WINDHOEK – Addressing the critical issues of water security, Minister of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, Calle Schlettwein, emphasised the continent’s need for sustainable and affordable water and sanitation to achieve industrial and agricultural development goals.
According to Namibia Press Agency (Nampa), during the 23rd governance council meeting in Swakopmund, held concurrently with the seventh Africa Sanitation and Hygiene Conference (AfricaSan7) on Wednesday, Schlettwein detailed the pressing need to provide water and sanitation to millions in Africa. The minister referenced the Sustainable Development Goal 6 (SDG6) targets, which aim to ensure access to water and sanitation for all, underscoring the urgent requirement to supply water to 400 million people currently without access and improve sanitation for 800 million.
In light of the severe climate change crisis, Schlettwein noted the increased challenges of droughts, floods, wildfires, and other extreme weather events on the water cycle, stressing the impact on developing countries’ efforts to secure sustainable water resources. He pointed to the shortfall in funding to address climate change impacts on water and mentioned the additional burden of a financial crisis characterized by debt issues, inflation, and financial inequalities that hinder the development prospects for Africa, particularly in creating a conducive economic environment for its young population.