The work of the World Water Forum ended on a note of optimism but also with many concerns and questions regarding the scarcity of water resources and the inequality in its distribution on a planetary scale. .
Organized from March 21 to 26, 2022 in Dakar, Senegal, this conclave came at the right time to sensitize the leaders of this world in order to become aware of climate change and to make water preservation a fight. It is rightly, moreover, if the ninth edition of the World Water Forum had an evocative theme: “Water security for peace and sustainable development”.
Indeed, according to the experts, water is a cross-cutting issue. The 20 targets of the 2030 Agenda relating to water illustrate this transversality: target 4 of SDG 1 on poverty, target 3 of SDG3 on health, target 5 of SDG4 on education. For Macky Sall, president of the host country of this forum, “water plays a vital role in meeting our needs, in preserving our environment and in the development of our countries. Water cooperation contributes to peaceful coexistence and the preservation of cordial relations between countries sharing transboundary river basins. In addition, the combined effects of climate change and population growth leading to water scarcity, it is necessary to address the issue of water from the angle of the promotion of peace » .
While Loïc Fauchon, President of the World Water Council, points out that “The raison d’être of the World Water Forum is to bring together key political actors, business leaders, NGOs, donors and International organisations. They bring together their experiences and know-how to contribute more to access to water and sanitation and facilitate access”.
In Africa, the Forum constituted a plea when we know that the continent is experiencing a glaring deficit in terms of drinking water supply while it is full of immense wealth in this area. Indeed, the problem of access to drinking water is particularly acute on the African continent.
In a recently published report, the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH), estimates that 19 African countries with a total population of around 500 million do not have safe access to the water. It is in this sense that the creation of a high-level international panel on water investments in Africa finds its full meaning.
Moreover, the objective of the panel is to develop concrete ways to mobilize 30 billion dollars per year until 2030 to fill the investment gap in Africa, according to the Senegalese Minister of Water, Serigne Mbaye Thiam. Better, the initiators and organizers of the panel have designated 5 heads of African States to join this process. A president for each African region. And it is Tanzania that will be the host country to host this High Level International Panel on Water Investment in Africa.
Another salutary action, which marked the Dakar Forum, is that of the French Development Agency (AFD), which is ready to support the initiative of the Great Green Wall (GMV). On this subject, its director in charge of ecological transition and natural resources, Gilles Kleitz, revealed that his institution has brought together donors under the impetus of the Sahelian countries, with the aim of mobilizing, for the next few years, financing in favor of the GGW.
With regard to the main recommendations, the Forum invited States to adopt sustainable and integrated management plans to preserve water resources and ecosystems. He also recommended the mobilization of financial resources in favor of the access of the populations and a governance of water which includes the agricultural, industrial, health, biodiversity and even energy sectors. Similarly, water must be the subject of enhanced cooperation between different entities, regional or international.
Tools and means
It must be said that the “Dakar 2021” Forum focused on four priorities, namely: water and sanitation security; Cooperation ; water for rural development; tools and means. Moreover, one of the innovative characteristics of the 9th World Water Forum focused on the implementation of responses to the expectations of the populations.
The “Dakar 2021” initiative is therefore a system for labeling projects, generating commitments and actions to accelerate progress, in particular for the achievement of the SDGs.
Finally, let us recall that by bringing together governments, the private sector and civil society organizations to strengthen the implementation of the actions necessary to achieve Sustainable Development Goal number 6 (SDG6), the 9th World Forum on water has offered a platform for expression to other stakeholders (women’s groups, young people, farmers, breeders and fishermen), thus contributing to the qualitative transformation of the daily life of the populations and to the improvement of the performance of the sectors of production. In other words, it is a question of being more concrete in the preservation of water.