AfDB approves Water Policy
By Ruvimbo Chatyoka
THE African Development Bank (AfDB) Group’s Board of Directors have approved a new policy on water, which prioritises water security and the transformation of water assets to foster sustainable, green and inclusive economic growth in regional member countries.
Since 2010, the AfDB has invested an estimated $6.2 billion in water supply and sanitation services delivery. The COVID- 19 pandemic, though, has exposed vulnerabilities caused by under-investment in water, sanitation and hygiene services (WASH) across the African continent.
Despite these challenges, the Bank’s active water sector portfolio stood at $4.3 billion comprises nearly 100 national projects implemented in 40 countries, and six multinational projects.
The new policy is meant to promote Africa-wide attainment of a minimum platform of water security. There will be a special focus on areas of fragility, as well as on assisting African countries and sub-regional groups to harness and sustain water resources productivity potential to support development.
Moreover, attaining water security at household, national and regional levels should be recognized as a key outcome, fundamental to inclusive growth. The Bank seeks to promote the attainment of water security in all its regional member countries and sub-regions.
In addition, implementing the water policy was crucial because it promotes sustainable and equitable access to water services and enables the Sustainable Development Goals. Water is a key enabler for many of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
Furthermore, The Bank considers water to be essential for life, health, dignity, empowerment, environmental sustainability, peace and prosperity. The new policy aims to vigorously promote water security to advance the SDGs agenda.
Atsuko Toda, AfDB acting vice president for agriculture, human and social development highlighted that “This new policy on water provides a general framework for the African Development Bank Group to expand its role as the continent’s partner promoting the integrated development and management of Africa’s water sector for inclusive and sustainable growth in Africa.”