African nations urged to safeguard water resources

african Moises.on  flickrPascal Lamy, former director general of WTO feels that overfishing in Gabon, Nigeria and South Africa have led to deterioration of oceans. (Image source: Moises.on/Flickr)African nations are being called to approach the concept of water conservation more aggressively, as water resources steadily deplete in quality

In an interactive session conducted at the African Development Bank Annual Meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, Trevor Manuel, co-chair of the Global Ocean Commission (GOC) and Pascal Lamy and former director general of the World Trade Organisation said that activities including fishing and pollution has an adverse impact on water reserves.

“Reversing the degradation of oceans is key to the sustainable development of Africa, yet, it is one aspect that is overlooked. As Africans, we must realise that many people depend on water bodies for their daily survival, and we cannot talk of sustainable development unless we tackle these issues," said Manuel. 

According to the co-chair of the GOC, there is no official system that determines the extent of damage done to the oceans or a set of rules that govern their exploitation, especially in African waters.

“Lack of commitment to protect the oceans has led to overfishing in many waters that are under African jurisdiction. You can find it everywhere – in Gabon, South Africa, Nigeria and many other countries. This is an issue that all countries have to rise up to,” Manuel added. 

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