Saturday, October 17, 2015

Achieving African Water Vision 2026: Five bodies sign agreement with African Union

By Edmund Smith-Asante, ACCRA
Ms Bethlehem Mengistu, WaterAid [left] and Ms Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, AU signed for their organisations.

Five international development agencies have signed an agreement with the African Union (AU) that would enable them play a greater role in working towards the ambitious targets set by African Water Vision 2026.

The agencies are: WaterAid, the CLTS-Foundation, Water and Sanitation Africa (WSA), Sustainable Sanitation Design (Susan Design) and Norges Verl.

The partnership will help engage the grassroots action for water supply and sanitation, to help ensure that the continent remained on track to achieve the ambitious targets set in AfricaWater Vision 2025.

It will further help show more urgency and commitment during the process of the Post-2015 Global Goals, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The Africa Water Vision 2025, which was developed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) in the year 2000, is a shared vision of “an equitable and sustainable use and management of water resources for poverty alleviation, socio–economic development, regional cooperation and the environment.

The agreement, which was entered into last Monday with the signing of memoranda of understanding (MoU) in different areas of collaboration, would enable the partnering organisations work together and share knowledge and information that would help bring safe and adequate supply of water to everyone in Africa within the next 10 years.

The MoU
The MoU with WaterAid read in part: “In view of the common aims and goals of the African Union Commission and WaterAid in providing water and sanitation services and facilities on the African continent, and also considering the benefits that may accrue to the African continent as a result of the synergies realised through a collaboration between the two parties, the commission and WaterAid have decided to enter into a memoranda of understanding.”

In her remarks after the signing ceremony, the AU Commissioner for the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture, Mrs Tumusiime Rhoda Peace, stated that the strategic ways of managing sanitation was on top of the African leadership agenda.

Representing the President of the African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW), Mr Bai-Mass Tall also said that water and sanitation issues should be made top priority as other matters on the continent.

WaterAid’s Pan African Programme Manager, Bethlehem Mengistu said, “We are delighted to enter into MOU with the African Union to help play a greater part in bringing clean water and sanitation to everyone on the continent, which will be a truly transformational moment for every African and future generations.

“That day will see every African woman and girl freed from the drudgery of collecting water; every child protected from the diseases that are so easily spread by dirty water and poor sanitation and every economy boosted by the women who will be able to help earn an income for their families and the girls who will be able to finish their studies”.

This story was first published by the Daily Graphic on September 26, 2015

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