6th Africa Water Week: Achieving the SDGs on Water Security and Sanitation
The Africa Water Week represents a political commitment at the highest level with over 1000 participants from governments, international partners, the private sector, the scientific community, civil society, and the media from all over the world, and in particular Africa, meeting to discuss and collectively seek solutions to Africa’s water resources, and sanitation challenges. It is convened by the African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW) in conjunction with the African Union Commission and organized with other development partners. This year, Africa Water Week is organized under the theme “Achieving the SDGs on Water Security and Sanitation”.
The International Hydrological Programme (IHP) of UNESCO will be convening or co-convening no less than 8 technical sessions and side events during the week, notably as Co-Lead Convener of sub-theme 3: Strengthening Productive Wastewater Management and Improved Water Quality. It will also be taking part in sub-theme 2: Ensuring water security and climate resilience.
Sub-theme 2, on Ensuring water security and climate resilience, spans the pivotal role of sustainable use and management of water when it comes to poverty alleviation, socioeconomic development and ecosystems, and biodiversity sustenance. Sustainable water management and climate resilience strategies will be discussed to address water-related challenges due to climate change, and as ways of ending poverty and hunger, achieving food security and improved nutrition, sustainable agriculture, and healthy lives. The IHP will explore these challenges by convening or co-convening several sessions:
- “Early Warning Systems for water extremes and Climate Change Information in Africa” (19 July, 9.00-10.30);
- “River basin organizations and benefits of transboundary water cooperation” (19 July, 16.00-17.30);
- “Pathways for Sound Groundwater Governance” (20 July, 16.00-17.30).
The IHP will also be one of the Lead Conveners, with the International Water Management Institute, of sub-theme 3 on Strengthening Productive Wastewater Management and Improved Water Quality. This sub-theme will foster discussions on how to contribute to the implementation of SDG targets related to water quality and wastewater in Africa involving all stakeholders, including policy-makers, researchers, international organizations, and NGOs, among others. It also responds to achieving regional commitments such as the AMCOW Work Plan and the N’gor Declaration on Water Security and Sanitation. To this end, the IHP will convene or co-convene several sessions:
- “Defining National SDG targets and indicators on water quality and wastewater” (19 July, 9.00-10.30);
- “Science and policy towards water quality and wastewater SDGs in Africa” (19 July, 11.00-12.30);
- “Emerging Pollutants in Water and Wastewater: UNESCO Project Case-Studies in Africa” (19 July, 14.00-15.30);
- “Harnessing opportunity through Sustainable Wastewater Management” (19 July, 16.00-17.30);
- “Wastewater-related Diseases, Risks and Intervention measures in African Cities and the Global Water Pathogen Project” (20 July, 9.00-10.30);
- “Eco hydrology for sustainability and water security in Africa” (20 July, 11.00-12.30);
- “Fostering SDG #8: Innovative Job Creation and Young Water Professionals Role” (21 July, 14.00-15.30).
The IHP will also be organizing a side-event on the UNESCO Water Family’s work in Africa, on 20 July (12:30-13:30).