Access to water and sanitation: a priority for African local authorities

    Dakar, Sénégal, 4-8 December 2012 – The World Water Council has continued its advocacy campaign for better access to water and sanitation on a local level at the Africités Summit, in Dakar, Senegal.  The Council met with African local authority leaders, including Mayor of Ouagadougou (Burkina-Faso), Simon Compaoré, Mayor of Chefchaouen (Morocco), Mohamed Sefiani, and Mayor of Tetouan (Morocco), Mohamed Idaomar, all of whom are signatories of the Istanbul Water Consensus, in order to evaluate the progress which has been made and identify specific issues encountered by local African governments. Adapted propositions were made to help improve relations with State authorities and access to finance and technologies. As a member of the World Water Council, the International Institute for Water and Environmental Engineering, based in Ouagadougou, Burkina-Faso, participated in the meeting and presented solutions implemented to meet local needs for water and sanitation. This effort to mobilise local authorities was followed by a presentation of the Istanbul Water Consensus in a session organised by the Ivory Coast delegation, which gathered over 70 mayors, and focused on decentralised cooperation. Speakers, such as Mayor of Grenoble (France), Michel Destot, Vice-President of AMF (French Mayors’ association), Nicole Feidt, and former French Minister of cooperation, Charles Josselin, renewed the need for African local governments to be supported to improve local public services delivery. The World Water Council is committed to support African local authorities to improve access to water and sanitation, and more specifically on a continent where recent decentralisation policies have granted management skills without financial means to local authorities. 5,000 participants took part in the 6th edition of the Africité Summit - including 2,500 local councillors from Africa and 500 from other continents - attending what is considered to be the first gathering in Africa on local authorities.