Dakar, Senegal, 24 March 2022 - Minister of Equipment and Water in the Kingdom of Morocco, Dr. Nizar Baraka, and Egyptian Deputy Minister for Water Resources, Dr. Ragab Abdel Azim, have extolled the contribution of Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) in the water sector in their respective countries.
The ministers spoke during the high-level dialogue on mainstreaming climate action in the water sector, jointly organized by IsDB, ISESCO and the League of Arab States at the 9th World Water Forum in Dakar.
A delegation from IsDB is in the Senegalese capital to attend the Water Forum. IsDB Vice-President (Operations), Dr. Mansur Muhtar, delivered the keynote speech during the dialogue.
“As we all know, water resources in IsDB member countries are facing many challenges. Almost 40 percent of member countries fall within physical water scarcity (<1000 m3/capita/year). In 17 out of 57 member countries, less than 60 percent of the population have access to improved urban water services,” stated Dr. Muhtar, adding that “the African and Asian continents which comprise most of our member countries, are the most impacted by climate change effects.”
Dr. Muhtar called on OIC countries to invest in climate resilient water systems, and implement effective water resources management, that combine solutions for better water use, integration of functions and regulations, protection and enhancement of water resources.
Speaking during the dialogue, Morocco’s Minister for Equipment and Water, Dr. Baraka stated that his country is a privileged partner of IsDB and urged for stronger cooperation in mobilizing resources to address weaknesses in sanitation and climate change impact.
“Egypt pays significant attention to the challenges facing the water sector. That is why we came up with a strategy to confront these challenges. The pillars of the strategy focus on water quality, increased resources, rationalization of water use, and improving legislation,” stated Dr. Ragab Abdel Azim, Egypt’s Deputy Minister for Water Resources.
Dr. Abdel Azim told participants at the dialogue that Egypt is working on a program for water desalination, coupled with a scheme to provide interest free loan to support communities to ensure water security for peace and development.
In his remarks on the water situation in OIC countries, Dr. Fahman Fathurrahman from SESRIC told participants at the dialogue that by 2040, the demand for water in most OIC countries is projected to increase by 1.4 to 1.7 times or more. He cited population growth, urbanization, and economic growth among the key drivers of this demand.