Rossiyskaya Gazeta | AU | Clean Water? It Might Be Harder to Achieve

There is tension in the African Union. Debating over the pressing issue of access to clean water in the member states, the differing solutions divided the small committee into two blocs: the LIFE initiative and a plan led by Nigeria and Botswana. Although the debate has cooled down, the blocs are racing to finish their working papers. 

Debate influenced the sharp differences in the two working papers. Concerns were raised by Ethiopia that dams and cloud seeding pose a risk to the African nation’s environment and wellbeing. Chinese involvement in the Member States poses a risk for corruption in monetary transfers for improving water sanitation. The LIFE initiative focuses on improving and creating new programs to promote water sanitation in rural African areas. The plan honorably recognizes the role of women in water sanitation. There is a clause detailing that microloans should be given to women to aid in water sanitation and clean water accessibility. 

The working paper from Nigeria, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, and other delegations focuses on specialization and organization of a multilateral approach.  The plan is defined by improving infrastructure, education in urban and rural areas, and research and development of regional research agencies. The plan’s unique factor is to create a continent-wide internet system to promote connectedness and access to water sanitation methods. 

Although both working papers present different solutions and approaches, there is a possibility the committee can reconcile and pass their resolutions in conjunction. Hopefully, Ethiopia’s comment “the committee is hostile” can result in a beneficial resolution that will benefit African nations for years to come.

HEADER: Fassio/CIFOR, Axel, Water-Gen, and Pixabay. “Wintures: How Solar Power Is Helping to Secure Clean Drinking Water in Sub-Saharan Africa: Development.” Accessed October 14, 2019.