Investment in the water and sanitation sector (WASH) in Africa is crucial to achieving the UN’s sustainable development goal 6, which calls for universal access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene, the acting vice president of the African Development Bank for Agriculture , human and social development. , Wambui Gichuri, said at a meeting of finance ministers in Africa.
About 50 African finance ministers attended the high-level virtual meeting which discussed the important role of water, sanitation and hygiene for the African economy, people and environment during and after COVID-19. The meeting was convened by the Bank in conjunction with Sanitation and Water for All (SWA), a global partnership committed to providing universal access to drinking water and adequate sanitation.
Gichuri told ministers that investing in new systems provides jobs, especially for young people, and provides a stream of decades of future health, economic and social benefits.
She pointed out that the funding gap between the current state of WASH in Africa and what is needed to achieve the SDG6 is still large.
“In sub-Saharan Africa, the annual investment required to comply with SDG6 is estimated at $ 35 billion a year. In North Africa, the amount is $ 4 billion a year. This is many times more than historically invested As part of Gichuri said the UN’s global assessment and analysis of sanitation and drinking water surveys indicated a small sample.
She said the pandemic exacerbated these challenges, leading to governments enacting legislation to ensure their people have access to life-saving water and practice hand washing. However, most water service providers in Africa cannot collect payment for the water use of customers, leading to further financial tensions and too many resources.
Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia and the current High Level SWA Chairman, told African Finance Ministers that WASH projects ensure good politics at local, regional and national levels. “These are areas where you can deliver to local communities, so this is good news for finance ministers, prime ministers, presidents and sector ministers if they want their re-election,” Rudd said.
Catarina de Albuquerque, SWA CEO, urged the finance ministers to create and maintain the necessary partnerships to guarantee investments and intelligent investments in the water and sanitation sector.
As finance ministers, they are expected to offer solutions that will help Africa reduce the funding gap in water supply by maximizing a combination of measures, including the use of existing resources and mobilizing additional funding from taxes, tariffs and transfers. , she added.
Gichuri reassured participants that the Bank will continue to prioritize the search for solutions to the financing challenges of the WASH sector. The African Development Bank has invested approximately $ 6.2 billion in WASH services over the past decade and has mobilized an estimated $ 150 million in climate financing from the Global Environmental Facility and the Green Climate Fund to co-finance projects for the water sector.
The investment offers an estimated 52 million people access to improved water supply services. Investments in the water sector in the bank aim to provide 154 million people the same across Africa, with greater emphasis on participation in the private sector, as an option for sustainable management and financing of water services.
The African Finance Ministers’ meeting is one of three regional meetings organized by the Sanitation and Water for All Partnerships.