Posts tagged ‘water’

September 12, 2015

The Culture That Averted Degradation of Water Resources

Fredrick Mugira
September 12, 2015

In Banyakole tradition, members of the Abitira sub clan believe that they descended from a common ancestor with frogs. The age-old tradition, however, does not mean that members of this clan are frogs. Rather frogs are their totem.

The Banyankole are one of the several major ethnic groups in Uganda. They live in south-western Uganda. Each of the Banyankole’s dozens of clans and sub clans regard a living thing such as an animal, amphibian, a bird or plant with special awe.

Victor Tibihika, of Rwakaringura in Kizinda, Bushenyi district is one of the many members of the Abitira sub clan. She believes she is of the same blood with frogs and can never do anything to harm them.

Through their beliefs and cultural practices, Tibihika and several other members of her sub clan protect and conserve frogs and their habitats such as swamps and ponds.

Buryahika Edgar, a cultural researcher engaged in writing a book on Ankole clans and their origins credits Banyankole forefathers for this.

Despite their illiteracy, our forefathers conserved the environment they depended on through traditional African beliefs and practices. But the current generation which is literate is doing the opposite.”

There are several other cultural practices in Ankole that were deliberately meant to protect and conserve water resources.

Perhaps some of the outstanding cultural practices included: the communal excavation of water wells and springs locally known as Okutimba Eiziba; communal desilting of wells known as Ofukura Eiziba and collective erection of a hedge of protection around the wells known as Orugo.

Most Ugandans get their water directly from swamps, streams, gravity flow schemes and springs and wells. Such water may contain worms, protozoa, bacteria and viruses that, if consumed, can cause hepatitis, typhoid, cholera and diarrhea.

Most Ugandans get their water directly from swamps, streams, gravity flow schemes and springs and wells. Such water may contain worms, protozoa, bacteria and viruses that, if consumed, can cause hepatitis, typhoid, cholera and diarrhea.

Orugo would prevent wild animals from drinking directly from these water bodies. Trenches were constructed around wells and springs to prevent water runoff that would deposit sediments and all kinds of dirt into these water bodies.

Everyone regarded it as a taboo not to participate in these communal cultural practices. But for the people that refused to take part in this work, they would be asked to pay fines set by communal courts. Such fines included buying or brewing local beer that would be drunk communally.

Geoffrey Mahooku Kaparaga, an advocate of Banyankole culture, says that such cultural practices, some of which are still practiced now in Banyankole communities, highlighted the importance of water and its cleanliness to the people of Ankole.

Our culture defined how we would relate with water, preserving it for the future generation.”

Perhaps if such cultural practices were still widely practiced now, pollution of wells and springs in this region of Uganda would not be a problem.

Disturbingly, environmentalists say up to 99 percent of surface water sources such as wells, springs, streams, lakes and rivers in this region are contaminated with several pollutants including faecal matter and agricultural wastes. Such water may contain worms, protozoa, bacteria and viruses that, if consumed, can cause hepatitis, typhoid, cholera and diarrhea.

According to UN Water, every year, more people die from unsafe and contaminated water than from all forms of violence, including war. Most victims are in developing countries like Uganda.

Ian Atamba, an environment and agriculture specialist working with the agency that oversees forests in Uganda — NFA notes that there is an urgent need for a cultural turn to Integrated Water Resource Management (IWRM) saying that this would conserve water for the future generations.

“Environmental conservation that devalues indigenous knowledge, traditions and norms of the benefiting communities is not sustainable.”

This story was produced under the aegis of the CSE Media Fellowships Programme for the Global South.

September 19, 2014

Zimbabwe: African Governments Told To Prioritize WASH

Wallace Mawire
September 19, 2014

Participants at the sixth meeting for Water, Climate Development Programme (WACDEP) technical coordination programme for African countries have heard that African governments must prioritize Water, Sanitation and Hygiene issues as a prerequisite for sustainable development.

Speaking during this workshop in Harare, Zimbabwe, Laila Oualkacha, a representative to the Africa Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW), noted that putting water and sanitation on top of their development agenda, African governments would be in a better position to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.

Bai Mass Taal, the Executive Secretary of African Ministers’ Council on Water

Bai Mass Taal, the Executive Secretary of African Ministers’ Council on Water

The meeting aimed at supporting integration of water security and climate resilience into development planning and decision making processes. It has been going on since Monday and will end today Friday.

Engineer Munashe Mvura, Chief Executive Officer of the of the Upper Manyame Sub-Cathment Council (UMSCC) for the GWP Zimbabwe Country Water Partnership Coordinator says the workshop was organized to facilitate the implementation of the WACDEP activities related to project preparation in eight countries of Cameroon, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Burundi, Rwanda and Tunisia including four transboundary river basins of Volta Basin, Lake Chad, Lake Victoria-Kagera, Limpopo Basin and one shared aquifer the North Western Sahara Aquifer system.

“The overall objective was to support integration of water security and climate resilience in development planning and decision making processes through enhanced technical and institutional capacity and predictable financing and investments in water security and climate change adaptation,” Engineer Mvura told our reporter.

GWP organized the meeting in collaboration with the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA) water platform and African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW).

April 23, 2014

Zambia: Lusaka Water and Sewerage Company Voted the Best in Developing World

NEWTON SIBANDA
April 23, 2014

LUSAKA Water and Sewerage Company (LWSC) has been voted the best water utility company in the developing world at the just ended Global Water summit in France.

LWSC public relations and marketing manager Topsy Sikalinda said in a statement that the company was selected from four other utility companies from various African countries.

Most African countries struggle to provide access to water and sanitation to their people

Most African countries struggle to provide access to water and sanitation to their people

Mr Sikalinda said the Water Leaders Award is a global water awards event designed to reward excellence and innovation that recognizes utility companies making a difference at the front-line of the battle for safe water and good sanitation.

This year, the awards were presented by Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in the French capital, Paris.

“LWSC was voted amongst the best four utilities in the developing world that were eligible to receive the award for 2014.

The other three were ABSA of Argentina, Hyderabad Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board of India and National Water and Sewerage Corporation of Uganda,” Mr Sikalinda said.

Water scarcity is one of the world's leading problems affecting more than 1.1 billion people globally

Water scarcity is one of the world’s leading problems affecting more than 1.1 billion people globally

LWSC managing director George Ndongwe said the company has made progress in improving the lives of people through improved water supply and sanitation services.

“We are delighted to be recognized by Global Water Intelligence as the best water utility company.

We have made a lot of strides in improving the lives of people in Lusaka through projects that benefited over 500,000 people,” Mr Ndongwe said.

He said the company has completed the construction of a new treatment plant in Luangwa district and the rehabilitation of the Kaseba water treatment in Kafue.

Mr Ndongwe said other projects include the installation of new water connections in Lusaka`s Libala South, Kaunda Square and many other surrounding areas.

March 21, 2014

2014 World Water Day Theme To Spur Increased Links Between Water And Energy Sectors In SADC

Barbara Lopi
March 21, 2014

As the international community commemorates the 2014 World Water Day tomorrow, March 22 whose theme is Water and Energy, Member States in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) should consider the occasion as an added opportunity in their efforts towards improved, combined and coordinated management of water and energy.

World Water Day (WWD) is an international event which is held every year on 22 March to focus global attention on the importance of water and the need for sustainable management of the resource.

WWD 2014 Logo

WWD 2014 Logo

The goal for this year’s WWD is to encourage increased awareness among decision-makers, inside and outside the water and energy domains, as well as stakeholders and practitioners about the interlinkages, potential synergies and trade-offs. Furthermore, the goal of this year’s theme is to highlight the need for appropriate responses and regulatory frameworks that account for both water and energy priorities.

The theme, water and energy, therefore, challenges national governments and other stakeholders to collectively address the water-energy nexus, particularly addressing inequities, especially for the majority who are struggling to survive without access to safe drinking water, adequate sanitation, sufficient food and energy services.

One of the overarching key messages behind the 2014 WWD theme of water and energy is that, “water requires energy and energy requires water”. This is because water is required to produce energy and energy is needed for the extraction, treatment, and distribution of water as well as its collection and treatment after use.

Clean water shortage affects the lives of individuals and the vitality of entire communities

Clean water shortage affects the lives of individuals and the vitality of entire communities

The water and energy sectors are closely interlinked and interdependent, hence the need for more integrated planning and crosscutting frameworks that will bridge ministries and sectors, leading the way to interlinked energy security and sustainable water use.

The SADC region which comprises of Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe, has more than 40 per cent of its Member States having water and energy sectors sitting in one ministry, thereby facilitating sectoral linkages.

The growing demand for limited water supplies in the SADC Member States put increasing pressure on water intensive energy producers to seek alternative approaches, especially in areas where energy is competing with other major water users such as agriculture, manufacturing, drinking water and sanitation services for cities. Furthermore, with increasing climate variability, many parts of the region will start to experience water restrictions in their uses to maintain healthy ecosystems.

In October last year, delegates from SADC Member States who were attending the 6th SADC Multi-Stakeholder Water Dialogue held under the theme, Watering Development in SADC: Exploring the Water, Energy and Food Nexus acknowledged the interlinks between water and energy and called for more practical interventions to facilitate breaking down the culture of working in sectoral silos towards integrated planning and implementation of development programmes.

The delegates noted that while policy instruments existed at the SADC regional level which took cognizance of the nexus approach, such as the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) and the SADC Regional Water Policy, more practical interventions were needed to break the practice of working in silos.

Other fundamental frameworks that are in place to ease coordination and integrated planning between the water and energy sectors in the SADC region are the revised Protocol on Shared Watercourses, and the Southern African vision for water, life and the environment.

Competition for water resources is perceived by a majority of countries to have increased over the past 20 years

Competition for water resources is perceived by a majority of countries to have increased over the past 20 years

As the region will be joining the rest of the world in commemorating the 2014 World Water Day, activities that will improve understanding of the connections and effects that the water and energy sectors have on each other should be promoted to facilitate improved coordination in planning and subsequently result in optimized investments and reduction in inefficiencies.

Integrated approaches and solutions to water-energy issues can achieve greater economic and social impacts, hence governments need to be encouraged to create enabling environments to foster greater coordination between the water and energy domains. – Barbara Lopi is the communications and Awareness Expert in the Water Sector at the SADC Secretariat.

March 21, 2014

Kenya: Low Knowledge Levels On Water and Integrity Reported, Despite Huge Funding In the Sector

Mary Mwendwa
March 21, 2014

Many Kenyans have no idea of where to get quality services on water related issues despite the huge financing the sector has attracted in the recent times; Water experts have noted.

Climate change phenomena and poor planning and pollution are some of the factors that have left many Kenyan’s taps dry.

For example, in Nairobi town, 20 years ago, the city had clean and safe drinking water for its small population by then. With a current population of 3 million, with a majority of its population living in informal settlements, clean, affordable and regular water is no longer guaranteed to these people. Water cartels have flooded the water market, making the basic commodity expensive for people.

In Kibera, one of Kenya’s largest slums, water goes for 10sh per 50 kg container. A price that many say is far too high depending on the water they need to use in a given day.

Kibera Slum in Nairobi, Kenya

Kibera Slum in Nairobi, Kenya

According to Athi Water Services Board, a body that is mandated to oversee water supply in Nairobi, informal settlements are yet to be incorporated in their plans. They say many dwellers in the sector cannot afford the connection fee for water supply .They however, add they are working with partners like World Bank who to see how these people will be placed in the water connection plans of the city.

Agnes kyoli, a mother of three in her late 30s,who lives in one of Nairobi suburbs, Kasarani, complains, “I only get water three times per week in my house, any it only flow very late at night. This means that I have to cut down on my sleep and spent almost the whole night fetching this precious commodity. My bill of 800 ksh per month remains the same. I have no idea who to complain to. I am now used to this water problem.”Same sentiments are echoed by her neighbor who seemed so annoyed with the whole issues.

Prof. Munguti says the water sector is facing huge challenges that without proper legislation more and more taps will still run dry in the country. So much water is lost to unscrupulous dealers with illegal connections.”We need a law that will regulate all these and also the law should be able to reduce the number of too many water regulatory bodies which confuse the public on their roles and mandates. I believe these many bodies might be just another hub for corrupt individuals who will always play blame games as people suffer.”

He also notes how County governments have a major role to play on water sector. “Counties can come up with their own water use plans and supply enough water to their people without any problems,” he concludes.

More than half the diseases worldwide are caused by dirty water like the one above.

More than half the diseases worldwide are caused by dirty water like the one above.

During a tour that was aimed at collecting views from people about the proposed water bill 2013, many people had less information on where to access water information. “For example in Coast province, knowledge on water was too low as compared to other regions in the country. In western human rights and water integrity was the hottest issue among the community members.

In Tana River district they had issues with national regulatory body which manages water in the region. All these are just some of the indicators that give us an overview of how many Kenyans have less information regarding water accessibility,” Prof.Munguti Katua, Centre For Social Planning administration Development (CESPAD) says.

The Kenya water Act 2002,spearheaded more resource generation , government commitment and development partners which has resulted in a proposed water Bill 2013 which is still being worked on.

Water Resource Users Associations (Wruas) with their current functions of equal distribution and sustainable use of water is among the success stories , the water sector has managed to come up with.

These are eight regional Water Services Boards (WSBs) in charge of asset management through Service Provision Agreements (SPAs). The Act also created a national regulatory board (WASREB) that carries out performance benchmarking and is in charge of approving SPAs and tariff adjustments. The Ministry of Water and Irrigation is in charge of policies for water supply and the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation is in charge of policies for sanitation.

The Bill however, points out areas of major concerns; unclear mandates, where citizens are not able to hold the government to account, appointments to the bodies, where there is limited cushioning of the institutions from political interference by appointing authorities.

To improve on governance in the sector, it recommends; a defined framework for monitoring, evaluation and reporting for the proposed institutions and devolved structures so as to encourage information sharing in public participation in decision making and a need to plan for frequent water forums by stakeholders , where water issues would be discussed and recommended.

November 8, 2013

Abidjan to Host a High Level Forum on Water and Sanitation for All in Africa

WaterSan Perspective and
African Press Organization
November 8, 2013

A High Level Forum on water and sanitation for all in Africa kick off November 21 in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire presenting an unprecedented opportunity for potential investors in water, sanitation and affordable housing businesses in Africa.

The forum will assemble Heads of States, Finance Ministers, Water and Sanitation Ministers, investors and donors from southern countries and also from the north, private businesses and trade associations from Africa, and development practitioners with a focus on identifying business opportunities in the water and sanitation sector.

Water and Sanitation for Africa Logo

Water and Sanitation for Africa Logo

Africa is among the fastest growing regions of the world with an average growth of 5.6% per year. Africa is also fast gaining increasing access to international capital, meaning that the potential for investment and expansion in infrastructure is higher.

Africa’s growth is largely constrained by poor infrastructure. A study conducted by the African Development Bank estimated that the total cost of bridging Africa’s infrastructure gap over the next decade will be about $93 million a year.

In 1980, Africa’s urban population was estimated at 28%. By 2008 it had risen to 40% and projected to reach 50% by 2030.

This rapid urbanization rate has created demand for more infrastructure including housing, water and sanitation systems. To spur the growth, many African governments have strengthened their legal frameworks, policy and strategy regimes, anti-corruption policies, and the quality of their human capital.

A woman with a Jerry Can struggling to locate where to fetch water from in the degraded Kikondera wetland in Buhweju district of Uganda. Picture by Chris Mugasha

A woman with a Jerry Can struggling to locate where to fetch water from in the degraded Kikondera wetland in Buhweju district of Uganda. Picture by Chris Mugasha

In 2000, it was estimated that 59 million households had $5000 or more income above which they start spending roughly 50% on non-food items. By 2014, this figure is expected to increase to 106 million households. Thus many more Africans are prepared to exchange cash for quality service especially in water, sanitation and housing.

Despite these positive trends, the water and sanitation sector has not yet received adequate investor attention in Africa. This state of affair is mostly but arguably attributed to the socialist focused development paradigm for the sector; water and sanitation services were branded as social services with strict governmental controls. This limited the business interest in the sector and led to over-reliance on government investment and charity.

Most African countries struggle to provide access to water and sanitation to their people

Most African countries struggle to provide access to water and sanitation to their people

Today about 400 million people living in Africa lack access to clean drinking water, while over 600 million people lack basic sanitation services. Several millions of children die from preventable water and sanitation-related illnesses every year. In Nigeria and Ethiopia for instance, about 97,000 and 33,000 children die every year of diarrheal diseases caused by poor drinking water and sanitation respectively. All the countries with larger economies in Africa including South Africa, Ghana, Sudan, Angola still lose thousands of children every year through water and sanitation-related illnesses.

This realization has triggered the call for a shift in the development orientation for Africa’s water and sanitation sector from social to the inclusion of more economic and financial models.

With focus on south-south cooperation for water and sanitation sector growth in Africa, the 2013 High Level Forum provides the platform for exploring business opportunities with potential partners from India, China, Turkey, Israel, Malaysia, Singapore, Brazil, Taiwan, Japan, not forgetting the continent’s traditional partners from the north. African investors can also explore opportunities outside the continent.

The event, organized by Water and Sanitation for Africa (WSA) in collaboration with the government of Côte d’Ivoire in Abidjan, with sessions like the High Level Panel of Heads of States in Africa and Finance Ministers Roundtable, for instance provides opportunities for direct access to an estimated 25 governments for closer business discussions.

April 2, 2013

Zambia: Government Develops a Holistic National Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Programme

Julius Phiri
April 02, 2013

The government of Zambia has developed a holistic and integrated National Urban Water Supply and Sanitation Programme (NUWSSP) to cover the period 2011 to 2030.

Eastern Province Minister Malozo Sichone says among the targets by the Government in the vision 2030 was to have 80 percent to clean water supply by 2015 and 100 percent by 2030.

The minister was speaking at the commemoration of World Water Day held at Barclays Square in Chipata recently. He noted that up to 68 percent of Zambians should have access to sanitation by 2015 and 90 percent by 2030.

Mr Sichone said the Government has developed the rural water supply programme which focuses on increasing access to clean and safe water in all rural areas of the country under the local authorities.

Water reforms have produced significant impacts on development, including improvements to drinking water access

Water reforms have produced significant impacts on development, including improvements to drinking water access

He said Zambia has one of the highest proportions of urban population of approximately five million out of 13.3 million population.

“In order to service this population adequately, Government set up sector institutions such as National Water and Sanitation Council (NWASCO) to regulate the sector under the water supply and sanitation ACT number 28 of the Laws of Zambia,” he said.

Other institutions include ministry of energy and water resources for water resources management and Zambia Environmental Management Agency (ZEMA) for environment protection.

In order to invest in water, Mr Sichone said approximately US$ 4.307 billion was required to ensure that Government successfully implement the National Urban and Sanitation Programme which had a target horizon of upto 2030.

He said the Government was currently still finalizing financing mechanisms.

The minister however directed assistant secretary Agness Chinyama to ensure that the Government departments pay the bills to Eastern and Sewerage Company (EWSC) Limited.

Mr Sichone also urged all consumers to pay for their services immediately they receive water bills from the company.

Over 780 million people in the world are still without access to improved sources of drinking water

Over 780 million people in the world are still without access to improved sources of drinking water

Speaking earlier Water Affairs Senior Hydrologist Chizya Mvula said this year’s theme was important as it was challenging everyone to get involved in water management as opposed to leaving it to water entities such as water affairs and Eastern Water and Sewerage Company.

Ms Mvula said water management cuts across all sectors and said there was need for everyone to get involved in order to increase awareness on water cooperation and challenges of freshwater management.

And Company Managing Director Wamuwi Changani commended everyone for get involved in water matters.

April 2, 2013

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

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

March 27, 2013

Africa: More Funding Needed for Water and Sanitation

George Mhango, Tunis in Tunisia
March 27, 2013

Over 150 delegates including, ministers, CSO leaders and experts in water and sanitation have converged in the Tunisian capital Tunis for the meeting to launch the Regional Coordination Committee of the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative (RWSSI).

RWSSI was launched 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 with an immediate target of 80 percent coverage by 2015.

Delegates at the conference going on at Ramada Plaza in Tunis heard from various dignitaries including Bai Mass Taal, the Executive Secretary for African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW).

Taal noted that AMCOW had adopted RWSSI in recognition of the need to focus on this under-prioritized subsector.

Mr. Bai Mass Raal (R) speaking during the meeting. By Fredrick Mugira

Mr. Bai Mass Raal (R) speaking during the meeting. By Fredrick Mugira

While presenting the Terms of References for Regional Coordination Committee, Osward Mulenga Chanda, the Manager for Water and Sanitation Department at AfDB noted that, “an additional investment of US$ 8.1 billion is required to provide basic water supply services for 155 million people and sanitation for 226 million people to meet the MDG targets in rural areas of Africa.”

He said although, since the launch of the RWSSI in 2003, access to water in rural set-ups has increased with unconvincing percentages.

“These figures are far below the MDG targets of 70 percent for water supply and sanitation at 62 percent. Only, about 16 African countries are on target on water, while 10 of the countries are likely to meet the sanitation target,” he said.

Delegates from various African countries highlighted the fact that financing and other contributions from governments and communities to the WASH subsector are increasing but can be improved.

They stressed the need for governments to ensure good governance, coordination and resource allocation to achieve universal access to water supply and sanitation services for the rural populations by 2025.

While, Malawians to the meeting hailed the-to-be launched RCC, their major concern was on low investments and sustainability of water and sanitation programmes by the government.

Emma Mbalame, Ministry of Water and Irrigation, deputy director of water services said while the government was trying to provide water to rural communities there is need for more fund allocation to the sector.

Clear reference from the Malawi side was on the appalling state of water boards in cities and at regional level which no longer provide water on daily basis to people.

Said Ruth Nganga from the Water Services Trust in Kenya: “The committee should ensure that governments consider sanitation, because some may be interested in water provision as has been the norm in other countries forgetting that sanitation is of essence in the MDG.”

Participants during the meeting in Tunis. By Fredrick Mugira

Participants during the meeting in Tunis. By Fredrick Mugira

Other delegates called for reconsideration of operations such that the north, south and west and east should have committees before harmonizing operations of the regional committee.

AfDB which has funded the meeting has since expressed total commitment to help countries provide water supply and sanitation services to rural countries if governments apply for funding from the bank’s trust fund.

March 22, 2013

Governments Can Make Water and Sanitation for All Africans a Reality by 2030 says WaterAid

WaterSan Perspective
March 22, 2013

WaterAid –an international charity that transforms lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation is calling on international leaders to support an ambitious target of providing access to water, sanitation and hygiene for all Africans by 2030.

The agency’s call comes today March, 22 on the 20th anniversary of World Water Day as over 50,000 people take part in more than 30 mass walking events across Africa to call on their governments to keep their promises on access to clean water and safe sanitation.

WaterAid logo

WaterAid logo

They are joining more than 350,000 people worldwide who are participating in World Walks for Water and Sanitation between Saturday 16 and Saturday 23 March.

Writing in a new report published by WaterAid today, President Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia said:
“Addressing the global water and sanitation crisis is not about charity, but opportunity. According to the World Health Organisation, every $1 invested in water and sanitation produces an average of $4 in increased productivity. It 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.”

WaterAid’s report ‘Everyone Everywhere’ launched today by President Johnson Sirleaf at a UN event on water in the Hague, in the Netherlands, sets out a vision for making safe water and sanitation available to all and reviews the progress that has been made to date in tackling water and sanitation poverty.

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

Pupils collecting water in Uganda. In every society, water , health and education are closely inter-related

Pupils collecting water in Uganda. In every society, water , health and education are closely inter-related

WaterAid cites World Health Organisation figures that show the economic gains that Africa could make through everyone on the continent having access to water and sanitation.

Africa could gain $33 billion every year from everyone having access to water and sanitation. Of this $4.5 billion would come from reduced healthcare costs; $7.2 billion could be gained from reduced mortality; $2 billion from less time taken off from work; and a staggering $19.5 billion in general time saved.

The benefits for Africa in lives saved from everyone having access to water and sanitation on the continent are also significant. It is estimated by the Institute of Health Metrics that around 550,000 people die of diarrhoea diseases every year in Sub-Saharan Africa(3), 88% of whom, according to the World Health Organisation, can be attributed to a lack of water, sanitation and hygiene(4) that equates to 480,000 deaths due to a lack of these services on the continent.

Nelson Gomonda, WaterAid Pan-Africa Programme Manager said: “Nothing could better demonstrate that our continent has truly begun to realise its potential and is coming true on its promise of progress and development, than achieving the fundamental goal of every African having safe drinking water.”

“330 million Africans today live without access to clean water, so the road to travel is long, but we can for the first time see the end in sight. With 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, Africans will not accept failure. We have to reach this target.”

“More than 50,000 Africans are taking part in walks to show that that these services are a priority that we want and need. Africans understand how a lack of water and sanitation affects their health, economic productivity, their children’s education, women’s rights – across every spectrum of development, water and sanitation plays its part. This is why progress on these basic services will have such important consequences for our continent and people.”

wwfwas logo 2013

wwfwas logo 2013

Currently in Sub-Sahara Africa, 334 million people (39% of the population) lack access to clean drinking water, while under 600 million (70%) lack access to sanitation(5).

To tackle this problem now, WaterAid is calling on international leaders to: Recognise 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; for the UN to set a new global target to achieve universal access to water, sanitation and hygiene by 2030; Identify ways of accelerating future rates of progress on sanitation if the goal of universal access is to be met by 2030.

2013 is International Year of Water Cooperation

2013 is International Year of Water Cooperation

%d bloggers like this: