Water Said to Be Source of Future Conflict Among African States

Water Said to Be Source of Future Conflict Among African States

 

The Daily Monitor (Addis Ababa)

September 4, 2001

Posted to the web September 4, 2001

 

By Staff Writer

Addis Ababa

 

Conflicts associated with trans-boundary waters are becoming serious matters between states in Africa, it was said in a seminar held here in the capital.

 

The seminar, which was held at the Ghion Hotel, aimed at exploring the impact of European Union (EU) policies and

programmes on the risks of conflict over resources in the Horn of Africa.

 

It was reported that water related problems would continue to be major causes of conflict in the region.

 

Ato Kifle Wodajo, a scholar at the Horn of Africa Peace Center said in his report that bilateral sharing of international waters is a serious concern which no one country alone will have solutions for.

 

"Solution will require collective and cooperative action. These matters are too important to be left to governments alone and are areas where civil society's role can be maximized," said Kifle.

 

He also said that water related problems are issues that can exacerbate conflicts among African nations.

 

Ambassador Jon Han Holmberg of Sweden who was present at the seminar on his part said, that water is currently seen as a

source of many conflicts, and will create more serious issues in the future.

 

Ambassador Han said that water has become a major concern in relation with global security and local food security.

 

He indicated that by 2020, two-thirds of Africans will be water insecure.

 

"Among donors and governments, water received little or fragmented attention at least until the mid 1990s when the implication

of water shortage and inadequate management of resources started to be felt," said the Ambassador.

 

Today, said Ambassador Han, across the world, agriculture alone is responsible for almost 75 per cent of the water

consumption.

 

In the seminar it was also noted that the role of civil society needed to be seen as one of networking, getting together,

discussing and exchanging of experiences and seeking experience elsewhere on cross-border issues.

 

The seminar which was hosted by Inter Africa Group (IAG) was organized jointly with SafeWorld (SW) and Africa Peace

Forum (APFO), and has brought researchers and scholars, from various governmental and NGOs sector.