GWP-WA partners reflect on achieving the SDGs in West Africa

GWP-WA held this Saturday, December 2, 2023 the 11th Partners Assembly under the theme: ''Accelerating the achievement of SDG6 in a context of security crisis in West Africa: Challenges, Innovative Strategies and Contributions of Partnerships''. The event took place in #Ouagadougou, #Burkina Faso under the patronage of the Minister of Environment, Water and Sanitation of Burkina Faso represented by the Director General of Water Resources.

This AP, which brought together all categories of stakeholders, was held in the wake of the Regional IWRM Forum on ''Capitalization and scaling up of IWRM best practices for water security and resilient development in the WAEMU Space'' from November 28 to 30, 2023 in Ouagadougou.

In a presentation by Dr. Juste NANSY, IRCWASH's Africa Director, the event provided an opportunity to reflect on how to achieve the drinking water and sanitation SDGs in Africa, highlighting the key issues of addressing the needs of internally displaced people in relation to the worsening security crisis in the Sahel.

In West Africa, the presence of extremist groups in the Sahel, coupled with political instability, has led to an upsurge in violence, terrorism and armed conflict. Of particular concern is the fact that the northern border areas of the region's coastal countries, namely Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea and Togo, are experiencing an upsurge in violence spreading from the central Sahel.

The security crisis continues to displace populations and disrupt livelihoods, pastoral transhumance, markets and trade. The number of insecurity and conflict events in the countries (Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, Nigeria, Mauritania) increased by 58% in 2021 compared with 2020, and by 27% between 2021 and 2022, according to the Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED). In the first quarter of 2023, the frequency of insecurity events was high and in the same order of magnitude observed in 2022 (ACLED, May 2023). A spillover of insecurity into northern Benin, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana and Togo led to cross-border displacement, with several thousand new IDPs arriving in 2022.

The partners re-elected Abdoulaye SENE as Chair for a second and final two-year term, after congratulating him and the Executive Secretariat on the work carried out and the performance of the GWP network in West Africa. They asked the Chair and the Executive Secretariat to maintain the momentum of strengthening collaboration with the WAEMU and ECOWAS Commissions for: (I) the development and mobilization of funding for the implementation of the regional IWRM best practice scaling-up project, and (II) the preparation and coordinated participation of the region's stakeholders in the 10th World Water Forum.

The AP was preceded by the meeting of the Steering Committee and its Adhoc Budget Finance Committee on December 1, 2023.