This year’s African Water Association Congress that is running under the theme; Breaking new grounds to accelerate access to water and sanitation for all in Africa will be kicking off in Kampala, Uganda.
The Congress will see over one thousand delegates and exhibitors from over 200 water utilities across Africa converge in Kampala to discuss how to break new ground to accelerate access to water and sanitation for all in Africa.
The African Water Association (AfWA) was established in 1980 out of a desire by some African water utility managers to pool their human, technical and financial resources and optimize the training of men and women in the sector to create synergy around the search for solutions to improve access to drinking water and sanitation for the people of Africa. Originally composed of 7 members in the 1980s, AfWA now boasts of 200 in 50 African countries and beyond.
The African Water Association is aiming at ensuring that water becomes accessible
As part of the mechanisms to enhance the exchange of ideas and recent developments in the water and sanitation sector, AfWA holds an International Congress and Exhibition every two years. The last Congress (19th AfWAICE) was held in Bamako, Mali in February 2018.
At that Bamako Congress, the AfWA Executive Board selected Kampala-Uganda as the host for the 2020 congress. The AfWA Congress brings together thousands of water and sanitation professionals from across the globe.
This year’s African Water Association that is happening in Kampala has a number of objectives that the members want to achieve in order to ensure water and sanitary sustainability on the continent and these include;
- Bring together a diverse range of practitioners, scientists, development partners, and industry representatives, working across different areas of the water and sanitation sector across the world.
- Identify new breakthroughs (both research and good practices) in addressing water and sanitation challenges in Africa
- Reflecting on Africa’ progress in achieving the SDGs and establishing new impetus to achieve water and sanitation for all
- Provide opportunities for the translation of research to practice.
- Provide a forum for young water professions, students and early career researchers and practitioners to engage with international experts, thus helping to educate the next generation and emerging water leaders.
- Foster interactions with development partners, financing institutions and solution providers, and advocate the benefits of collaboration and support towards achieving water and sanitation for all in Africa
- Contribute to the continuing development and expansion of the various international, regional and national partnerships and associations
Abderrahim El Hafidi the AfWA President declared that the Congress will also coincide with the celebration of the 40 years existence of the African Water Association (AfWA) and the launch of the African Water and Sanitation Academy. The Academy will be hosted at the NWSC International Resource Center in Bugolobi.
Dr. Eng Silver Mugisha the Managing Director NWSC and also Congress President is happy to note that that the AfWAICE2020 will be the largest water and sanitation event in Africa in 2020 and will, therefore, be a major attraction for regional and international visitors as well.
Dr. Mugisha assured delegates and exhibitors that the Local Organizing Committee has been preparing for the Congress for months and will deliver a vibrant and professional congress and exhibition as we break new grounds to accelerate access to water and sanitation for all in Africa. He assured delegates and exhibitors of Uganda, the Pearl of Africa offers multiple opportunities to savor Ugandan attractions and combine to trip with relaxation and true Ugandan hospitality in Kampala, the green city in the sun.
The Congress will host a special Forum for the chief executive officers and mayors, and a special seminar on digital water and the SDGs. For the first time at an AfWA Congress, we will offer the opportunity for presenting both peer review and non-peer review papers. We expect that this will guarantee the increasing quality of the papers and also offer academics a more attractive way to participate in the AfWA Congress.
The African Water Association congress 202 is particularly relevant as it is focused on innovation & finding solutions for Africa’s water needs. Africa’s water crisis in stats; 40% of Sub Saharan Africa lacks clean water access, and 2/3 of Sub Saharan Africa relies on surface water which is exposed to pollution.
The Board chairman of Uganda National Water and Sewerage Corporation Mr. Christopher Ebal says that the revenue collection of NWSC increased by threefold, they have doubled staff, the asset value rose from 650Billion shillings to 3.1 Trillion shillings, and most importantly they have expanded from 23 to 250 towns over the last 6years.
The President of Uganda His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni during his opening remarks challenged the experts at the African Water Association congress to increase the supply of clean water by intensifying the desalination process at an economical cost.
The president also launched a book by the Uganda National Water and Sewerage corporation titled “Sustaining A High Performing Public Enterprise – A case of National Water Sewerage Corporation”
On the topic of climate change, the president said that “If we interfere with the wetlands, we shall be affecting 40% of the rain that we receive in Uganda. Therefore, we must protect all the wetlands and recover those that have been encroached on already”
Author: Moses Echodu
Moses is an avid Sports and Tech enthusiast. He loves to keep up to date with all the latest information and research on some of the most compelling stories.