Posted by: wfpdc | October 18, 2011

Sanitation Improvements Across Africa

35 African governments have pledged themselves to developing improved sanitation plans over the next two years, following the AfricaSan 3, hosted by President Kagame of Rwanda and the African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW). Held in July, 2011, AfricaSan 3 was attended by over 900 people from 67 countries. Discussion centered on the lack of progress many African countries have made on meeting the MDGs – particularly meeting the target that 0.5% of GDP will go to sanitation projects.

This call to action was praised by civil society leaders (ANEW, FAN, NGO WaterAid, WSSCC, & End Water Poverty) attending the conference as a possible turning point in Africa’s sanitation crisis.

Water and sanitation infrastructure have long been a problem for development in Africa; however, it was not often made a focus by governments. Long-standing opinion believed that access to water and sanitation facilities would correlate with increasing GDP. A recent report by the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) proves this view incorrect. Through case studies in 32 African nations, Senior Financial Specialist Dominick de Waal found that low-income, stable countries often outperformed fragile, low-income, resource rich countries in developing water and sanitation improvements. The key was political stability and will. In light of these finding, we may have good reason to be optimistic that governments are pledging to address these issues!

(Read “Pathways to Progress” report by World Bank WSP.)

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