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United Nations University Institute for Water, Environmental and Health Annual Report 2022

UNU-INWEH released a report that summarizes the results of a first-ever assessment of water security in 54 countries in Africa. Water security of each country was evaluated in terms of 10 complementary and interdependent numerical measures mostly related to SDG6 indicators. These include access to drinking water, sanitation and hygiene, water availability, efficiency, quality, infrastructure, governance, water-related risks and variability. Water security of each country was scored on a scale from 1 to 100. The assessment revealed that levels of water security in Africa overall are unacceptably low. Not a single country or subregion has yet achieved the highest level of ‘model’ or even the reasonably high ‘effective’ stages of national water security. Except for Egypt, all country scores are lower than 70. Only 13 of 54 countries reached ‘modest’ levels of water security in recent years and over a third have the lowest levels of water security under even a reasonably generous lowest acceptable threshold score of 45 adopted in this assessment. Egypt, Botswana, Gabon, Mauritius and Tunisia make the top five most water-secure countries in Africa at present, yet with only modest absolute levels of water security achieved. Somalia, Chad and Niger appear to be the least water secure. The report also points that there has been little progress in water security in most African states over the past 5 years. The number of countries that made some progress (29) is close tto the number of those that made none (25).

This assessment aimed to create a quantitative starting point and a platform for subsequent discussions with national, regional and international agents. In this context, UNU-INWEH brought the key messages of the report to the attention of all water-centric ministries in all African countries, and the Institute is currently in the process of collecting the feedback. It is anticipated that as this quantitative tool develops further it will generate targeted policy recommendations and inform decision-making and public-private investments toward achieving higher water security in Africa. The assessment received significant global attention in printed and electronic media, such as The New York Times, Xinhuanet, U.K. Times, The Times – South Africa, Yahoo News, ReliefWeb, AllAfrica, and M.S.N. News, among others, with coverage in 8 languages and 34 countries along with over 220 stories and highlights in online news sites with potential online reach around 1.1 billion people.

Source: United Nations University

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