By Iddy Mwema..
As the sixth African Ministries Council on Water and Sanitation (AMCIOW) meeting draws close, African leaders have been urged to double their efforts to make sure the continent achieves universal safe water access by 2030.
The historic meeting to map the way forward to achieve accessibility of clean water and basic sanitation is expected to be held in Dar es Salaam next week. Water Aid Country Director, Mr Ibrahim Kabole, speaking to reporters in Dar es Salaam yesterday on the importance of the upcoming meeting, said African leaders need to add more effort to make sure the problem of availability of clean water becomes history in the continent.
“Our African leaders should undertake important measures in making water, sanitation and hygiene play an important role in economic development of the continent,” said Mr Kabole. According to available statistics, of the 1.2 billion people in Africa, 695 million people, which is more than half of the population, are without basic sanitation and 395 million are without clean water.
The statistics are expected to be worse if urgent measures will not be taken because by 2030 African’s population is expected to reach 2.2 billion. In Tanzania, 27 per cent of people do not have access to safe water, 66 per cent lack basic sanitation and hygiene and more than 33 per cent of our health centres are without safe water and sanitation facilities.
“Lack of water in health facilities puts the patients at risk of being attacked by communicable diseases, particularly women and children, therefore resulting in loss of lives of the children, the very future of any country,” noted the Water Aid Director.
He, however, applauded the government efforts to make sure the people of Tanzania have access to clean and safe water. “Water Aid is calling for a roadmap that will result in reaching everyone everywhere in Africa with safe water, improved sanitation and hygiene by 2030, in line with Sustainable Development Goals.
I believe that the government has made good progress and given the efforts of the current leadership, Tanzania can do more to achieve universal access by 2030. All African governments and stakeholders must seize the moment and make this transformation change for the poorest being achieved,” he noted.