Newton Sibanda in South Africa
September 25, 2012

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has launched a 2 million Euro Regional Water Supply and Sanitation Programme (RWSSP) that aims to assist member states to fast track their improvements towards increasing access to water supply and sanitation.

The programme which was launched in Johannesburg on Monday (September 24) aims to enhance regional attainment of the millennium development goal (MDG) on water and sanitation, and support the development of post 2015 Water, Sanitation, Hygiene (WASH) goals towards a sustainable future.

The 22-month programme which is funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) through the Africa Water Facility, with a contribution from the SADC Secretariat will develop regional frameworks, tools, and methodologies to assist member states to improve the provision of safe water supply and sanitation (WSS), contributing toward socio-economic growth, poverty reduction, and regional integration.

Speaking at the launch ceremony, Senior Programme Officer for Water at the SADC Secretariat Phera Ramoeli said the RWSSP was a response to one of SADC’s targets towards reducing by half, the number of people with no access to water and sanitation by 2015.

Senior Programme Officer for Water at the SADC Secretariat Phera Ramoeli

The RWSSP is an integral component of SADC’s Regional Water Policy and the current Regional Strategic Action Plan (RSAP) on Integrated Water Resources Development and Management which runs from 2011 to 2015.

The launch was attended by over 60 delegates from ministries responsible for water, sanitation, housing, finance and planning in the SADC member states, the Africa Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW), African Union Commission (AUC) and the global Joint Monitoring Programme for Water and Sanitation.

Chief Water Policy Officer from the African Water Facility of the AfDB, Peter Akari urged SADC member states to promote infrastructure development that incorporates climate change adaptation in their interventions towards increased access to water and sanitation.

An AMCOW representative Anselme Vodunehessi commended SADC for developing regional instruments for coordinated management of water resources and urged the regional organisation to translate the frameworks into deliverables that improve the lives of people and feed into the development of the Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) post 2015 WASH goals.

“We need to strengthen our monitoring and evaluation systems to ensure that the frameworks and policies we develop result in meeting our water and sanitation goals”, Mr Vodunehessi said.

The SADC RWSSP focuses on five components which have been identified during numerous stakeholder consultations since 1998 and have led to the timely development and launch of this Programme.

The five programme components include strengthening financing strategies and tools; institutional rationalisation; infrastructure development support; monitoring and reporting; and knowledge management and advocacy.

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