From: Bamidele Fashube
“In the past 10 years, the African Development Bank has invested more than $6 billion in sanitation and hygiene improvements,” the Bank’s Acting Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, Wambui Gichuri, says.
This was even as he stressed the need for more financing from the private sector, development finance institutions, governments and other sources.
Gichuri in a press release jointly issued by the African Development Bank, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and GRID-Arendal on the inaugural Sanitation and Wastewater Atlas of Africa report said Africa cannot have a healthy society without adequate access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene.
He states that the new report can inform strategic investment in the sector, going forward.
According to the report, more than half of the population in 34 out of 38 sub-Saharan African nations lacks access to basic handwashing facilities.
It recommends investment in the necessary policies, infrastructure and human skills capacities to operationalize actions towards the achievement of goals and targets in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including those for sustainable sanitation and wastewater management.
It further reiterated that the COVID-19 pandemic has sharpened an already existing need to upgrade Africa’s water and sanitation infrastructure.
In view of this, the report’s authors urge African governments to incorporate sanitation and wastewater programs into their post-COVID-19 strategic planning.
“As the world seeks to recover better after COVID-19, prioritizing wastewater and sanitation infrastructure in Africa is critical. Sustainable Development Goal 6, which calls for making water and sanitation available to everyone, is within reach by 2030 if we commit the needed resources.
” The Sanitation and Wastewater Atlas of Africa provide the tools for policymakers to focus on this important challenge,” said Leticia Carvalho, Head of UNEP’s Marine and Freshwater Branch.
Also, Clever Mafuta, Head of the Waste Programme at GRID-Arendal, a Norwegian non-profit organization noted that the wealth of information gathered on practical and transformative solutions for wastewater management and the provision of sanitation services can help boost public health and secure the sustainability of Africa’s natural resources
The Wastewater Atlas of Africa is a tool to benchmark and propel Africa’s progress towards Sustainable Development Goal targets on safe sanitation and wastewater management
It also aims to help policymakers accelerate change and investment in the sector.