Experts from the just concluded
The observation was made during a session dubbed 'Building Water Resilience,' where experts and government officials reflected on water-related challenges that
Key issues ranged from cooperation between countries that share same water bodies to water security.
"We can't ignore the fact that water contributes highly to national economy. There are many public goods embedded in water, but the question here is how effective can it be allocated? The answer to this is devising a way in which the public sector can work with the private sector in water resource management and exploitation," said Prof
Muller cited the construction of Rusumo hydro power plant as one of the few examples where the private sector has been involved in water management through involvement of local people in the construction of the plant.
The high rate of urbanization is another challenge. Latest reports indicate that over 400 million Africans live in urban areas - close to 40% of
To survive, governments have the prime responsibility of providing reliable water supply, however, they face challenges in exploiting cross-border water bodies.
"The challenge with cooperation is the imbalance of water consumption between the upstream and downstream countries. If countries fail to cooperate, they should use the law to test the international cooperation agreements and go to court," said Muller.
According to Dr
"Countries have no option apart from adhering to international laws that binds them with the duty to cooperate. The other problem here is that countries are not sharing information, they don't want to tell each other how much water they are consuming," he said.
"Countries sharing the
Several experts highlighted the importance of long-term comprehensive planning and development of urban water infrastructure that will maximize socio, economic and environmental benefits and ensure resilience against inevitable impacts of climate change.
They called for proactive and insightful long-term vision and planning in water management and sharing on a continental level.
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