The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced $32.4 million to facilitate access to water and sanitation for 21 million people in several countries in southern Africa. This initiative is part of its Resilient Waters project.
Access to safe drinking water and sanitation remains a challenge for people living in several countries in southern Africa. However, some of them live in river basins. The USAID plans to build on these natural environments to provide access to safe water and sanitation for 21 million people in this region of Africa.
The people concerned live in the Limpopo Basin and the Okavango basin. Specifically, they are found in Angola, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Namibia. USAID estimates that in a country like Zimbabwe, the Limpopo River and its tributaries can provide water for 800,000 people. The action it intends to take is part of the Resilient Waters programme, initiated by the American government.
The Resilient Waters Program
“The USAID Resilient Waters project will protect health and livelihoods and make communities more resilient to climate change,” said Stephanie Funk, Mission Director in USAID Zimbabwe. The agency intends to involve local communities in the management of its Resilient Waters project. In the coming weeks and months, mini water and sanitation projects will therefore be launched in the targeted countries. Local populations will also be trained in the management and maintenance of sanitation infrastructure. The Resilient Waters project will also strengthen the infrastructure needed to maintain drinking water supply systems in the various communities concerned.
According to USAID, this project should improve the management of transboundary natural resources and strengthen the infrastructure needed to maintain drinking water supply systems. To do this, the US Agency decided to cooperate with Transfrontier Conservation Areas (TFCAs), an organisation that manages the transboundary conservation areas created by the Southern African Development Community (SADEC).
USAID has set itself the ambition of completing this regional project over a period of five years. It is not the only sustainable development project in which the United States International Development Agency is involved. It is very active on the African continent. The American agency is notably involved in financing the Torgorme mega irrigation project in south-east Ghana. The project is expected to irrigate 2,000 hectares, serving 6,000 people in several local communities.
Jean Marie Takouleu