February 25, 2020
The Pan African Climate Justice Alliance are jointly with WaterAid hosting a team of experts and stakeholders in water use and resources management for a meeting in Kigali, Rwanda.
The three-day meeting is dubbed Climate Resilient WASH Convention, and brought together national, regional and multinational stakeholders, and recognizes the importance water plays in the lives of all mankind, and how the commodity is instrumental for the ecosystem and economies, as it is a key resource for several sectors.
“Climate change directly impacts water resources and water services for all economic, social and environmental functions that water supports. Therefore, the impacts reach into many sectorial interests such as health, tourism, agriculture and industry,” a joint note from the event read in part.
Several parts of the world have suffered or face water scarcity, and effects of climate change are to blame for much of this problem, as they have determined how much of the commodity is available in different parts of the world, where in some cases it has caused death and destruction (flooding and land- or mudslides) or drought, when the rains disappear and water sources dry.
“With water scarcity and extreme weather events becoming the new norm in many parts of the world, it’s crucial to note that the effects of climate change would be felt first and foremost through water systems,” the statement added.
Another issue of focus was diseases caused by use or consumption of unclean water, some which is a result of human activity on rivers. Some of the diseases mentioned were diarhoea, said to have been killing approximately 2.2 million people every year and trachoma, an eye infection that can lead to blindness.
That the Paris Agreement signed in 2015, leading nations into making Nationally Determined Contributions to the reduction of global warming, was seen as a step in the right direct ion, except that a lot of these NDCs, whose implementation is expected to begin this year 2020, are silent on the water issue.
“The NDCs are now due for revision and this presents a good opportunity to incorporate the water sector in the new designs of the NDCs,” PACJA and WaterAid said in a statement, and added that they proposed to host a regional workshop on Integration of WASH in climate change in Africa.
At least 100 people attended the first day of the convention, with several key figures expected in the subsequent day.