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Water security in sub‐Saharan Africa: Understanding the status of sustainable development goal 6

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Abstract The world is nearing the 2030 target‐year by which sustainable development goals (SDGs) should be achieved. While other developing regions seem to be making progress toward achieving SDG6, sub‐Saharan Africa (SSA) is lagging behind significantly, particularly with regard to access to water supply and sanitation (WSS). As a result, most studies evaluating progress toward the achievement of water security SDGs in SSA have focused on WSS while the rest of the SDG6 targets have received scant attention, often using fragmented or incomplete evidence. Here, we fill this knowledge gap by conducting a comprehensive assessment of the status of SDG6 in all 48 countries in SSA. We provide a review of the progress made, the challenges affecting each SDG6 target and examine the different political, socioeconomic, and environmental factors with potential to undermine the achievement of SDG6 in the region. Our review clearly demonstrates that it is likely that most countries may not achieve water security by 2030. The complex nature of the challenges and factors impeding the achievement of water security in SSA outlined here suggests that a holistic intervention involving local, national, and international stakeholders and the research community is urgently needed to address SDG6 if the 2030 target date is to be met. Approaches to enhance water security may equally consider: (a) underpinning peace and security in SSA and (b) the commitment of more financial resources by donors particularly during this period of COVID‐19 pandemic. This article is categorized under: Human Water Human Water > Water Governance Engineering Water > Planning Water
Gross ODA disbursements for water and sanitation to SSA covering the period 2000–2018. Source: https://www.sdg6data.org/
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ODA‐WSS against access to basic WSS. The figure show that correlation between ODA‐WSS and access to basic WSS is weak
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ODA‐WSS per capita vs. population. The figure shows that the disbursement of ODA‐WSS per capita does not follow demographic trends
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Engineering Water > Planning Water
Human Water > Water Governance

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