Earlier this month, the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program (WSP), Nordic Human Rights Trust Fund, and the World Bank’s Sanitation Thematic Group hosted Catarina de Albuquerque, the first UN Special Rapporteur on the human right to sanitation and safe drinking water. She discussed the human right to sanitation with sector and human rights experts, and what it means in practice. One of the most notable questions she addressed was--- if something is a human right, does that mean it has to be free?
It’s been almost 8 months since the World Bank Group convened the first Water Hackathon. The Water Hackathon brought nearly 1000 computer programmers in 10 cities around the world together to compete to build prototype solutions to challenges in water, including sanitation. We had worked to help governments, utilities, civil society groups, World Bank experts, and citizens define their specific water problems. Overall, more than 60 prototype solutions were built in response to the 113 water sector challenges defined. Some
Africa’s development agenda is inherently regional due to the large number of landlocked countries (15) and trans-boundary rivers (63 basins), as well as an uneven distribution of energy resources and load centers. Though Africa is endowed with a generous supply of water resources, most of its rivers, lakes and aquifers cross country borders - the Nile crosses 10, the Niger 9, the Senegal 4, and the Zambezi 8. This therefore calls for cooperative water resource management and coordinated investments to increase basin yields of food, power, and other economic opportunities, while strengthening environmental sustainability and mitigating the effects of droughts and floods.
Private sector participation provides a promising solution to sustainable management and financing of water services, but we must bear in mind that a true PPP is all about the last P, partnership. At the Training Day preceding the PPP conference here in Dakar, Jane Jamieson said that PPP is not a date, it’s a marriage – you have to wake up next to it for the next 15-20 years (or 5 years or less for those management or lease/affermage contracts in countries such as Benin, Uganda, and Mozambique). So how do we make sure that it is indeed a true partnership?
Cooperation in International Waters in Africa (CIWA) was launched by the Africa Water Resources Management Unit of the World Bank.
The idea is for CIWA to support and assist riparian governments in Africa to work together to address and unlock the constraints on growth and development posed by international waters. The program is supported by various Development Partners, including the UK’s Department for International Development, Denmark and Norway.