Country water quality profiles: towards developing an African Water Quality Program (AWaQ)

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The African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) Secretariat committed to design and implement an African Water Quality Program (AWaQ) in its Strategic Operational Plan (2020-2024) considering the guiding frameworks it uses such as the Africa Water Vision 2025, United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the African Union Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want. AMCOW reached out to the International Water Management Institute (IWMI) to support the development of such a program.

AWaQ builds on the rich experiences and lessons learned from past and ongoing regional and subregional water quality initiatives across Africa by different players, including African Union institutions, and the wider members of the World Water Quality Alliance (WWQA), as well as the AMCOW African Water and Sanitation Sector Monitoring and Reporting System (WASSMO).

The five phases of developing an African Water Quality Program (AWaQ) are explained in the following papers:

1. State of Water Quality Monitoring and Pollution Control in Africa (phase 1-2)
2. Innovations in Water Quality Monitoring and Management in Africa (phase 3-4)
3. A Framework for an African Water Quality Program (AWaQ) (phase 5)
4. Country Water Quality Profiles

This report is the last in the above list and contains the results of an AMCOW-IWMI Africa-wide survey that was conducted to gain a better understanding of the water quality situation of several countries in the region. The survey was conducted across Africa through the AMCOW network of African country representatives. Of the 54 AMCOW Member States, 31 responded to the survey offering their inputs on different water quality-related aspects. Water quality profiles of 17 of those countries are presented in this paper.

Each country profile contains a statistical summary of the water quality situation, a summary of the water pollution sources and impacts, the policies and institutions governing water quality, and some of the most important water monitoring and pollution control initiatives.

Although there are variations across countries in terms of the status of available capacity for water quality monitoring and management as well as pollution control, water pollution remains a critical challenge that provides an impetus for AWaQ.

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