African countries have been challenged to direct their focus on the significant results of scientific research to underpin the solutions of the challenges facing the water sector on the continent.
The Prime Minister, Mr Kassim Majaliwa, made the remarks in Dar es Salaam during the opening of the 6th Africa Water Week which commenced yesterday, to be followed by the 10th African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW) General Assembly.
Themed 'Achieving the Sustainable Development Goal (SGD) on Water Security and Sanitation, the conference drew participants from across Africa to discuss and collectively find sustainable solutions regarding water security management and sanitation in the continent.
Mr Majaliwa said that, research findings are projecting a future climate of above normal rainfall by 2035 in East Africa region. "This capital climate perspective should be taken into account in all our activities related to water resources management ... we need to manage potential impacts of climate change, within the context of managing floods and drought," Premier Majaliwa said.
He added that, such management efforts also require cooperation among various actors both at regional, national and international levels.
Mr Majaliwa, however, challenged all researchers in the water and all related sectors in Tanzania, Africa and beyond to develop and lead innovative research efforts that could directly contribute to attaining Sustainable Development Goal on water.
Expounding, Mr Majaliwa said that the 6th Africa Water Week offers an opportunity for cooperation among public and private sectors, researchers and development partners to discuss and collectively find sustainable solutions regarding water security management and sanitation in the continent .
He noted: "The importance of water for growth and economic development is no longer a scholars' hypothesis but rather reality of which requires sustainable capital investment."
The PM, however said that, Tanzania places high degree of importance to water sector adding that the country is commitment to continue to accord national priority to water resources management and sanitation.
Mr Majaliwa observed that, Africa needs to address the daunting challenge on shortage and gaps in human resource and capital investment if is to achieve meaningful cooperation and the SDG number six.
He further detailed that the Africa continent has the highest number of transboundary river basins that collectively cover 64 percent of Africa's surface area and contain over 93 percent of its surface water resources.
Mr Majaliwa insisted the need for co-operation in managing water resources as the key element in achieving SGD number six. On his part, the Minister for Water and Irrigation Eng Gerson Lwenge said that Tanzania government has placed priority on water sector by allocating 1tril/- in this year budget. Mr Lwenge said that his government has gone further in improving water access in the country where by currently the rural population access the precious liquid by 65percent while in urban by 75 percent.
He explained that African countries had set the target of ensuring that all the countries have access to water by 2030 but Tanzania has set out strategies to ensure that the target is achieved by 100 percent in 2025.
Mr Lwenge however said that, through the budget the stalled projects will be revived and new ones will be implemented to make sure that the entire population in the country has access to the precious liquid.
Former Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki who is also the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Special Envoy for Water in Africa said that water is critical driver of economic progress. Mr Kibaki said that water availability and management are crucial for human existence but yet its availability has been the biggest challenge in Africa.
He detailed that Africa comprise of 18 percent of the world population but it has only 9 percent of fresh water sources adding that Africa is the second driest continent after Australia. He however called upon governments, civil societies and entire population to undertake course of action to spare the continent from further depreciation of water.
Source: Tanzania Daily News