AfDB Mobilizes Development Partners for Africa’s Water and Sanitation Sector
The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group President, Donald Kaberuka, on Monday, June 30, 2008, said that «the AfDB looks forward to efficiently contributing to efforts aimed at overcoming the water and sanitation challenge faced by African countries." Mr. Kaberuka made the remark while addressing some fifty African heads of state and government during the eleventh summit of the African Union in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt. The summit was held on the theme: "Meeting the Millennium Development Goals on Water and Sanitation."
Speaking after the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak who introduced the theme, Mr. Kaberuka recalled the disturbing situation many African countries face relating to the attainment of the MDG on water and sanitation. More than 60% of Africans are without access to decent sanitation services and more than a million Africans die every year due to lack of hygiene, sanitation and access to safe drinking water, whereas the international community had committed, in September 2000, to reduce by half by 2015, the number of Africans without access to safe drinking water. This situation has been compounded by environmental degradation and the adverse effects of climate change.
To overcome these development challenges, the AfDB has expressed its willingness to help through many actions and initiatives such as the African Water Facility (AWF) and the Congo Basin Forest Fund (CBFF) which was recently launched in London with a US$ 216 million commitment. The Bank Group is currently involved in projects on the continent aimed at improving living conditions for local populations. These projects include Lake Victoria, Niger and Congo, as well as the Lake Chad initiatives.
Over the next three years, the AfDB would have invested US$1.8 billion in the water and sanitation sector. Financing needs in this sector are estimated at US$ 20 billion from 2000 to 2015. In a bid to meet water and sanitation challenges facing many African countries and coordinate its operations in the sector, the AfDB has decided to reinforce its cooperation with development partners in line with resolutions of the First African Water Week held in Tunis in March 2008, and to encourage shared management of cross-border water resources management as well as infrastructure development for water security.