African Center for Advocacy marks World Water Day

Cameroon Report – YAOUNDE

As the global community commemorates the World Water Day on Monday, the African Center for Advocacy (ACA) said it has observed that water sector privatization continues to threaten households, health, education, and the integrity of natural environments in the African continent.

According to ACA, the water sector privatizations will make it impossible for the continent to meet the Sustainable Development Goal 6 which advocates for availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by year 2030.

“The theme of the World Water Day commemoration should motivate African governments to take action. It is a reminder that the issue of governance is central to guaranteeing universal access to water. They must, therefore, reject water privatization in all its forms and prioritize sustained public funding in the sector to meet people’s water needs,” Younoussa Abbosouka, ACA’s Advocacy Officer said.

“The commemoration raises awareness about the 2.2 billion people living without access to safe water and sanitation. The theme of the 2021 commemoration, Value Water, addresses issues of environmental, social, and cultural value that people place on water,” the ACA said, adding that “water is sacred” on the African continent.

Water has a central role in the SDGs, and Water and food security go hand in hand, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Deputy Director-General Maria Helena Semedo said in a Twitter post while commemorating the World Water Day.

“Improving water access for food can contribute to reducing poverty as well as closing the gender gap,” she added.

At least 31% of the children in West and Central Africa have difficulty accessing water daily, according to UNICEF.

Countries must consider human rights when privatizing their water and sanitation services, a UN human rights expert said in a report last year delivered to the UN General Assembly today, calling for comprehensive assessments and guarantees on adequate safeguards.

The imperative of private providers to make as much profit as possible can undermine States’ obligation to provide affordable water and sanitation services to all, according to the report.

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