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EAC govts challenged on sanitation issues

Discussion in 'Habari na Hoja mchanganyiko' started by BAK, Mar 4, 2010.

  1. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    Mar 4, 2010
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    EAC govts challenged on sanitation issues

    By Lusekelo Philemon
    3rd March 2010


    East African governments have been asked to allocate more financial resources to sanitation issues for the regional bloc to meet the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.

    Opening a three-day second East African Sanitation Conference in Kampala, Ugandan minister for Water and Environment Mutagamba Miria said that more than 70 per cent of water-borne and related diseases in the region were linked to poor sanitation.

    The conference, which kicked off here yesterday, involves over 150 participants from more than ten countries. They are Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Somalia, Ethiopia, Sudan, Djibouti, Eritrea and Sudan.

    Organised by the African Council of Ministers on Water and Sanitation (AMCOW) and other partners, the conference is to provide a platform for stakeholders in the sector to review progress made on national action plans towards achieving the Thikwini action plan and ministerial commitments and commitments made by heads of state at the African Union summit in Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt.

    Poor sanitation, according to her, contributed negatively to the regional economy, as well as contributing to schoolgirls dropouts and deaths to under-five children in the region.
    "In every 15 seconds, one child dies due to diseases related to poor sanitation," she revealed.

    She however explained that the sanitation status in major cities was appauling, calling for immediate action to reverse the situation.
    The minister stated that poor sanitation in the region had been aggravated by limited allocations of funds in the countries' national budgets.

    According to Miria, sanitation challenges are more critical in recent years, because of the overwhelming increasing population in major cities caused by different factors including abject poverty in rural areas.

    She cited Kampala as among cities that were overwhelmed by poor sanitation, saying that within two decades it had experienced the mushrooming of unplanned settlements.

    "This makes the city council difficult to put in place a sewerage system," she said.
    The Ugandan official challenged African countries to come up with cost-effective technologies geared to addressing challenges facing the sector.