Portail de l'appui aux politiques et de la gouvernance

Issue paper

SMART IRRIGATION – SMART WASH - Solutions in response to the pandemic crisis in Africa. Land and Water Discussion Paper 16

Uncertainties related to the impacts of COVID-19 on daily life are increasingly growing. Inherent effects have grown beyond the well-defined spear of health risks and have shocked the livelihood and food security in several countries. Particularly in the poorest countries, the impact is more devastating due to the limited availability of resources to slow down the spread of the disease. These countries require immediate actions to safeguard food security and human health. Irrigation has a great role in improving crop productivity and ensuring food security. However, expanding irrigation could impact the availability of water for sanitation and hygiene which has a central role in slowing down the spread of the disease. It is, thus, clearer that irrigation development should also comply with the requirement of extended need of water for sanitation and hygiene. Developing multiple water use would certainly allow to fight the pandemic while ensuring the basic needs of food security in rural communities. To support the concept of multiple water use, a new initiative called SMART irrigation – SMART WASH is proposed for corporate solutions to enhance irrigation and provide WASH facilities to vulnerable communities, thus, responding to the critical needs in times of pandemic crisis.

For the implementation of SMART irrigation – SMART WASH concept, geographical hotspots of the COVID-19 were identified in the African continent which is currently the most vulnerable region to face the negative impacts of this pandemic. Twelve internationally established and recognized indicators were used to identify the vulnerability of each country in the African continent. The indicators were divided into two domains: (a) improving food security and (b) increasing health facilities. The indicators are scored individually in each country and each of them is analyzed separately and visualized on a continental map. The results are then aggregated into a final score that shows the degree of vulnerability in Africa countries. 

Policy Theme