Maat: climate change threats have become a red alert for water security in Africa
Okeil: Dangerous climatic changes, along with Ethiopian unilateral measures, threaten water security of the downstream countries
Salah: African governments must take unified measures to stop the decline of African water resources
The impact of climate change on water resources in Africa is one of the biggest crises facing the continent and its population, as climate change threatens the stability of African water resources in a continuous and escalating manner. The more severe climate changes, the more this affects the water crisis, as it leads to a state of instability and major changes in the levels of water in the lakes, affecting river discharge and groundwater recharge, in addition to its role in fueling local and regional conflicts.
On the sidelines of World Water Day, held on 22 March every year, in addition to the United Nations Water Conference in New York from March 22 to 24, and within the framework of its interest in sustainable development, especially Goals 13 and 6, Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights issues a study entitled "Climate Change Threats: A Red Alert for Water Security in Africa" in order to shed light on the issue of climate change and its impacts on African water resources, especially in light of the African crises resulting from the conflict over water resources, such as the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) crisis.
In that context, Ayman Okeil, an international human rights expert and President of Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights, pointed out the impact of climate change on the severity of African conflicts over water resources and thus obstructing the achievement of SDG6, especially with regard to the issue of the GERD, as the downstream countries of Egypt and Sudan suffer from double challenges due to climatic effects on the scarcity of water resources, in addition to the crisis of building the GERD due to the unilateral measures of the federal government in Ethiopia.
The human rights expert confirmed that these arbitrary measures have already affected the lives of thousands in Egypt and Sudan in the past year. For his part, "Okeil" drew the attention of the Ethiopian government to those effects and repercussions that occurred on the two downstream countries because of those measures taken by the government, and recommended the need to strengthen cooperation between the Ethiopian government and the two downstream countries, and the need to complete negotiations between the three countries for the benefit of the three countries and their peoples.
Maryam Salah, a researcher at the Sustainable Development Unit at Maat, affirmed that in light of the challenges that impede the achievement of SDG 6 in the African continent, there is an urgent need for the governments of African countries to work together within the framework of the African Union in order to establish a program of action for the countries of the African continent on how to reduce the impact of climate changes on African water resources in order to achieve Goal 6. The researcher also recommended African countries to take unified measures to address climate changes and urgently stop the decline of African water resources.
It is noteworthy that this study comes under the umbrella of "Maat Platform for Climate Action", which was launched at early 2023, with the aim to enhance the work of civil society in the field of climate action, by launching studies and periodicals aimed at raising and raising levels of climate awareness, in addition to organizing a series of training workshops and activities concerned with discussing mechanisms to address and combat climate change at all levels; national, regional and international.
It should be noted that Maat has a special consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council, which holds the United Nations Water Conference within the framework of its work, and it is a member of the NGO Major Group of the High-Level Political Forum, and participates annually in reviewing the implementation of the sustainable development goals, including Goal 6.