The President of the African Ministers’ Council on Water, Edna Molewa has promised the Council’s support and commitment to join UN-Water, the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation, UNEP, UN-HABITAT and other partners in organizing the global celebrations of next year’s World Water Day.
|Mr. Bert Diphoorn, UN-HABITAT Director for Human Settlements and Financing Division and Hon. Edna Molewa, President of the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) |
In a meeting with the UN-HABITAT Director for Human Settlements and Financing Division, Mr. Bert Diphoorn, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia during the 3rd Africa Water Week, Hon. Molewa noted that World Water Day provides a good opportunity to discuss a range of options for tackling urban water and sanitation challenges facing Africa.
The theme of next year’s World Water Day, to be coordinated by UN-HABITAT, will be “Water and Urbanization” in recognition of the growing challenges facing cities in providing clean water and sanitation for their growing populations. It will highlight the impact of rapid urban population growth, industrialization and uncertainties caused by climate change, conflicts and natural disasters on urban water systems.
The Minister observed that during Africa Water Week, convened by UN-HABITAT, the sub-theme “Water and Urbanization” was extensively discussed and said she hoped that the global observance of the day in March would build on the outcome of Africa Water Week. During the meeting, Mr. Diphoorn briefed the President on the preparations for World Water Day and called upon governments, local authorities, the private sector and civil society to be proactive in highlighting innovative solutions to the growing urban water and sanitation management challenges. World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. Next year’s event will be hosted by the Government of South Africa in Cape Town.