global Water Partnership (GWP) and the International Water Management Institute.
Following Africa Water Week, we are really pleased that groundwater has been explicitly mentioned in AMCOW’s statement:
“…Responding to the need to revitalize AMCOW’s stewardship of a strategic pan-African Groundwater Initiative in partnership with Africa’s active groundwater networks… We, the stakeholders and participants of the 7th Africa Water week resolve to undertake the following actions… vi. urge AMCOW to set up an African Groundwater knowledge sharing and policy coordination desk at AMCOW Secretariat for the promotion of increased understanding and use of groundwater resources in addressing water security in Africa…”
This is a scaled-back alternative to the Africa Groundwater Commission, which has failed to get off the ground during the last 10 years or so. However, many of the key networks involved in groundwater in Africa, including the AMCOW Secretariat, showed support for this initiative as an interim measure that can hopefully demonstrate benefit over the next 2-3 years.
The UPGro sessions at AWW, along with sessions convened by BGR and UNESCO, ensured that groundwater had an extremely high profile at the event. This was a huge achievement that was only possible due to significant efforts from many people.
AMCOW convened a daylong workshop alongside the 2018 Africa Water Week (AWW) in Libreville, Gabon for representatives from different networks, organisations, governments, UN, and the donor community to deliberate on invigoration of a strategic pan-African groundwater initiative.
More than 10 organisations and groundwater networks from across Africa have resolved to work closely with the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) to invigorate a pan-African groundwater programme over the medium-term to demonstrate the benefits of a politically-connected pan-African approach.
To find out more about the AMCOW side event, read the full article by Isaiah Esipisu here!
Groundwater is one of the most important sources for drinking water, livestock water and irrigation in Africa, representing 15% of the continent’s renewable water resources, according to the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).
However, its hidden presence under the ground has left it largely under-valued and under-utilised both for social and economic gain. But even worse, scientists have confessed that very little studies have so far been done to unlock the potential of this scarce resource.
Therefore, to further this understanding, UpGro in collaboration with the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) convened a daylong session at the 2018 Africa Water Week in Libreville, Gabon, to discuss issues related to groundwater in Africa.
UPGro representatives also interviewed two key people at Africa Water Week:
Dr Tindimugaya is an UPGro Ambassador and a Commissioner for Water Resources in the Ministry of Water & Environment Uganda
Prof. Diene of Cheikh Anta Diop University, Chair of the Africa Groundwater Network and UPGro Ambassador
Original Source Posts: UPGro, Isaiah Esipisu:/
Organisations and governments seek to invigorate a pan-African groundwater initiative
Going underground at the Africa Water Week