Posts tagged ‘African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW)’

January 29, 2017

Africa Goes Online With Water Sector and Sanitation Reporting

WaterSan Perspective Reporter
January 29, 2017

For every £1 invested in water and sanitation, an average of £4 is returned in increased productivity

For every £1 invested in water and sanitation, an average of £4 is returned in increased productivity

Ahead of the upcoming 28th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union to be held on 30th and 31st January 2017 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) has activated the online portal of the continent’s water sector and sanitation reporting system.

The new Pan African Monitoring and Reporting System serves as a platform to report progress on the implementation of the AU Heads of States and Government Sharm el Sheikh Commitments to accelerate the achievement of the Africa Water Vision 2025, as well as the global high level political commitments on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on water and sanitation.

Considered as one of the most ambitious attempts at tracking sectoral progress, the system represents Africa’s readiness to learn from past mistakes in monitoring the implementation of the MDGs as well as efforts being made to attain Africa’s Agenda 2063.

Speaking on the successful activation, the AMCOW President and Minister for Water and Irrigation, Tanzania, Engr. Gerson Lwenge stated: “The AMCOW Monitoring and Reporting System helps to address Africa’s longstanding challenges in producing harmonised water and sanitation monitoring data.”

Engr. Lwenge recalled that lack of credible national and regional water sector and sanitation monitoring and reporting systems in Africa was widely recognised as a critical constraint to making informed policy and investments decisions on the development and effective use of water resources and sanitation in the continent.”

Commenting, the AU Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, Rhoda Peace Tumusiime said: “Ongoing actions such as this ensures Africa’s readiness to monitor and report on progress towards achieving the SDGs while providing a great opportunity to establish baselines not just for the global indicator framework, but also for the African commitments for which efforts to monitor progress towards attainment are constrained by the lack of baseline data.”

Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, African Union Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture

Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, African Union Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture

The System developed by the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) working with the Commission of the African Union captures the harmonised monitoring and reporting indicators for the continent and links with other global monitoring and reporting processes.

The AMCOW Executive Secretary, Dr Canisius Kanangire believes that: “The system provides African Member States an opportunity to own and manage the water sector and sanitation data.”

Dr Kanangire reiterated that the issue of water sector and sanitation monitoring and reporting gained momentum in July 2008 with the AU Sharm El-Sheikh Declaration requesting AMCOW to report annually on the state of the continent’s water resources and sanitation to the Summit.

The web-based Reporting system was developed with funding from the African Water Facility (AWF), and supported by the M&E Task Force, the German Cooperation as well as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) and with technical assistance from UNEP-DHI. The highlight of the portal which can be accessed at http://www.africawat-sanreports.org is the 2016 Status Report of 42 African member states submitted using an online reporting framework. It also contains the 2013 and 2014 data submitted by Member States using a temporary paper based template.

November 5, 2016

Abuja: ECOWAS Renews Ties with AMCOW for Sustainable Water Resources Management

Innocent Agonza
November 5, 2016

The President of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, Marcel de Souza has assured the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) of greater cooperation and collaboration in the quest to sustainably manage West Africa’s abundant water resources.

Marcel De Souza was speaking as he welcomed AMCOW’s Executive Secretary, Dr. Canisius Kanangire to the ECOWAS headquarters in Abuja.

Dr. Canisius Kanangire, the new Executive Secretary for the African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW)

Dr. Canisius Kanangire, the new Executive Secretary for the African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW)

While underscoring the importance of water to human existence, the ECOWAS Commission’s President regretted the prevalence of indiscriminate exploitation of gold and mercury in Burkina Faso and other parts of the sub-region which according to him, “constitutes a veritable threat to water security, human subsistence and animal life.”

“ECOWAS will work more closely with AMCOW in strengthening and preserving water quality, controlling indiscriminate mineral exploitation, and managing West Africa’s transboundary water resources effectively.”

In his response, the AMCOW Executive Secretary thanked his host for the warm welcome and promised to deploy AMCOW’s extensive experience and influence in resolving issues bordering on water quality and transboundary water resources management in the sub-region.

Recalling past successes in his previous role as Head of the Lake Victoria Commission in Kenya, Dr. Kanangire assured the ECOWAS Commission’s President of AMCOW’s readiness to “assist ECOWAS in improving policy, financing and monitoring of the sub-region’s water resources with a view to achieving equitable access to water and sanitation.”

Established since 1975 with the vision of creating a borderless region where the population has access to its abundant resources and is able to exploit same through the creation of opportunities under a sustainable environment, ECOWAS envisages an integrated sub-region where its fifteen member-states cooperate on industry, transport, telecommunications, energy, agriculture, natural resources, commerce, monetary and financial issues, social as well as cultural matters.

September 20, 2016

Ethiopia: African Water Ministers Root for Web-Based Pan-Africa Water Sector Monitoring and Reporting System

Aaron Kaah Yancho
September 20, 2016

The African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW) has called on African member-states to adopt and strengthen the web-based Pan-Africa water sector monitoring and reporting system recently launched in Stockholm, Sweden during the World Water Week.

This is in recognition of the critical role of monitoring and reporting in evidence-based decision-making in the water and sanitation sector at national, basin and regional levels.

Dr. Canisius Kanangire, AMCOW Executive Secretary made this call yesterday at the African Union Commission headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, venue of the training workshop on water and sanitation sector monitoring for member-states and stakeholders.

Dr. Canisius Kanangire, AMCOW Executive Secretary

Dr. Canisius Kanangire, AMCOW Executive Secretary

According to Dr. Kanangire, the web-based Pan Africa Monitoring and Reporting System “represents AMCOW’s innovative response to addressing the data challenge in Africa where Member-states use different data management methodologies and standards which do not permit effective comparison of countries’ efforts in achieving regional commitments.”

The newly launched M&E framework aspires to assist Member-states, working in collaboration with the AMCOW Secretariat and the AUC, in adopting and perfecting a common reporting format that will facilitate annual reports to the AU on the basis of data and information collected at national and sub-regional levels.

“This will, in the long run, result in a continent-wide credible monitoring and reporting system that will regularly provide critical and strategic information on the status of water development and its use (usage) for various purposes to facilitate informed decision making by African Governments,” says the AMCOW Executive Secretary.

Commending the workshop initiative as being of timely essence, the African Union Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, in her welcome remarks expressed optimism that the web-based monitoring and reporting system will “significantly reduce the reporting requirements on our already overburdened statistical departments across Africa.”

The AUC Commissioner restated the need for Africa to stay on course towards realizing the target of the Africa Water Vision 2025 which envisages “an Africa where there is an equitable and sustainable use and management of water resources for poverty alleviation, socio-economic development, regional cooperation, and the environment.”

“Translating that vision of the Africa we want into reality makes it incumbent upon us to consolidate the gains of our achievements to-date by utilising the opportunity presented by this web-based Monitoring and Reporting System to revitalise our on-going efforts at developing, managing and utilising our water resources in a way that unleashes Africa’s development potential,” Hon Tumusiime added.

An appreciable number of the workshop participants from South Sudan, Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana described the training as very crucial and timely as it kick-starts the process of developing the 2016 Africa Water and Sanitation Report for submission to the AU Assembly of Heads of State and Governments in Africa.

Organised by the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) in collaboration with the African Union Commission, the series of workshops which began today comprises Monitoring and Evaluation Focal Persons from Water Resources Ministries in Anglophone countries in East, North and West Africa will end tomorrow while that of English speaking countries in Southern Africa will follow immediately at the same venue.

Francophone countries from Central, East, North and West Africa will converge in Abidjan from the 26th to the 27th of September 2016 for French version of the training.

July 22, 2016

Africa Water Week: Lake Chad Countries Urged To Double Efforts to Save Water Body, Curb Migration

Water Journalists Africa
July 22, 2016

Countries from the Lake Chad region have been enjoined to double efforts to save the dwindling water body that is aggravating environmental degradation and migration in the region and consequently impacting on the social and economic wellbeing of the population.

Most African countries struggle to provide access to water and sanitation to their people

Most African countries struggle to provide access to water and sanitation to their people

Representatives of member countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission, LCBC, Nigeria, Cameroon, Niger, and Chad, attending the 6th Africa Water Week in Dar es Salam on July 19, 2016, agreed on the need to multiply strategies towards saving the lake.

“ Countries from the lake Chad need to coordinate their multiple efforts, bringing in new stimulating perspectives to save this important lake on which the livelihood of millions of people hinges,” said Mana Boubakari, technical director of the Lake Chad Basin Commission at a side event on ground water management in the lake Chad basin.

He said restoring the water body will help reduce poverty, transform the lives of people in the region especially women and youths and drastically reduce the incentive to migrate to other regions.

Migration from the region according to reports have continued to surge as life becomes unbearable to the mostly agricultural and fishing population there in. The effect on the degrading land triggered by the shrinking lake, on migration is just stark experts say.

“We cannot ignore the huge unemployment of especially the youths in countries of the region who are left with no choice than seek for opportunities elsewhere,” said Professor Ibrahim Goni of the University of Maiduguri.

Statistics from the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), estimates that over 60 million people are likely to migrate from the region by 2020 as the water from the lake continue to shrink.

The situation has been compounded by disturbing insecurity imposed by Boko Haram whose push for a hardline Islamic state in northeast Nigeria has left hundreds of thousand people dead since 2009.

The surge in the marauding criminal activities of Boko Haram has led to increase poverty, loss of resource opportunities and breeding conflict and political instability. “Environmental breakdown and security threats in the Lake Chad Basin region especially in Cameroon, Chad and Nigeria is increasing and so we need additional efforts if we have to fight poverty, preserve peace and promote sustainable development,’’ noted Dr Fantung Wilson Yetoh ,of the Institute of Mining and Geological Research in Cameroon at the side event discussion in Dar es Salam.

Members of the Lake Chad Basin Commission however say they were leaving no stone unturned with collective efforts to intensify security especially in the fight against the Islamic terrorist group, Boko Haram.

“A joint security effort is working to intensify security in the region,” Fantung Wilson said.

Development experts however agree that the campaign against degraded land like the case in the Lake Chad Basin region is the responsibility of all. They warn that the poverty situation may get to unbearable levels if nations continue to procrastinate than act forthrightly.

“The prospects of a land degradation neutral world will grow dimmer if we procrastinate. But it will shine brighter each time a country joins the campaign to restore degraded land and water bodies.” said Monique Barbur, UNCCD Executive secretary, in an address during the World Environment Day on Desertification on June 17, 2016.

She advised that land degradation neutrality should be a top policy goal for every nation that values freedom and choice.

The 6th Africa Water Week, organized by African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) in collaboration with the African Union Commission (AUC) and other development partners, seeks accordingly, to lay pathways for Africa’s drive towards achieving the SDG 6, as well as other inter-linking SDGs rooted in water resources management.

July 22, 2016

Africa Water Week: Panel Urges Increased Transparency in Water Resource Management in Africa

WaterSan Perspective Reporter
July 22, 2016

CORRUPTION has been identified as one of the biggest problems that has affected the water sector not to function as expected on the African continent.

The vice which according to Transparency International (TI) is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain is unfortunately very widespread taking many forms – the small scale corruption in bribing to get connection for which one is not entitled to or quicker.

African leaders at the opening plenary of the AMCOW General Assembly

African leaders at the opening plenary of the AMCOW General Assembly

Executive Director of Water Integrity Network (WIN), Frank van der Valk during the second day technical session on “what policy shifts are needed to achieve Sustainable Development Goals” on the sideline of the Africa Water Week conference in Dar es Salaam said the sum of the small scale corruption together amount to pretty large amount of money.

Valk says people taking wrong decisions which are geared to specific interest for themselves or groups they represent rather than trying to solve the challenges that SDGs require is common in many African countries.

“Diversion of funds for purposes that they are not intended to, the appointment of people that are not qualified for the job because they are friends and appointing wrong people have continued to hinder the water sector,” Valk says. He suggested it is timely to now have a broad initiative led by institutions such as African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW) and the African Development Bank (AfDB) who are the major players on the continent to work on increasing integrity in African countries.

According to him African countries need capacity building at different stages both at government level and civil society organisations to help increase accountability in the sector.

Valk stressed the need for more involvement of civil society within major water programmes to ensure that those who execute the programmes are held accountable to the beneficiaries of the programme.

“We think that both governments and funders need to much more at the start of the project, include the right mechanisms to ensure the involvement of civil society and also to ensure proper financial management,” he says adding that financial management is lacking on the continent. Noting down some of the good examples of proper financial management on the continent, Valk says when proper mechanisms are in place before a project starts, positive results are usually visible.

In Burkina Faso, the building of the Ziga dam was documented where complete restructuring of the implementing organisation ONEA was carried out to ensure proper project delivery.
Kenya Water Trust is another good example of proper management because of proper mechanism in place to ensure project delivery.

He bemoaned the fact that too many people still do not enjoy their human rights to water and sanitation access and that the challenge is how to achieve it due to rampant corruption.

Water Integrity Network works with partners on the continent promoting water integrity and making sure governments take it serious as a subject.

Water integrity also develops tools to be used by governments and civil society organizations to strengthen the integrity in the organization and decision making.

Senegalese director of Environment and Sustainable Development Amadou Lamine Ndiaye said a new strategy for improving the management of water resources on the Senegal River basin has been launched. “Sharing good practices of different river basins helps to have shared interests and understanding of communities that are involved in the river basins.”

July 20, 2016

Africa Water Week: Water Security and Sanitation Must Be For All by 2030 – CSOs Insist

Our Reporter
July 20, 2016

Civil society organisations under the banner of Africa civil society Network on Water and sanitation (ANEW) have called for an ambitious roadmap to achieving sustainable development goals on water and sanitation as necessary for national development plans of African countries.

Presenting a statement to African Governments through the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW), ANEW’s Doreen Wandera highlighted the urgent need to prioritise water sanitation and hygiene if nations are to achieve Africa vision 2063 of optimising resources for all Africans, leaving no one behind.

“We call upon governments to ensure that the commitments of the Ngor declaration are aligned to the national level goal 6 implementation plans, ”said Wandera.

She further challenged governments to ensure a stronger role of civil society at various levels for coordination, communication and improved accountability.

Over half of all people in developing countries suffer at any given time from a health problem caused by water and sanitation deficits

Over half of all people in developing countries suffer at any given time from a health problem caused by water and sanitation deficits

Representing WaterAid CEO Barbara Frost, Head of Region Lydia Zigomo challenged governments and stakeholders to utilise the 6th Africa Water Week to agree on a roadmap that will ensure transformational change. “It cannot be business as usual; we need to increase the pace at all levels in order to reach everyone everywhere in Africa by 2030,” remarked Zigomo.

The 6th Africa Water Week (AWW-6), organized by African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW), aspires to lay the building blocks for Africa to achieve the SDG 6 as well as other inter-linking SDGs connected with water resources management. The week represents a political commitment at the highest level for creating platform to discuss and collectively seek solutions to Africa’s water and sanitation challenges.

July 19, 2016

Africa Water Week: AMCOW Wants Countries to Increase Water Budget

PAMACC Africa
July 19, 2016

The challenges for development of African water infrastructure are daunting

The challenges for development of African water infrastructure are daunting

The African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW) has called on member-countries to increase their budget for water in order to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on water and sanitation.

AMCOW’s Executive Secretary, Mr Bai-Mass Taal, made the call at the ongoing Africa Water Week in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on Monday.

He said that there was no doubt that achieving the SDGs for water security and sanitation would require a different approach from that of the MDGs.

According to him, finance plays a major role toward meeting this goal and it is saddening to note that most country budgets relegate water and sanitation to the background.

“When you look at budgets for water in most African countries, it can never be in the top five; this is not good.

“Most leaders forget that water is a multi-sector issue; it cuts across agriculture, health, education, socio-economic issues, so we must stop this trend if we want to achieve the SDGs.”

Taal said that water was seen as non-important, but said that the trend should change.

He said that the week was a wake-up call for the region to begin to think outside the box for strategies that would help countries scale up access to water for all.

He also said to ensure secured, productive and sustainable water for all purposes as well as sanitation and hygiene, interventions were prerequisite for sustainable economic development.

Earlier, AMCOW President, Mr Amadou Faye, said that the choice of the theme, “Achieving the SDGs on Water Security and Sanitation”, was driven by the recognition to lay foundation for Africa to meet the SDGs.

He said that the “SDG 6” was interlinking with other SDGs, hence the need to place emphasis on matching commitments and plans with concrete actions.

Faye said that the outcome of the Africa Water Week would be a roadmap for developing a comprehensive plan of action from the ‘Ngor Declaration’ on water security and sanitation.

He stated that the programmes that would emanate from the plans would contribute to poverty alleviation, health improvements, social development and economic growth.

The president called for strengthened cooperation among countries with shared water resources to build stronger partnerships for the implementation of AMCOW work plan.

The 6th Africa Water Week aspires to lay the building blocks for Africa to achieve the “SDG 6’’ as well as other inter-linking SDGs connected with water resources management.

The week represents a political commitment at the highest level for creating platform to discuss and collectively seek solutions to Africa’s water and sanitation challenges.

July 19, 2016

African Ministers Call For Self-Driven Initiatives As 6th Africa Water Week Begins

PAMACC Africa
July 19, 2016

Africa is experiencing water crisis with scientists saying there is strong evidence of decreased water flow and water quality in many countries.

Scientists, researchers and drivers of water policy have also warned that continued population and economic growth, combined with climate change, could result in serious water shortages in some parts of the continent by 2025. These challenges are coming at a time many African countries are mapping pathways towards the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Some officials at the opening of the 6th Africa Water Week in Tanzania.

Some officials at the opening of the 6th Africa Water Week in Tanzania.

It is against this backdrop that the African water ministers attending the sixth edition of the Africa water week have called for increased self-driven and innovative approach to addressing the water challenges.

According to the ministers, the flagship water event on the continent which began today at the Julius Nyerere International conference centre in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, provides the unique opportunity to explore pathways of addressing water challenges.

“We need new ideas and self-driven approaches to addressing the issues of water in Africa,” noted Engr. Gerson H Lwenge, Tazanian minister of water and irrigation, at the opening of the conference on Monday July 18, 2016.

In a pre-conference statement, African water ministers under the auspices of African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW ) said there was a range of actions – besides investments into large inter-basin transfer schemes – that could be taken to improve the prospects for quality water supply and quality.

The President of AMCOW and Senegalese hydraulic and sanitation minister, Hon Amadou Mansour Faye, the Executive Secretary, Bai Mass Taal and other high-level Speakers at the opening of the conference emphasized the need to better address issues related to achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 6 and other inter-related goals with emphasis on new approaches adapted to the African reality.

“The SDGs is all about using local initiatives by both the private sector and the government working together,” Mr Taal noted. Water resources is vital in realizing these goals,” says H.E Mwai Kibaki former President of Kenya and UNESCO Special Envoy on Water in Africa at the conference plenary.

The opening session of the 6th Africa Water Week in Tanzania

The opening session of the 6th Africa Water Week in Tanzania

With the theme “achieving the SDGs on Water Security and Sanitation,” the 6th Africa Water Week aspires to lay the building blocks for Africa to achieve the SDG-6 as well as other inter-linking SDGs connected with water resources management and improved sanitation service delivery. It also represents the quest in the continent to place emphasis on matching commitments and plans with concrete actions with impact on the ground.

It highlights Africa’s undaunted focus on achieving the Agenda 2063, the continent’s global strategy to optimize use of Africa’s resources for the overall benefit of all. The four sub themes of the AWW-6 revolve round achieving universal and equitable access to water and sanitation for all, and ensuring sustainable water resources management and climate resilience. Others are strengthening productive waste water management and improved water quality improving policy, financing and monitoring.

Part of the desired outcome for the conference is the adoption of a roadmap for developing a comprehensive action plan for Africa aimed at translating high-level commitments including N’gor Declaration on Water Security and Sanitation into implementation at country, sub-regional and continental levels.

The biennial water conference brings over 1000 participants from governments, regional institutions, international partners, the private sector, the scientific community, civil society and the media from all over the world.

May 3, 2016

Tanzania to Host the Sixth Africa Water Week

Annita Matsika in Uganda
May 03, 2016

The African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) has announced that the sixth edition of it’s flagship water event, the Africa Water Week will hold from the 18th to the 22nd of July 2016.

The Africa Water Week which represents a political commitment at the highest level for creating platform to discuss and collectively seek solutions to Africa’s water and sanitation challenges is organized by the African Minister’s Council on Water (AMCOW) in collaboration with the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union Commission alongside regional and international partners.

A water Kiosk in Ndirande Malawi. In places without access to clean water children and walk long distances, use dirty water from ponds and rivers or they are charged large amounts of money by water sellers.

A water Kiosk in Ndirande Malawi. In places without access to clean water children and walk long distances, use dirty water from ponds and rivers or they are charged large amounts of money by water sellers.

The biennial water conference will be hosted at the Julius Nyerere International Convention Centre (JNICC), Dar Es Salam by the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania, represented by the Ministry of Water and Irrigation and over 1000 participants from governments, regional institutions, international partners, the private sector, the scientific community, civil society and the media from all over the world are expected to attend.

President John Magufuli of Tanzania, Dr Nkosazana Ndlamini Zuma, the AU Chairperson and over 40 African Water Ministers alongside key international speakers are expected to attend the conference.

This is in keeping with the decision of the AMCOW Governing Council to institutionalize AWW as a way of building momentum on achieving the Africa Water Vision 2025. This equally represents AMCOW’s belief that effective and efficient management of water resources leads to the provision of adequate and equitable access to safe water and sanitation as well as makes a critical contribution to Africa’s progress towards sustainable growth and development.

The Africa Water Week series began in Tunis, Tunisia in 2008. Since then, the conference has been held in Midrand, South Africa in 2009, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2010, Cairo, Egypt in 2012 and Dakar, Senegal in 2014 featuring an assemblage of international and regional organizations and the scientific community, as well as exhibitors from various sectors engaged in the sustainable management of Africa’s water resources and delivery of safe water and improved sanitation.

Achieving the SDGs on Water Security and Sanitation

With the theme “achieving the SDGs on Water Security and Sanitation,” the 6th Africa Water Week (AWW-6) aspires to lay the building blocks for Africa to achieve the SDG 6 as well as other inter-linking SDGs connected with water resources management and improved sanitation service delivery.

Poor Sanitation and hygiene remains one of dangerous threats to good health in most Africa’s towns

Poor Sanitation and hygiene remains one of dangerous threats to good health in most Africa’s towns

It also represents the quest in the continent to place emphasis on matching commitments and plans with concrete actions with impact on the ground. It highlights Africa’s undaunted focus to achieving the Agenda 2063, the continent’s global strategy to optimize use of Africa’s resources for the overall benefit of all.

The four sub themes of the AWW-6 revolve round achieving universal and equitable access to water and sanitation for all, and ensuring sustainable water resources management and climate resilience. Others are strengthening productive wastewater management and improved water quality improving policy, financing and monitoring.

Part of the desired outcome for the conference is the adoption of a roadmap for developing a comprehensive action plan for Africa aimed at translating high-level commitments including N’gor Declaration on Water Security and Sanitation into implementation at country, sub-regional and continental levels.

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