A Committee to Fuel Access to Water Supply and Sanitation in Africa Launched

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Water Journalists Africa, a network of journalists in Africa who report on water and sanitation will represent the media on this committee.

Fredrick Mugira in Tunis
March 27, 2013

The Regional Coordination Committee (RCC) for the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative (RWSSI) has been launched in Tunis, the capital of Tunisia.

The committee launched on March 27, 2013 has a lead role to play in advocacy and promotion of resource mobilization for the Rural Water and Sanitation programs, facilitation of regional and international awareness, inter-governmental coordination, knowledge sharing and peer review and promotion of national and regional monitoring and reporting among others functions.

The committee consists of 18 members
The committee consists of 18 members

RWSSI was initiated in 2003 by the African Development Bank with an overall goal of universal access to water supply and sanitation services for the rural populations by 2025 and an immediate target of 80 percent coverage by 2015.

Over 150 experts representing all countries in Africa, as well as RWSSI stakeholders that attended the meeting to launch this committee resolved to have up to 18 members on it.

Participants during the meeting
Participants during the meeting

The committee consists of one representative from African Development Bank, one from African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW), five regional representatives from AMCOW -Technical Advisory Committee countries, five other representatives from the ministries of finance/planning in AMCOW -Technical Advisory Committee countries and one from AMCOW secretariat.

Other representatives on this committee include one representative for UN agencies (UN-Water Africa), one representative for donors, one representative for NGOs in Africa, one representative for CSOs in Africa and one representative for the media in Africa. The media will be represented by Water Journalists Africa, a network of journalists in Africa who report on water and sanitation. They are the journalists who bring you water and sanitation stories from across Africa that you read in WaterSan Perspective e-paper.

The meeting resolved that the final structure for the Regional Coordination Committee (RCC) should be in place within three months. The first RCC meeting shall also have to be convened within 6 months from the date on of the committee launch.

The committee was officially launched by Christian G. Herbert, Liberia’s Deputy Minister for Rural Development and Community Services.

Mr Sering Jallow, Director Water and Sanitation Department, African Development Bank (AfDB), (left); Hon Christian Herbert, Deputy Minister for Rural Development and Community Services, Liberia and Mr Bai Mass Tall, the executive secretary of AMCOW (Photo by Babatope Babalopi)
Mr Sering Jallow, Director Water and Sanitation Department, African Development Bank (AfDB), (left); Hon Christian Herbert, Deputy Minister for Rural Development and Community Services, Liberia and Mr Bai Mass Tall, the executive secretary of AMCOW (Photo by Babatope Babalopi)

He highlighted the importance of sustained access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation in effective development of African countries. Christian called for support from governments and increased funding for rural water supply and sanitation in Africa.

In his remarks during the same function, Francois Kruger, the Executive Director, AfDB noted that with no water, there can hardly be any economic development stressing that access to water supply and sanitation are crucial for all.

He petitioned African governments to always have water supply on top of their agendas.

Earlier during deliberations, the participants equated the act of most African governments allocating lots of funds to the health sector and neglecting the water and sanitation sectors to, “treating symptoms instead of causes.” They stressed that most diseases in Africa would be no more by now if the water and sanitation sectors were prioritized and funded well by governments.

Globally, improving water, sanitation and hygiene has the potential to prevent about 10 per cent of the disease burden.

2013 is International Year of Water Cooperation
2013 is International Year of Water Cooperation

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