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Groundwater: Focus on Africa

8 Dec
Session time: 11:30
Finish: 00:30

The critical role of groundwater as a catalyst for socioeconomic development in Africa cannot be overemphasized. Although at the scale of the continent Africa has vast groundwater resources, many still lack access to adequate and safe water for basic human needs. Therefore, the overwhelming priority for most countries is to improve access, first to basic water services and eventually to safely managed household supplies. Nonetheless, climate change is increasing the frequency of floods and droughts, leading to recurrent surface water scarcity and threatening the progress made so far in the provision of water and sanitation services. In addition, rapid increases in water demand due to population growth, urbanization and environmental degradation adds to the pressure and increases the need for an expansion in climate-resilient water services. Hence, groundwater development offers great potential for Africa to meet increasing demands for resilient water. However, these resources needed to be developed inclusively and managed sustainably for the benefits to be realised for the overall livelihood and socio-economic development of  Africa.  

The aim of this session is to beam a spotlight on groundwater, while calling attention to its contributions to the overall socio-economic transformation of Africa. An overview on African Groundwater Resources will be given, followed by a panel discussion. The intention is to generate a continental perspective on topics including groundwater governance, groundwater resources assessments, capacity development and investments to advance SDG 6 in Africa.