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Parallel Event

Panel Discussion on: Water for African Cities

Wednesday, 6 June 2001,
UN, Dag Hamersjold Auditorium,
15.00 to 18.00 hours

Africa is experiencing the most rapid rate of urbanisation in the world. The growing number of medium and large cities in the continent face a major challenge of providing their populations with adequate water supply, with large parts of the continent facing severe water stress. African cities urgently need to put in place effective water demand management strategies that could use the limited water resources efficiently without wastage, and widen the service coverage, particularly in the burgeoning urban low-income settlements.

A major environmental crisis is also looming large in the continent as the African cities continue to discharge ever increasing volumes of waste into freshwater bodies, threatening water quality and aquatic ecosystems. Several African cities share one or more international river basins which present a special challenge of managing water resources in these basins, avoiding future conflicts. A business-as-usual approach to urban water resources management threatens not only the sustainability of its cities but also its precious water resources and supporting ecosystems which are closely linked to Africa's future.

The Water for African Cities Programme is the first comprehensive initiative to support African countries to effectively manage the growing urban water crisis and protect the continent's threatened water resources and aquatic ecosystems from the increasing volume of land-based pollution from the cities. The Programme specifically focuses on the following three interlinked priorities:

  • Improving efficiency of water use through water demand management

  • Mitigation of the environmental impact of urbanisation on freshwater resources

  • Enhancing the flow of information and introducing water education in African cities

The parallel event on WATER FOR AFRICAN CITIES is being organised by the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat), in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the United Nations Foundation for International Partnerships (UNFIP). Issues to be discussed by a panel of African Ministers and senior UN officials include:

  • MANAGING THE GROWING DEMAND FOR WATER

  • MANAGING THE IMPACT OF URBANIZATION ON FRESHWATER

  • INTRODUCING WATER EDUCATION IN AFRICAN CITIES

Panel Speakers being invited include:

  • Mr. Martin Beling Eboutou, President of ECOSOC

  • Hon. Prof. Kader Asmal, Minister South Africa

  • Hon Ali Abdo, Minister Ethiopia

  • Hon Ackson Sejani, Minister Zambia

  • Minister Tanzania

  • Ms. Margaret Catley Carlson, President GWP

  • Ms. Anna Kajumulo Tibaijuka, Executive Director, UNCHS (Habitat)

  • Dr. Klaus Toepfer, Executive Director, UNEP

  • Mr. Nitin Desai, USG, UNDESA

For further information please contact:

Kalyan Ray,
UNCHS (Habitat)
Tel.: (+254-2) 623039,
Fax: (+254-2) 623588,
Email: Kalyan.Ray@unchs.org
Website: www.un-urbanwater.net

Andre Dzikus, UNCHS (Habitat)
Tel: (+254-2) 623060,
Fax: (+254-2) 624265,
E-mail: andre.dzikus@unchs.org

2001 UNCHS