Maat holds a symposium on blue peace at the United Nations headquarters in New York
Lawrence Sunja: If there is no clean water, there is no peace
Kofi Kankame: Children and women are the biggest losers from current water conditions
New York.16 July 2018
On the sidelines of its participation in the high-level policy forum on sustainable development in New York, Maat Foundation for Peace, Development and Human Rights held a rally entitled “Goal 6: Towards achieving blue peace” at the United Nations headquarters, in the presence of representatives of civil society organizations, delegations and official missions of member states from all From Africa, Europe, Asia and the Arab region.
The seminar was moderated by the researcher, Hajar Moncef, Director of the African Affairs and Sustainable Development Unit at Maat Foundation, and included by Mr. Kofi Kankam, representative of the largest group of non-governmental organizations, and Mr. Byaka Lawrence Sunga, Member of the Ugandan Parliament and an expert in environmental affairs.
The symposium dealt with the issue of water from the perspective of international relations on the African continent and its impact on interactions between countries, especially countries that share international rivers, in light of the world's suffering from a worsening problem, which is water scarcity as a result of climate changes, environmental pollution and an increase in population with the stability of water resources at the same time.
During his speech, Mr. Kofi Kankame referred to the water situation of African countries and the impact of the destruction of existing water resources, whether due to climate pollution or bad water policies. He also talked about the harmful effects of not providing clean drinking water or good sanitation in Africa and said that the biggest losers in this matter are women and children, as women and children have to walk long distances to get clean water, which exposes them to danger and consumes their energy and On the other hand, he stressed that the loser sector is definitely the agricultural sector, which could lead to a threat to food security and then transform the crisis from water security to food security as well.
Mr. Byaka Lawrence Sunga, a Ugandan parliamentarian and an expert on environmental affairs, stressed that if there is no clean water, there will never be peace. ”He referred to the water problems facing the African continent now, the most important of which is the poor sanitation and water pollution and its impact on health. And then on society.
During the symposium, Hajar Moncef presented a working paper prepared by the Maat Foundation that dealt with the deterioration of the water conditions of countries so that countries that had abundant water ten years ago are suffering from increasing water problems, and countries that had water problems ten years ago are now in a state of water scarcity, and the emergence of The issue of water conflict, which means the possibility of states entering into military wars to obtain new water resources or to preserve existing water resources, or the worst case is to reach the degree of individuals' struggle over water resources within the region of one state.
The symposium recommended the necessity of finding funding sources for water and sanitation projects, developing effective local, regional and international water policies and creating a successful implementation mechanism. The symposium also recommended civil society organizations to develop a periodic dialogue mechanism between the government, the private sector and stakeholders interested in water issues so that they can do this. The mechanism for reconciling the different water policies, such as those related to agriculture and others related to the industry, this mechanism will also allow the exchange of ideas from different points of view and ultimately lead to a remarkable positive development in water issues.