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Home » Investing in climate resilient water and sanitation in Africa cannot wait

Investing in climate resilient water and sanitation in Africa cannot wait

Investing in climate resilient water and sanitation in Africa cannot wait

Joint call to action by Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director, and Jakaya Kikwete, former President of the United Republic of Tanzania and Chair of the Global Water Partnership Southern Africa and Africa Coordination

More than 220 million children and their families in Africa are water insecure. The impact is staggering: 58 per cent of children in Eastern and Southern Africa and 31 per cent of children in West and Central Africa live in areas of high, or extremely high, water vulnerability. These children are more likely to miss school to fetch water. They are more likely to suffer malnutrition and stunting when droughts and floods impact agricultural food production. And they are more likely to get sick when communicable diseases and infection spread due to lack of sanitation and contaminated water quality.

In addition to its impact on children’s health and well-being, water insecurity also limits economic growth and forces people to migrate.

As climate change leads to unpredictable and extreme weather patterns, and as population growth increases stress on water resources due to increased water demand and competition, the situation will only get worse.

The reality is stark: Investment in climate-resilient water infrastructure in Africa currently stands far below the levels necessary to ensure water security for the continent’s people. The African Development Bank estimates that US$ 64 billion should be invested annually to meet the 2025 Africa vision of water security for all; but the actual figure invested stands between US$10 -US$19 billion per year.

Urgent action is needed to transform the investment outlook for climate resilient water and sanitation services in Africa.

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