Water Preserving The Precious Liquid!
- By Eldickson Agbortogo
- 30 mars 2023 10:35
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Water scarcity affects every continent. The U.N. World Water Development Report says it all and will continue talking until satisfactory results are gotten globally. 26% of the world’s population of two billion people don’t have access to safe drinking water. 1.1 billion people worldwide lack access to water, and a total of 2.7 billion find water scarce for at least one month of the year. U.N. research shows that almost half the world’s population will suffer severe water stress by 2030. Water scarcity is among the main problems faced by many societies because its use has been growing at more than twice the rate of population increase in the last century. Water scarcity is both a natural and a human-made phenomenon. There is enough water on the planet for seven billion people but it is distributed unevenly and too much of it is wasted, polluted and unsustainably managed. Drop-by-drop, the precious lifeblood is facing the drastic effects of climate change. On March 22, 2023, the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, made an urgent call for the world to modify and safeguard water resources to avert conflict and ensure future global prosperity. Water is “the most precious common good,” and “needs to be at the center of the global political agenda,” Guterres said at the end of a three-day UN conference which experts said held a measure of promise. “All of humanity’s hopes for the future depend, in some way, on charting a new science-based course to bring the water action agenda to life, now is the time to act,” Guterres reiterated.
From the above analysis, it is no more a secret that the world is not on track to meet its 2030 water goals, including access to safe drinking water. The UN Scribe’s emphasis on water which he earlier described as humanity's “lifeblood” and the gathering in New York of over 10,000 participants from NGOs, governments and the private sectors shows how the subject pre-occupies the world. Though they ended with pledges, the major problem is funding some of these projects. It is true that there are voluntary commitments like the management of the Niger River basin spearheaded by Germany which touches nine nations in Africa, these voluntary commitments are not enough to spur the huge demand of water throughout the globe.
Ensuring water supply has become a major pre-occupation of the government, institutions, communities and private individuals. Over the last 55 years, many people in Sub-Saharan Africa where about 58% don’t have access to water have dug, drilled, and bored thousands of wells in remote and vulnerable communities across dozens of countries. Experts have worked hands-in-glove with communities to help them assess the longstanding challenges they face, change behaviors, and ensure constant water supply by fostering a sense of ownership, build sustainable maintenance practices, and create transparent financial management systems that benefit the community. But most often, these initiatives do not go well with some countries because each country has its own specificities. In Cameroon, even though the country is endowed with many rivers, the problem of water remains pre-occupying not only to the government but the different councils and development communities that have gradually taken management. Studies especially in urban towns have shown that the water sector in Cameroon has undergone restructuring in the wake of public-sector reforms and privatization. But the privatization of the water sector has not improved the water problems of inhabitants. Day-in, day-out, millions of people still experience water shortages, rationing, poor coverage, and high pricing, as investments in infrastructure lag behind the rising demand for the utility. Instead of centralizing the provision and distribution of the precious liquid in the hands of some bureaucratic administrators, an immediate alternative would be a public–private partnership.
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