World Water Day, which was celebrated on 22 March 2023, was the occasion for the United Nations (UN) to award its Leadership for Water Security in Africa prize to Macky Sall, the President of the Republic of Senegal. This award, which focuses on sustainable development, brings the issue of transboundary water cooperation back to the forefront.
It is one of the outcomes of the United Nations (UN) Water Conference that closed on 24 March 2023 in New York, United States of America. The Leadership Award for Water Security in Africa goes to Macky Sall, the President of the Republic of Senegal. According to Mokgweetsi Masisi, his counterpart from Botswana, the award is a recognition of the Senegalese head of state’s efforts in cross-border and international cooperation in the field of water, including scientific cooperation.
Je suis honoré de recevoir le Prix du leadership pour la sécurité de l’eau, à l’occasion de la conférence de l’#ONU sur l’Eau, où me représente le Ministre @smthiam pic.twitter.com/4Yx4pAg0Xh
— Macky Sall (@Macky_Sall) March 23, 2023
“Water is a source of life and well-being when its use calls for a spirit of cooperation and sharing. But without the wisdom of cooperation, it can be a potential cause of conflict, and even a weapon of war if it is unevenly distributed, while 80% of diseases are waterborne,” said Macky Sall at the launch of the Water-Peace-Security Initiative in New York, United States of America in 2016.
This is the second time in a row that Senegal has been recognised for its good management of water resources development and use. In 2022, during the 9th World Water Forum held in the suburb of Diamniadio, 38 km from Dakar, the Organisation pour la mise en valeur du fleuve Sénégal (OMVS) was awarded the Hassan II World Water Grand Prize, jointly by Morocco and the World Water Council.
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This exemplary cooperation from the country of Teranga is also reflected in the implementation of the United Nations’ fifth sustainable development goal (SDG5), which calls for universal access to water by 2030. The Senegalese authorities are multiplying initiatives on this issue, particularly in urban areas where demographic growth is accelerating. This is the case, for example, with the “Touba, xepp ndox mu neex” operation, which aims to transfer water from Lake Guiers to the religious city of Touba, 194 km east of Dakar. About 1.5 million inhabitants will benefit from this water supply project, in which a group of experts from Cheikh Ahmadou Bamba University is participating.