Monday, May 28, 2012

Africa Water Week Places Emphasis On Government Action

The fourth Africa Water Week in Cairo last week called on African governments to honour their commitments on water and sanitation.

More than 1,000 participants from Africa and beyond attended the event, which was organised by the African Ministers' Council on Water (AMCOW) to discuss what needs to be done to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on water and sanitation.

Representatives from WaterAid were there to call on developing country governments to commit to bringing water and sanitation services to 100 million more Africans.

Nelson Gomonda, our Pan-Africa Programme Manager, said: "The key messages from the week attempt to address some of our calls and messages. However, there should have been clearer milestones leading up to 2015, bearing in mind that AMCOW decided not to come up with another set of commitments, but rather to renew the vigour to implement existing declarations.

"There is also an underlying assumption that the responsibility lies more with governments to move into implementation of commitments made under AfricaSan and Sanitation and Water for All.

"It is critical for us to continue pushing for the meeting of Finance and Water Ministers in Africa to renew progress on funding commitments and indeed ensure that WASH remains high on Africa’s Development Agenda post-2015."

WaterAid's film sets the tone for the week 

WaterAid's film, 'Water for Growth in Africa, AMCOW at 10 years', was screened at start of the week, helping to set the scene for the ministerial discussions across around the conference.

The video called for action to address the sanitation and water crisis in Africa as a crucial step to poverty eradication and development.

Water and sanitation key messages 

The key messages from the week focused on the following actions for water and sanitation:
  • African governments and stakeholders should focus resources to accelerate safe sanitation and hygiene promotion activities leading up to 2015.
  • Finance and water ministers urgently need to renew progress on funding commitments.
  • Ties between AfricaSan and National Sanitation Action Planning toward Sanitation and Water for All need to be strengthened to affirm commitments and move implementation forward.
  • AMCOW should play a constructive role in mobilising ministerial support for national commitments to reduce non-revenue water.
  • Water and sanitation performance monitoring systems need to be harmonised at regional, national, and local.
WaterAid UK

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