Water and sanitation pledges could deliver for over 85 million across Africa
4/21/2012 11:10:02 AM -
LONDON, United-Kingdom, April 21, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The international development agency WaterAid (http://www.wateraid.org) has welcomed pledges from African Ministers that if delivered would provide 85.4 million Africans with access to these essential life saving services across the continent.
Download Video News Release, Interviews with African Ministers and B-roll: http://www.waterworks.me/hlm2012media
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The pledges were made by developing country ministers participating in the Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) High Level Meeting in Washington D.C. These commitments if realised mean that the Governments will need to strive over the next two years to increase access to water by 5% and sanitation by 7% in their countries.
The figures for increased access to water of 35.6 million people and sanitation of 49.8 million people have been calculated by WaterAid, a partner of the SWA initiative at the conclusion of the High Level Meeting that brought together a hundred developing and donor country ministers and officials from over 50 countries.
WaterAid 's discussion document Saving Lives, shows that by meeting the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) on sanitation by 2015, the lives of over 280,000 children under the age of five would be saved in Sub-Saharan Africa. At current rates of progress the continent is not expected to reach the sanitation MDG target until the year 2175, 160 years late.
WaterAid's Chief Executive, Barbara Frost stated:
'A lack of safe sanitation and water and the diarrhoea it causes is the biggest killer of children in Sub-Saharan Africa. Ministers in Africa are committed to do more to reach people with water and sanitation services, and their pledges to strive for increased access for over 85 million people are much welcomed. The key challenge now will be putting in place and delivering the national plans in a timely fashion to make these commitments a reality.'
WaterAid has also strongly welcomed the announcement from the UK Secretary of State for International Development, the Rt. Hon. Andrew Mitchell MP that the UK is doubling the number of people they intend to reach with water, improved hygiene and sanitation by 2015, from 30 million to at least 60 million people.
A recent DFID review showed that water, sanitation and hygiene interventions are a highly cost effective way of improving the health, welfare and livelihoods of poor people living in developing countries and represent excellent value for money. However, until now these interventions attracted just 2% of the UK's aid budget.
Barbara Frost continued:
'We are delighted that the Coalition Government has committed to double the number of people it plans to reach from 30 to at least 60 million people who will benefit from water, improved hygiene and sanitation.
'The Secretary of State has demonstrated not just through words but also in actions that the UK is truly leading the international community in tackling the water and sanitation crisis. We call on the other donors and governments to follow the UK Government's lead and redouble their efforts to achieve sanitation and water for all.'
Alongside the baseline pledges 'to strive' towards increasing access to water by 5% and sanitation by 7% made by all the developing country governments participating in the High Level Meeting, governments have also tabled their own country commitments as part of this meeting.
For example, in Uganda, the Government has committed to providing 4,800,000 with improved sanitation and an additional 2,236,544 with access to safe drinking water. While in Zambia, amongst other commitments, the Government has pledged to make at least 1,000 rural wards open defecation free by 2014. The Government of Burkina Faso is committed to allocating at least 17.5 CFA billion annually ($35 million U.S.) to improving access to water sanitation.
Distributed by the African Press Organization on behalf of WaterAid.
Notes for Editors:
For interview requests or additional information, please contact Hratche Koundarjian, Media Officer, WaterAid, on +44 (0) 20 7793 4909 / +44 (0) 7905 911 039 / firstname.lastname@example.org or Mel Tompkins, Media Officer, WaterAid, on +44 (0) 20 7793 4995 / email@example.com
High Resolution pictures from WaterAid's development work, as well as images from the SWA High Level Meeting, including of Ministers can be accessed at http://www.waterworks.me/hlm2012media
A Broadcast quality video news release, B-roll footage of WaterAid's work and interviews with the following Ministers, officials and CSO delegates are available for broadcast usage at http://www.waterworks.me/hlm2012media
To download interviews for broadcast: http://www.waterworks.me/hlm2012media
o Rt. Hon. Andrew Mitchell MP, Secretary of State at the Department for International Development - UK.
o Hon. Edna Molewa, Chair of African Ministerial Conference on Water and Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs - South Africa.
o Hon. Maria Mutagamba, Minister of Water and Environment - Uganda.
o Hon. Enoch Teye Mensah, Minster for Water Resources, Works and Housing - Ghana
o Hon. Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, Minister for Local Government and Rural Development - Ghana
o Hon. Samuel Kofi Woods, Minister of Public Works - Liberia.
o Hon. Oluniyi Robbin Coker, Minister for Energy and Water Resources - Sierra Leone.
o Amb. Godknows Igali, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Water Resources - Nigeria.
o Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, Chairman of Nigeria's Governors' Forum (Governor of Rivers State) - Nigeria.
o Hon. Fatim Badjie, Minister of Health and Social Welfare, The Gambia.
o His Excellency, John Agyekum Kufuor, Chair of the High Level Meeting and former President of Ghana.
o Mr. Jan Ellison, Facilitator High Level Meeting, Chair of WaterAid Sweden, and incoming Deputy Secretary General of the UN.
o Rachel Kyte, World Bank Vice President for the Sustainable Development Network
o Ms. Jaehyang So, Manager of the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) at the World Bank.
o Darren Saywell, SWA Vice Chair / Plan International USA.
o Bai-Mass Taal, Executive Secretary African Ministerial Conference on Water (AMCOW).
o Barbara Frost, Chief Executive of WaterAid.
o Lajana Manadhor, National Convenor for FANSA / Nepal.
The Saved Lives report: sanitation and water for all would save 2.5 million lives every year report can be downloaded from http://www.waterworks.me/hlm2012media.
A table with 53 of the 57 sanitation MDG most off track countries that includes the current sanitation coverage levels, the expected date due to meet the MDG on sanitation and the number of children whose lives could be saved can be downloaded here http://www.waterworks.me/hlm2012media.
11 % of the world's population still lack access to water today and by 2015 that will be 8%. At this rate it will be 2027 before everyone has access to this essential service (universal access to water). 37% of the world's population still lack access to sanitation and by 2015 that will be 33%. Sub-Saharan Africa on current trends is not likely to have universal access to sanitation for another 350 years (2360).
The Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) partnership is the key global inter-governmental partnership that brings developing and donor countries together to tackle the water and sanitation crisis. The SWA High Level Meeting will take place in Washington D.C. on the 20th of April 2012. The High Level Meeting is part of the official World Bank / IMF Spring Meeting programme. More information about the Sanitation and Water for All partnership can be found here: http://www.sanitationandwaterforall.org
WaterAid (http://www.wateraid.org) transforms lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in the world's poorest communities. We work with partners and influence decision-makers to maximise our impact.
To find out more about our work or to support us visit http://www.wateraid.org
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