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Aug 26, 2019 14 tweets 5 min read

How Africa can leapfrog the world’s stagnant water paradigm - @KVairavamoorthy (1/n)

In 15 years, the number of working-age Africans will eclipse that of the rest of the world combined. In three decades, one in every four humans will be African. @AfWA_AAE @IWAHQ

By 2030, increased literacy and web access will fuel vast pools of latent talent to push 43% of Africans into middle and upper classes, with household consumption reaching $2.5 trillion. #RisingAfrica @AfDB_Group

Volatility and stress undermine the decades-old dominant ‘western’ paradigms for water storage, use, allocation, sanitation, disposal and treatment, even as Africa’s families, firms and farms compound unprecedented thirst.

Questions before Africa:

1. what is water good for – its productive use?
2. How is water used – and reused?
3. Should water systems and their accompanying infrastructure and services be centralised or decentralised, linear or circular?

Who should answer these questions ?

Who needs more foreign consultants to parachute in with expensive generic advice?

Or should Africa tap into the "learnings" from costly mistakes made by the Western World to shape their thought framework to answer these questions.

With the right strategic partner, Africa could tap ‘best-in-class’ experience from 130 countries, avoid repeating the same mistakes made by industrialized nations, leverage cutting edge tools and techniques to meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG6) for WATSAN.

Africa’s innovators and institutions can, through a pragmatic alliance with IWA (@IWAHQ), develop nimble and affordable ways to ‘leapfrog’ the legacy of clunky, costly, centralised, top-down policies and infrastructure that burden much of the world.

IWA’s five-year Strategic Plan seeks to aggressively expand branches throughout Africa’s thirsty cities and rural landscapes, and set up new chapters of Young Water Professionals (YWP) across Africa.

To read the Strategic Plan 2019-24: iwa-network.org/publications/s…

Africa is urbanising faster than any other continent. While large, dense, wealthy urban cores may attract investment and afford better services, that’s not the case outside metro limits, or in slums.

Too many African utilities are dragged into a downward performance spiral, where weak assets bring deteriorating service, which erodes trust and legitimacy. Half of families in low-income areas lack basic water and sanitation infrastructure, undermining health & dignity

There is a need for Closed loop thinking which decouples economic development in Africa from water utilisation, shifting society away from ‘take-make-consume-dispose’ model.
(12/n) For African water professionals, modern urban systems thinking unlocks the productive uses of water. It revalues wastewater from liability to asset. Allows room for new business efficiencies, as strict public standards, codes & outcomes can be achieved by competing firms.
With an uphill task in place, this has allowed emergence of, coming together of institutions. For more on the answer to the question, "How Africa can leapfrog the world’s stagnant water paradigm" -


@WaterSourceMag @nwscug @WaterResearchSA
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More from @Jeyanbiomimic

Dec 2, 2019
#DevelopmentCongress yesterday saw @KVairavamoorthy opening the event with a thought, when we can maintain a town sized community of 750,000 people airborne at any given time with modern water & sanitation amenities, what stops us from providing it to our fellow humans (1/n)
Drawing from his heritage, he noted, "it is the management of water and sanitation that has determined the longevity and exuberance of civilizations". #Resilience #Sanitation #ClimateResilience (2/n)
The tank systems prevalent in Sri Lanka and South of India were drawn as examples, as attempts by decision makers then to maintain an ecological balance while attempting to improve economic prosperity #EcologicalCivilization (3/n)
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