Former President Mwai Kibaki has been installed as UNESCO’s new special envoy for water in Africa after he received his appointment certificate at a function in Nairobi.
Speaking at the event held at his Nyari office, Mr Mwai Kibaki lauded his new role as timely because “current statistics on water in Africa point to a very gloomy picture indeed.”
The appointment means Mr Kibaki will campaign for safe drinking water on the continent, as part of the efforts by UNESCO to have water accessible to all.
“I started off representing Kenyans only. It is wonderful to end up supporting all these Africans,” Mr Kibaki said during the function.
“I am sure we will succeed. And I am sure the world will join us. Let us, therefore, put all our hearts in the job and do it properly.”
Specifically, the former head of state will be raising awareness on the importance of water and education in national policies, conveying UNESCO hydrological messages to political leaders about sustainable water management and be the interlocutor between governments and UNESCO.
UNESCO regional director Mohammed Djelid said Kibaki’s acceptance of the new role will be important in ensuring the agency’s campaign is successful.
“The acceptance embodies Kenya’s leadership on taking forward the values of UNESCO.
“Water is a human right and yet it remains a scarce resource. What we need now is research and good leadership and governance required to manage our water. ”
UNESCO, The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, is a specialised agency of the United Nations often involved in policies that support good learning environments.
The agency first appointed Mr Kibaki in April but the certificate was received on his behalf by Water CS Eugene Wamalwa.