The African Development Bank (AfDB) has invested around $5.2 billion in assisting and strengthening nearly 97 million Africans’ water and sanitation resilience.
Since 2015, the bank has contributed an average of $900 million per year in water and sanitation assistance, according to the statement.
“Massive investments in integrated water development and management are central to achieving sustainable water, food, and energy security while assuring green and inclusive growth.
“In 2022, our water and sanitation portfolio of $473 million provided water access to an estimated 6.8 million people and jobs to over 24,000 people in Africa,’’ the statement read.
Water security, according to the statement, underlies food and energy security, industrialization, regional integration, and improved African quality of life.
The AfDB’s water strategy was founded on a vision to strengthen Africa’s water security and transform water resources to enable inclusive, sustainable, and green socio-economic growth.
The proclamation contends that access to safe drinking water, sanitary facilities, and hygiene services is a key resource with direct implications for Africa’s economic potential. Water scarcity affects one in every three Africans, according to the AFDB.
According to the 2022 WHO/UNICEF JMP report, 411 million people in Africa lack access to basic drinking water services.
According to the statement, 839 million people lack access to basic hygiene services and 779 million lack basic sanitation facilities.
It said climate change causes water shortage and drought, resulting in anticipated water scarcity for about 230 million Africans.
“And as many as 460 million Africans will live in areas where water demand periodically exceeds the available supply by 2025.
“This also impacts food and energy security as the continent’s population grows. Water access remains a matter of concern, and efficiency in water use is now a crucial issue,” it said.
The subject of World Water Day 2023, ‘Accelerating Change,’ according to the statement, is a wake-up call to do even more to alleviate water and sanitation challenges.
“We need collective and urgent action by governments, regional associations, and global development partners.
“We must also consider the complex interplay between water and energy supply and demand, food ecosystems,” it read. “And the impacts of climate change to address the diverse needs and use of water, develop innovative ideas, and optimise finance in the water sector.”
According to the statement, AfDB will continue to engage with and support African countries in order to meet the six Sustainable Development Goal targets by 2030 and beyond.
“It will do this through financing, sector reforms and governance, knowledge generation, partnerships and private sector engagement, environmental and social responsibility, and mitigating the impacts of climate change.”