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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Nigeria, others tackle continental water, food insecurity challenges

In the light of the food security and the water-food-energy-ecosystem nexus, some nine nations embarking on a new initiative in collaboration with the Global Water Partnership (GWP) and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) Africa

GWPNigeria and eight other African countries have begun an operation that will address continental challenges related to water and food security in the light of an increasingly erratic global weather pattern.

In sub-Saharan Africa, climate change appears to be worsening an already alarming situation vis-à-vis food security and water resources and, according to stakeholders, everyone has a responsibility to develop as well as utilise appropriate means to remedy the situation.

Consequently, nine countries in Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Sudan and Uganda) have carried out national consultations on water and food security whose outcomes were used by the United Nations Committee on Food Security (UN CFS) to issue recommendations on Water and Food Security and Nutrition at the end of 2015, offering a strong basis for a new momentum.

According to the Global Water Partnership (GWP), issues raised in the nine countries are illustrative of the diversity of challenges faced by the African continent, raising concern on the need for them to be part of the initiative based on the “Partnership for Development” principle in the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Number 17.

The aim, the GWP adds, is not only to support governments in addressing one particular challenge of managing water and food security in an integrated holistic manner but also for all the countries involved across Africa to exchange experiences, learn from each other and eventually disseminate good practices for improved livelihoods.

Globally, the initiative will contribute towards the SDG Number 2 to End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.

The initiative is promoted by the governments of the countries through Ministers of Agriculture and Ministers of Water and by Country Water Partnerships, and is supported by the GWP Network and the International Water Management Institute (IWMI). Each country was represented at a gathering that held May 18-19 2016 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, whereby delegates met, interacted and designed the national components of the programme based on the consultation held in the country in 2015. They identified areas for regional and continental experience sharing.

The next step is to pursue the discussion with all stakeholders at country level in order to fine-tune the project in an inclusive manner and with all relevant partners.

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