UNISS holds workshop to reflect on water as a development accelerator

The United Nations Integrated Strategy for the Sahel (UNISS) organized a workshop on February 15 on "Reflections on Water as a Development Accelerator.

Water is the lifeblood of a stable and healthy ecosystem, on which current and future generations depend. This is particularly crucial for the Sahel. As the UNISS vision document indicates, between 60 and 80 percent of the Sahel's population works in the blue and green economy (agriculture, livestock and fisheries).

Among the many resources that make the Sahel a mineral-rich region is water. Water resources are one of the Sahel's main opportunities and an important catalyst for its socio-economic catalyst development. It is also a driver of climate change resilience. This means that investing in water would help the Sahel region to achieve the ECOWAP outcomes, the 2030 SGD target, and the UNISS strategy and support plan, the African Water Vision 2025, the objectives of the African Union's Agenda 2063, the framework of SDG 6, Water Cooperation for Peace and Stability, and the Declaration of the Peace and Stability, and the 2022 World Water Forum Declaration for a “Blue Deal”.

Although the Sahel has a limited number of large rivers, lakes, and limited access to ocean water, the Sahel region is home to large aquifers and groundwater reservoirs that could be used to accelerate the socio-economic development of the region.

The Reflections session on Water as an Accelerator was to examine what is needed to support the realization of the Sahel's vision around water in order to accelerate its development.

The Chair of GWP-WA, Mr. Abdoulaye SENE made an intervention in Session 3 on Perspectives of the Dakar Water Declaration: Defining a Plan for Water as an Accelerator of Development through the Humanitarian, Development, Peace and Security Nexus. This session built on the Dakar Water Declaration to explore and propose concrete opportunities and actions to reaffirm the centrality of water in the development process of the development process in the Sahel region, taking into account the Nexus approach that characterizes the particular situation.