THE African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW) says the sub-Saharan African region is struggling in achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) target on sanitation and has since prodded them to scale up their efforts.
AMCOW executive secretary Bai Mass Taal said this was despite the needful recognition that access to safe sanitation and hygiene remained a prerequisite for meaningful livelihood and that the vital need had direct impact on the wellbeing and productivity of their populations.
“Unfortunately, many Sub-Saharan African countries remain off-track in achieving the MGD targets on sanitation,” he said.
Mr Taal said this in a speech read on his behalf by Abdulmumin Salisu during the opening of the AfricaSan Southern Africa Sub-Region meeting in Lusaka yesterday.
Mr Taal urged the Sub-Saharan region to continually strive in scaling up their efforts in improving hygiene and sanitation to own the process as it would directly benefit the success on the countries, while failure was not an option.
At the same function, Local Government and Housing Minister Emerine Kabanshi said access to sanitation remained a serious global challenge as progress towards improving sanitation in most African countries was slow and varied.
She said this had contributed to high prevalence of diarrhoea and other water-borne diseases which adversely affected the well-being and productivity of citizens, thereby undermining the growth, health and education of children resulting from early deaths and drop-out from the education system.
Ms Kabanshi said there was need to collectively scale up efforts by implementing effective community-led sustainable approaches that targeted the poor and the unserved and reviewing the progress against plans.
“As AMCOW, we will continue to closely monitor progress on improving sanitation and supporting member countries towards meeting their sanitation commitments,” she said.
She said Zambia being one of the sub-Saharan countries also struggled in sanitation and hygiene, hence the Government had involved traditional leaders to actively participate in implementing sanitation and water activities in their chiefdoms to achieve meaningful results.