By Patrick Baidoo, Ghana Watch.net
Cape Town – South Africa
The African Ministers’ Council on Water [AMCOW] says it would continue with the drive to make potable water and proper sanitation facilities accessible and available to all Africans by 2015.
In that vein the body has noted it would initiate positive frameworks which will guide the various governments and institutions on the continent with the mandate of providing a safer environment and quality water to enable them secure the needed funds to carry out that objective.
Speaking in an interview with our member, Patrick Baidoo of Ghana Watch.net, at the United Nations World Water Day Event in Cape Town on 22nd March 2011, the Executive Secretary of AMCOW, Bai Mass Taal noted that the provision and accessibility to potable water by Africans was vital to achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals [MDGs] by the 2015 target.
The MDG which underscores Mr. Taal’s assertions is goal 7, which upholds governments of nations to halve their population which do not have access to potable water and a safer environment by 2015.
He indicated, “Formed in 2002 in Abuja Nigeria, the Objective of AMCOW is primarily to promote cooperation, security, social and economic development and poverty eradication among member states through the management of water resources and provision of water supply services hence that mandate will be adhered to.”
He stressed that the Mission of AMCOW was also to provide political leadership, policy direction and advocacy in the provision, use and management of water resources for sustainable social and economic development and maintenance of African ecosystems.
The Executive Secretary stated that although the ministerial body does not directly provide water and sanitation facilities at the country level, it has through various meetings and sessions at global and regional level events on water initiated recommendations that have guided the policy direction of most African countries in their effort to provide the right water infrastructure.
“AMCOW initiatives has opened the way for funds and technology suitable to develop the water sector and provide potable water and sanitation facilities at all communities in Africa. It is by no fluke that six African countries are on track to achieve the MDGs by 2015,” he noted.
The countries are Angola, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco but nonetheless, Mr. Taal believes that a lot more could be achieved by the continents governments with the right approach.
He advised institutions to also rehabilitate and maintain water infrastructures on the continent well in order to attract more funds for water service delivery.
As part of efforts to participate in the upcoming World Water Forum in Marseille, France in March – 2012, he indicated that regional consultations would be held to solicit views which would be factored into a regional paper for deliberations at that event.
“This does not mean that provisions in recommendations in previous regional papers will be discarded. Governments will be upheld to deliver on them before focusing on current positions