In the face of COVID-19 pandemic, G20 Water Ministers have affirmed
commitment to cooperate closely, strive to maintain existing services
and speed up access to safe and sustainable water, sanitation and
hygiene services across the world.
The Ministers made the
commitment during a virtual G20 Agriculture and Water Ministers held in
Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Saturday.
South Africa, was
the only representative from Africa that participated in the
discussions, raisingcrucial issues that concern not only South Africa,
but the region and the continent at large.
Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu joined in the discussions
to strengthen policy cooperation towards food security and nutrition, as
well as towards harnessing water management challenges. Furthermore,
the Ministerial meeting highlighted the global impact of the COVID-19
pandemic on food security and nutrition, hygiene, water and sanitation
among other issues.
The G20 Ministerial committee adopted a
Ministerial Declaration, which will ensure provision of adequate access
to safe and affordable water to households, including in health care
facilities in an effort to encourage hygenic practices.
committee encouraged the international community to work more closely
together, sharing innovation and best practices and maximise synergies
towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially
Also raised was concern about the impact of water
scarcity and poor water quality, further calling on countries to
prioritise water demand management and conservation and substantially
increase water use efficiency and water productivity.
speech, Sisulu said that the G20 Dialogue on Water was long overdue and
that it came at a critical time of the unparalleled pandemic that puts
water at the centre of all interventions.
“This current situation
reawakened in us the notion that water is life and is central to all
human development,” Minister Sisulu said.
Addressing the G20
Ministers, Sisulu endorsed the statement made by the European Union (EU)
Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Janusz
Wojciechowski, when he said “water is vitally important in our
sustainability as the human species”.
The Minister said South Africa supports the adoption of the Ministerial Declaration.
is a vital concern at all levels and water challenges affect human
life, people’s livelihoods, global supply chains, food security,
nutrition and ecosystems. It is crucial and urgent that we work towards
attracting and increasing water-related investment, innovation, and
water security, if we are to achieve the objectives of this forum,” said