Home NEWSEnvironment World Water Day: Africa Centre for Advocacy Cleans Water Catchment in Buea

World Water Day: Africa Centre for Advocacy Cleans Water Catchment in Buea

by Atlantic Chronicles

To Mark this year’s World Water Day, the Africa Centre for Advocacy cleaned the Bokwai water catchment in Buea, to rid it of plastic waste and other refuse materials that pose a danger to the flow and the quality of water produced by the catchment.

Equipped with various tools, the Africa Centre for Advocacy alongside its staff and volunteers did a thorough cleaning of the water catchment in Bokwai. The activity was carried out in collaboration with Clean Water and Sanitation Africa.

During the clean-up exercise, the

To Mark this year’s World Water Day, the Africa Centre for Advocacy cleaned the Bokwai water catchment in Buea, to rid it of plastic waste and other refuse materials that pose a danger to the flow and the quality of water produced by the catchment.

Equipped with various tools, the Africa Centre for Advocacy alongside its staff and volunteers did a thorough cleaning of the water catchment in Bokwai. The activity was carried out in collaboration with Clean Water and Sanitation Africa.

During the clean-up exercise, the Africa Centre for Advocacy and its partner, the Clean Water and Sanitation Africa also carried out a sensitisation campaign which targeted water users in the Bokwai neighbourhood in Buea. They educated the water users on the need and ways to keep their water catchment clean and healthy, in order to guarantee the continuous flow of clean water for their homes and environment.

and its partner, the Clean Water and Sanitation Africa also carried out a sensitisation campaign which targeted water users in the Bokwai neighbourhood in Buea. They educated the water users on the need and ways to keep their water catchment clean and healthy, in order to guarantee the continuous flow of clean water for their homes and environment.

AC

Africa Centre for Advocacy activists and collaborators cleaning a water catchment in Buea – Cameroon

The activity was also carried out in line with the Our Water, Our Right Africa Coalition (OWORAC), a coalition which Africa Centre for Advocacy is part of. This year, the coalition is urging leaders to “accelerate change” by shunning the privatisation of water which takes away rights from locals and deprives them of quality water.

Civil society, labour, and community activists leading the OWORAC are calling on local, national, and regional leaders to heed the lessons of history by once and for all abandoning the false solution of water privatisation under any guise.

The OWORAC – comprised of activists and trade unionists in Cameroon, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, and Uganda amongst other African countries – condemns the alarming rise of neo-colonial efforts to turn over control of essential services to multinational corporations which seek to exploit communities’ need for water to profit from it.

This year’s World Water Day is themed on “Accelerating Change.” OWORAC notes that it has become abundantly clear, from the decades of failed experiments with water privatisation, that communities must accelerate change away from the present exploitative model and towards public ownership and control. “We must also accelerate public investments and ensure accountability of public officials who hold an obligation to serve the interests of the masses, not the privileged few”, it said.

The activists note the continued role of water privatising corporations and their representatives in shaping the agenda and priorities of the UN Water Conference and UN Water more broadly undermine the legitimacy of these spaces. “The involvement of AquaFed, the organisation representing this abusive industry on the world stage, in coordinating World Water Day is entirely inappropriate and must end. Preventing corporate capture is essential if the continent is to meet the Strategic Development Goal 6 which advocates for availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all by year 2030”, OWORAC said in a statement.

The water volume in Cameron varies greatly across the country. Due to yearly rainfall of up to 10,000 millimetres (394 inches), southern portions of the country have a consistent supply and are frequently threatened by floods. The northern region receives only 500 mm (19″) of rain per year and is prone to water scarcity—residents rely primarily on rivers and groundwater sources, which can dry up if not adequately managed.

The main issue in Cameroon, as in many other central African countries, is not the number of water resources, but their poor management (including contamination protection) and development.

AC

Africa Centre for Advocacy stakeholders on World Water Day, setting out to clean a water catchment

Throughout the past two decades, the availability of potable water supplies in many rural and urban regions of Cameroon has lagged greatly, while demand has skyrocketed. The amount of water that has been lost from the system has also been an issue.

The struggle for clean water is relentless and heartbreaking in Cameroon. Some regions of the country barely have access to clean and potable water. This situation is more dangerous for rural communities, which is just less than half of the population, than for those in cities. Most of those who afford it, have resorted to alternatives such as drilling wells, sometimes in unhygienic surroundings.

OWORAC notes that privatising the water just makes it more difficult for consumers, as the water quality may not be the best since its aim is to make money which is barely beneficial to the Cameroonians.

According to Sandra Ndang, Advocacy Officer at the African Center for Advocacy, water is a fundamental human right and should be made available to everyone at all costs. She said, “We must direct our efforts toward the underserved, who experience difficulties in meeting their daily water demands.”

The OWORAC, which launched in October 2021 in response to the deepening global water crisis and disaster capitalism which the pandemic opened the floodgates to, detailed the real-world impacts of water privatisation on communities in its report Africa Must Rise & Resist Water Privatization.

AC

Africa Centre for Advocacy clearing dirt littered at Bokwai water catchment

Disturbing accounts of the abuses of multinational corporations such as Veolia and Suez, both members of AquaFed, have led communities across the continent to reject water privatisation in its many forms, including so-called “public-private partnerships.”

Akinbode Oluwafemi, Executive Director of Corporate Accountability & Public Participation Africa (CAPPA), speaking on behalf of the OWORAC said: “The theme of this year’s World Water Day commemoration reinforces the need for governments to look unto proven solutions to the water crisis on the continent within the realm of democratic community-controlled and publicly funded options. Water privatisation is a failed option which only puts profits above people.”

Sani Baba, Regional Secretary for Africa & Arab Countries at the global union federation Public Services International (PSI), said: “Water privatisation robs communities of their right to life and wellbeing in the same way it also robs workers of their right to decent work. African governments must refuse to pander to the dictates of the World Bank and other institutions that want to colonise our water resources.”

You may also like

Leave a Comment