Despite declining rainfall and unpredictable climate, African governments can still effectively manage and provide clean water.

This is according to experts at the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) annual meeting. At a session titled ‘Building Water Resilience,’ experts and government officials addressed key issues included cooperation between countries that share water bodies and water security. They reflected on Africa’s water-related challenges and how these can be dealt with, The New Times reported.

“We can’t ignore the fact that water contributes highly to national economy,” AfDB Infrastructure Advisor Prof. Mike Muller told the meeting. He said the answer is to devise a way in which the public sector can work with the private sector in water resource management and exploitation.

Muller cited several challenges for African countries, such as the high rate of urbanisation and the imbalance of water consumption between the upstream and downstream countries. “If countries fail to cooperate, they should use the law to test the international cooperation agreements and go to court,” he said.

The New Times reported that several experts highlighted the importance of long-term comprehensive planning and development of urban water infrastructure that will maximize socio, economic and environmental benefits and ensure resilience against inevitable impacts of climate change.