New Water Policy Approved By African Development Bank

Seeks To Improve Water Security In Africa's Most Vulnerable Regions

27 May 2021 by The Water Diplomat
Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire

Clean water being used to wash hands

The board of directors of the African Development Bank have announced a new water policy, centred around four key principles, to support Africa’s water sector and foster economic and environmental growth by prioritising water security efforts - particularly in Africa's most fragile regions.

Each of four anchored principles focuses on a specific action point. Principles One and Two focus on achieving water security at household, national and regional level across all regional member countries and sub-regions; and supporting an integrated approach to water management.

Principles Three and Four recognise the need for sustainable and equitable water access to support the UN SDGs, and the importance of transboundary water resource management for conflict resolution and regional integration.

Atsuko Toda, the bank’s Acting Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development said: “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.”

Over the past decade, the African Development Bank has invested approximately $4.3 Billion USD in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed discrepancies in WASH facilities across African countries, highlighting the need for greater intervention.

“The bank’s board noted the new policy is a best practice for excellence in quality, selectivity and degree of consultation. The board’s acknowledgement will add to our motivation to see the policy diligently implemented,” explained Osward Chanda, the officer in charge of the bank’s Water Development and Sanitation Department.

Photo Credit: African Development Bank

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