African Ministers Call for 5% Budget For Water, Sanitation

African Ministers Call for 5% Budget For Water, Sanitation

By Mariam Sanni, Abuja

 The African Ministers’ Council on Water, AMCOW, has called on the Government to recommit to both the 2003 PANAFCON commitment of allocating at least 5% of budgets for water and sanitation.

The call was made in a statement by the African Minister at the end of Africa Water and Sanitation Week Conference with the issuance of the Windhoek Multi-Stakeholder Resolutions for Accelerating Water Security and Access to Safely Managed Sanitation and Hygiene in Africa.

 The Conference was convened virtually by the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) and the African Union Commission (AUC) and hosted by the Government of Republic of Namibia.

The statement further calls for the e-Thekwini commitment to establish public sector budget allocations of a minimum of 0.5% of GDP for sanitation and hygiene programmes.

It’s called on governments to seize the opportunity of heightened awareness of ensuring water availability, improved sanitation and hygiene services provision.

Further, it called for keeping up the fight against COVID-19, bringing down the over-all disease burden and preventing future pandemics. It is imperative that pandemic preparedness and response capabilities are strengthened, and the profile of sanitation and hygiene is raised.

It’s reads, ’The Conference provided a platform to over 3000 registered participants for dialogue and knowledge exchange to advance the water and sanitation agenda in Africa.

‘’On water governance, the statement calls for the strengthening of policy, legal, institutional and regulatory environments by ensuring context specificity; intra- and inter-sectoral coherency. It calls for upholding the principles of universal social inclusion and equity.

‘’The statement further enjoins governments to raise the profile of social accountability and transparency. It notes the vitality of recognizing women and youth as agents for the planning and implementation of the water, sanitation and hygiene agenda in Africa.

‘’The statement notes that it is imperative to develop the requisite human resources capacity especially among the women and youth for sustainable services delivery.

‘’On finance, the statement calls on governments and the private sector to significantly increase investments in climate-resilient and inclusive water and sanitation services and infrastructure. The continued support of development banks and partners is cited as a critical enabler.

‘’The statement calls on governments and stakeholders to address the challenges faced in the access of reliable and complete data in the water, sanitation and hygiene. The need to rethink how data on hygiene practices is captured and utilized to inform decision-making and improve sanitation and hygiene programming, and delivery has been emphasized.

‘’On water for growth and economic development, governments and partners are encouraged to prioritize water management and services provision as essential ingredients for poverty alleviation and inclusive development.

‘’ Further, it calls for the prioritisation of groundwater resources management as a key element of water resources development, utilisation and management. Well-functioning monitoring, assessment and management systems are noted as requisite ingredients to ensure sustainable use of the resources.

The Ministers also resolved to mobilize groundwater networks, actors and institutions towards a common, harmonized, and evidence-based approach to sustainable groundwater use and management.

The statement emphasizes, should be to a minimum quality standard before reuse and or safe disposal. The statement calls for standardized regulations for wastewater treatment.

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