Provision of water and sanitation services at the local level, is pivotal to Africa’s urban future. Recent figures from the World Health Organisation and UNICEF (2010) suggest that within Sub-Saharan Africa 565 million people still use unimproved sanitation, and 330 million are currently utilising unimproved drinking-water. The death of approximately one million Africans each year can be attributed to poor sanitation and solid waste management, as well as hygiene and drinking water related diseases - which can be effectively addressed through the provision of basic services in our urban settlements.
African cities are growing at 3.9% annually, the highest in the world, and existing water management systems cannot keep up with the growing demand. Demands are expected to quadruple over the next 25 years. Concerted efforts are needed by decision-makers to find innovative solutions in order to address the existing backlog in respect to water and sanitation services whilst extending their infrastructure to serve new developments. Climate variability and change, which will have its greatest impact on water delivering many of its impacts through floods, droughts or extreme rainfall events, intensifies these existing challenges.
Traditional approaches to urban water operations and investments have in many cases not taken the interdependent nature of water resources and urban delivery into account. Increasingly more forward thinking governments, urban planners and water manager are re-examining development processes for municipal water and wastewater services, recognising the value of an integrated approach, looking at the technical, financial, operational and institutional implications.
ICLEI Africa seeks to improve quality of life in African cities through sustainable development of the water and sanitation sector, mobilising integrated, cooperative and innovative actions in the region.
This project is co-financed as part of the European Commission funded ACCESSanitation and SURe Water 4 Africa projects.
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