By Tosin Kolade
The African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) has called on Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to rally behind Nigeria in implementing climate action strategies.
The call was made by Dr Tanko Azzika, Senior Policy Officer at AMCOW, during a post-COP28 multistakeholder national consultative dialogue in Abuja on Wednesday.
Representing the Executive Secretary of AMCOW, Dr Rashid Mbaziira, Azzika highlighted the significance of collaboration between CSOs and the government to enhance policy environments for resilient Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) services delivery.
Azzika noted that AMCOW, established in response to the 2002 Abuja Ministerial Declaration on water, plays a pivotal role in water and sanitation delivery under the African Union (AU).
According to him, the council’s vision is to achieve equitable and sustainable use of water resources for poverty alleviation, socio-economic development, and environmental preservation.
Azzika commended the organisers for the timely discussion amid the climate challenges facing the continent.
Highlighting the role of water, sanitation, and hygiene as both catalysts and solutions to climate change, he emphasised the urgent need to revitalise efforts to combat climate change’s impact on water resources.
He said the 2023 report revealed that the continent is off-track in achieving water and sanitation goals due to climate change, prompting the need for accelerated action.
He, however, urged stakeholders to strengthen the policy enabling environment for climate-resilient water management, advocating the use of African Sanitation Policy Guidelines (ASPGs).
He also called for collaboration to place water at the forefront of the fight against climate change and urged the Nigerian government to prioritise climate-resilient financing.
Furthermore, Azzika emphasised the importance of enhancing national-level data systems through AMCOW’s Africa Water and Sanitation sector reporting system (WASSMO).
He stressed the need for the support of Climate and Sustainable Development Network (CSDevNet) and Pan Africa Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) in strengthening data reporting systems in Nigeria and other Member States.
“AMCOW anticipates an action-oriented outcome document that will expedite continental and global goals on climate-resilient water and sanitation”.
In an opening address, Prof. Ibrahim Choji, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at CSDevNet, emphasised that the historic decision to move away from fossil fuels marks a significant stride forward.
He acknowledged the looming threats to livelihoods, ecosystems, and the very essence of existence.
”Yet amidst this daunting reality, COP28 presents a beacon of hope.”
Also, Dr Sam Ogallah, Senior Climate Change Advisor at the African Union, highlighted that the African continent possesses more than half of the world’s critical minerals.
Ogallah stressed that Africa holds the key to resolving the global climate crisis, urging a shift in the narrative and a greater appreciation for the continent’s resources.
“If we are to transition to renewables, electric vehicles, and other initiatives, where do you propose we obtain the essential minerals? They lie beneath our soil,” Ogallah said.
He emphasised the critical role of Africa in the sustainable transformation required to address climate challenges.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the dialogue, organised by CSDevNet and PACJA, addresses the outcomes of COP28, focusing on accelerating Nigeria’s climate action. (NAN) www.nannews.ng
Edited by Folasade Adeniran