British International Investment (BII) has partnered with the global leader for smart solutions of water management, Metito Utilities Limited (MUL), to launch Africa Water Infrastructure Development (AWID).
The platform will work towards prioritizing water security and safeguarding against water scarcity in the continent, according to a company statement.
Egypt has been recognized as one of the key markets for AWID, with the North-African country prioritizing water infrastructure within the past decade.
AWID aims to drive investments across sectors of water, sanitation and hygiene in an effort to counteract the damage done by climate change. Moreover, the project’s agenda includes working to reduce carbon footprint and merging green technologies with alternative energy in an attempt to diminish risks to water infrastructure.
“AWID will demonstrate to other investors, governments, and operators that private investment can deliver operationally efficient and high-impact water infrastructure projects at scale, that have the potential to drive transformative and sustainable impact in Africa,” said the Managing Director and Head of Africa at BII, Chris Chijiutomi.
During COP27, which took place in 2022 in Egypt, the continent’s water-food-energy interdependency was brought to light with an emphasis being placed on the need for more “investments in water solutions.”
Water security in Africa
In Africa, water security is at the lower end of the spectrum with the recent hurdles identified as consequences of climate-change leading to grim predictions for its future. Egypt along with Tunisia, Botswana, Gabon and Mauritius are considered to be the most water secure within the continent, according to a report released by the United Nations University in 2022.
Water security is defined as “a tolerable level of water-related risk to society,” the report adds. That is, how well a country has managed to guarantee quantities of water of quality in order to uphold livelihoods, well-being, and socioeconomic development. This extends to having safeguards in place to circumvent water-related disasters and waterborne pollution.
In 2022 alone, 1.4 million people in different countries around central and west Africa, have been hit by floods and heavy rains, with the consequences palpable on farmlands, livestock, and property as per a report published by humanitarian information platform, ReliefWeb in September 2022.
Considered a pivotal source of water, the Nile accounts for about 80% of Egypt’s water yields, according to a research paper published on Research Gate in 2011. However, there’s been a shift to decrease dependency on the Nile and move to high-efficiency technology and the use of alternate energy sources.
Egypt already has a series of projects underway for water infrastructure, one of which is the New Delta Treatment plant. The plant, a drainage system, works as a treatment for wastewater, according to Egypt Today. Over $872.5 million was invested in projects for water and wastewater regulation between 2014 and 2022, as per an article released in July 2022 by Zawya.