“Although water is central to development, its value is often overlooked. It is thus essential that this national consultation helps to ensure that water is properly reflected in any post-2015 agenda. Moreover water is tied to most development themes – such as food, health, energy. So it is essential to recognize the obvious linkages with these other thematic consultations.”
This was a key message delivered by Ms Tumaini Mwamyalla from the Ministry of Water, on behalf of the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Water during the official opening of the SDG Consultation on Water, which was facilitated by the Tanzania Country Water Partnership on 13-14th March 2014 at the Landmark Hotel, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
In 2012, The UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UN CSD) agreed to establish an intergovernmental process on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be taken to the General Assembly in 2015. This has led to a number of preparatory processes and debates in all countries. Tanzania is one of three Southern/ East African countries in 2014 chosen to participate in these consultations. The Tanzania Country Water Partnership, through the support of the GWP SA/ UNDP has to date held two consultations on the post 2015 SDG on water. The first of which was held in 2013 while the second was held on 13-14 March 2014. The input from these processes has been important in obtaining views on the post-2015 development agenda for water and sustainable development and on building awareness and examining the country relevance and applicability of the options and recommendations presented in the UN-Water paper on a dedicated goal for water.
The consultation mobilized the voices of close to 40 stakeholders spanning across various sectors and organization types. Apart from the water related departments and institutions. (Government institutions, international organisations and academia), the participation of the Tanzania Electricity Company and the Ministry of Energy and Minerals played pivotal roles to ensuring that the nexus between water and energy in post 2015 was adequately addressed. These discussions which are a build up to World Water Day theme ‘Water and Energy”, will be used as a basis for many more discussions to come by various stakeholders this year.
The discussions also bordered on setting targets in Water Resource Management, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, Water Quality Management, Water Governance and water related disasters.
GWP SA was represented by Executive Secretary, Ruth Beukman who also reaffirmed GWPs support to Tanzania Country Water Partnership and discussed the objectives and role of the SDG consultation process. During her presentation, Ms Buekman emphasized the need to build on existing national commitments and experiences in order to provide solutions from a country perspective.
The latter part of the second day of the consultation was spent on discussing the institutionalization of the Tanzania Country Water Partnership.