14/05/20Global Issues 

AquaFed joins global call to action on COVID-19

AquaFed joins Heads of State in Call to Action on water and sanitation for COVID-19

 

AquaFed and the CEOs of its members have joined with Heads of State and leaders of UN Agencies and other international organisations to issue a Call to Action on global water and sanitation for COVID-19.

 

The statement calls on all national and supra-national leaders to prioritise water, sanitation and hygiene, because it is already widely recognised these services help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and save lives.

 

The statement is coordinated by the Sanitation and Water for All Partnership (SWA) and says the solutions are to:

  • Make water, sanitation and hygiene available to everyone, eliminate equalities and leave no-one behind.
  • Work collaboratively for fully effective, coordinated action with stakeholders.
  • Ensure water and sanitation systems are resilient and sustainable.
  • Prioritise the mobilisation of finance to support countries in their response to the crisis.

 

To further support this statement, AquaFed has also published information today that sets out:

  • the current specific impacts on utilities in the EU and outside from COVID19
  • the particular challenges utilities face as they move into recovery
  • AquaFed’s recommendations for policy solutions.

 

AquaFed’s information on COVID-19 provides specific recommendations and states that water and sanitation infrastructures are THE no-regret investment in all geographies. The recommendations are:

 

  • WASH is key to fighting the Covid-19 and many other diseases with a major death toll all over the world.
  • WASH infrastructures should be a strong pillar of recovery stimulus packages.
  • The following investments are highly relevant and will deliver an economic stimulus to any state, whether High, Low or Middle Income Countries:
    • Digitalisation and automation prove essential in operations’ continuity
    • Workers safety procedures and equipment, and crisis management
    • Renewal of water networks and NRW management help saving energy and water
    • Water security measures, like network interconnexions, reuse and desalination help mitigate the climate impacts.
    • Investment in wastewater collection and treatment has never been so essential, to protect health and biodiversity
    • Methane from sludge must be developed in wastewater management
    • Securing the supply chain of sensitive chemicals and spare-parts

 

Mamadou Dia, President, AquaFed, said: “The SWA’s call to action demonstrates the very strong global consensus about how essential water and sanitation services are to saving lives.

 

“However we all have much more to do to provide water and sanitation for all, not just now in the current crisis but also in the future and to meet SDG targets.

 

“AquaFed has also identified the particular challenges facing utilities around the world and we have proposed specific solutions. We will continue to work with leaders and stakeholders to address the current and future impacts of COVID-19.”