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Saturday, January 31, 2015, Magh 18, 1421, Robi-Us-Sani 9, 1436 Hijr

African ministers call for water and sanitation financing
Published : Saturday, 31 January, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM,  View Count : 48

ADDIS ABABA, Jan 30: Adequate budgetary allocation towards water, sanitation and hygiene programs is an imperative for African countries to sustain economic growth and social renewal, senior ministers and experts attending the African Union Summit held in Addis Ababa said yesterday.
The ministers renewed call for massive investments in water and sanitation to tackle poverty, disease and endemic hunger.
"The water and sanitation agenda has occupied center stage as we chart a new beginning for the continent. We are lobbying governments to accord these sectors equal attention like defense during budget allocation," said Mansour Faye, President of the African Ministerial Council on Water (AMCOW).
He made the remarks during a side event to review progress on the Kigali Action Plan for fast-tracking the achievement of water and sanitation goals for Africa.
Launched in July 2014, the Kigali Action Plan aims to rejuvenate policy and funding attention towards water, sanitation and hygiene sectors.
The African Development Bank has pledged 350 million U.S. dollars to finance strategic interventions that addresses water and sanitation crisis in ten African countries identified in the Kigali Action Plan.
"We are counting months before the deadline of water and sanitation millennium targets. Regrettably, many African countries are off-track. This calls for a shift in policy, culture, legislation and funding priorities," said the AMCOW President and Senegalese Minister for Water.
He said the ministers will present to African Heads of State and Governments a raft of proposals to revitalize water and sanitation agenda.
"The President of Rwanda will convene a special sitting with his colleagues on Saturday to discuss experts' advice about expanding access to water and sanitation services in the continent, " said Faye.
The Rwandese Foreign Minister, Louise Mushikiwabo said some African countries have explored a range of resource mobilization strategies to plug shortfall in water and sanitation financing.
"We have launched a number of continental initiatives to boost water and sanitation financing. These efforts are paying off and we hope the momentum will be sustained," Mushikiwabo said.
The Tunis based African Development Bank announced that it will support community led and technologically driven interventions to solve water and sanitation crisis in Africa.
The bank's Vice President in charge of agriculture, water and natural resources, Aly Abou-Sabaa said that investment in home grown innovations is a key measure to address water scarcity and poor sanitation in Africa. "These countries require money to install new infrastructure but investments in technology will have profound impact in areas experiencing water scarcity," said Abou-Sabaa.    ?Xinhua

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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