Monday, March 25, 2013

Governments tasked to make WASH for all African’s a reality by 2030 – WaterAid

Dr. Afia Zakiya, Ghana Country Representative-WaterAid
International NGO WaterAid has called on African leaders to support and implement policies and projects that target providing access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) for all persons living on the continent by 2030.

This is because making universal access to WASH could save over 480,000 lives per year in Africa and yield $33 billion annually for Africa’s economies which can be channeled into other sectors for socio-economic development.

Dr. Afia Zakiya, Ghana Country Representative – WaterAid, in a statement to mark 2013 World Water Day (March 22), indicated that to tackle the problem there was the need for governments to recognize the need for the framework that replaces the Millennium Development Goals in 2015 to reflect the contribution of water, sanitation and hygiene to other areas of poverty reduction, including health, education, gender equality, economic growth and sustainability.

This means that “The UN has to set a new global target to achieve universal access to water, sanitation and hygiene by 2030 and identify ways of accelerating future rates of progress on sanitation if the goal of universal access is to be met by 2030”.

In the case of Ghana, she said that the government has to keep to its promises of allocating 
$ 400 million per annum in the national budget to facilitate the projects of key WASH Ministries and their respective agencies to enable them provide potable and sustainable services to Ghanaians everywhere, particularly, the underserved in deprived community

A WaterAid report titled 'Everyone Everywhere' launched recently in the Hague, underscores that for the first time in history this long standing goal is within reach and that the call comes at a time when over 50,000 Africans are taking part in walks across the continent to show that these services are a priority that they want and need.  In Ghana, almost 3,000 people took part in the Water and Sanitation for All walk to celebrate WWD on Saturday, 23rd March, 2013 in Accra. 

Participants joined more than 350,000 people worldwide, who participated in similar walks for Water and Sanitation between Saturday 16 and Saturday 23 March, 2013.

President Ellen Sirleaf

On her part, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, in a new report 'Everyone Everywhere', published by WaterAid noted that "Addressing the global water and sanitation crisis is not about charity, but opportunity. 

The report reveals that lack of progress in improving access to water, sanitation and hygiene was acting as a brake on progress in economic and human development particularly in child health, nutrition and education. 

It further indicates that 330 million Africans today live without access to clean water and sanitation, “So the road to travel is long, but we can for the first time see the end in sight to stop the deaths of more than 1,000 African children under the age of five dying every day from diseases brought about from a lack of water and sanitation facilities.

WHO

While according to the World Health Organization (WHO), every $1 invested in water and sanitation produces an average of $4 in increased productivity and enables sustainable and equitable economic growth.

“In short, it will not be possible to make progress in eradicating poverty, reducing inequality and securing sustainable economic development in the future without improving access and the benefits for Africa in lives saved from everyone having access to water and sanitation on the continent”. 

Currently in Sub-Sahara Africa, 334 million people (39% of the population) lack access to clean drinking water while less than 600 million (70%) lack access to sanitation. In Ghana, an estimated 19% (almost 4,000,000 people) practice open defecation, which goes into water bodies with serious public health consequences.

WaterAid

WaterAid is an international NGO which transforms lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in the world's poorest communities.

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