In rural and urban communities throughout Africa, 20 million people gained access to clean water for the first time, according to an African Development Bank report. Published by the Bank’s evaluation unit, the report assessed the organization’s 400 water and agriculture projects from 2005 to 2016.
The assessment highlighted not only the importance of water and sanitation during the pandemic, but benefits of better crop production, too. The Bank’s agricultural water management program reduced the time needed to fetch water for domestic and agricultural use, while increasing crop production and diversity.
Though there were successes, the report also noted some failures such as poor service delivery and limited financing in sanitation and hygiene. In the future, the Bank will focus on immediate responses for Covid-19 and food security as well as long-term goals for water in agriculture and health.