Round Table "Water in African Countries"

Challenges - Experiences - Solutions

The round table was opened with a presentation on "Reforestation of Deserts in Egypt" by Dr. Hany El Kateb from the Institute of Silviculture at the TU Munich. Egypt lose daily the area of 50 football fields of farmland. The rural exodus and urbanization contribute to this phenomenon. A pilot project shows that there is great potential for the use of wastewater in the reforestation. The yield of wood in Egypt in this way achieved is 4.5 times faster than in Germany.

Mrs. Newman of the department "Water, energy, urban development, Geo sector" BMZ said that instead of large sewage treatment plants sewage ponds and plants for biogas production in Africa are more appropriate.

H.E. Mr Henri Antoine Turpin, Ambassador of the Republic of Senegal noted that there are too many strategies for wastewater sector only at the national level. It's time to find solutions at the regional level.

H.E. Ms Sitona Abdalla Osman, Ambassador of the Republic of South Sudan, explained that the South Sudanese think that a second war will break out, namely because of the water. She pointed out that we have a lot of water, but do not know how to managed it.

The Ambassador of Egypt suggests that the African Union founds a Commission or gets a representative for water.

The Institute Water for Africa (IWFA) is critical of this proposal, since there are already many such facilities in Africa that operate across national borders. Successes have so farfailed to appear e.g. because of mutual distrust.
How serious the situation already is shows the expression of Ambassador of South Sudan. The Nile Basin Initiave (NBI), in which the Nile riparian are united, has existed since 1999. In spite of the cooperation in the NBI South Sudan fears a war by means of water.

IWFA still favors a neutral organization that acts as a coordinator and serves as a focal point for hydrological data. IWFA has necessary expertise in this area and has already done the considerable preparatory work.

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