Disease still kills children in sub-Saharan Africa- Expert

According to Doreen Wandera, SDGs envision universal, sustainable, affordable and equitable access to safe drinking water, adequate sanitation and hygiene.

Health workers attending to a Lassa patient

Wandera told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja that the disease was largely due to consumption of unsafe water and poor hygiene culture.

Quoting a 2016 WaterAid Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Watch, she said deliberate efforts should be made by all governments in Africa to priortise access to water and sanitation.

The chairperson described as sad a situation where by 650 million people around the world lived without access to water, a development she said made people consume unsafe water to survive.

She said the region had 15 years to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) six.

According to her, SDGs envision universal, sustainable, affordable and equitable access to safe drinking water, adequate sanitation and hygiene.

‘‘We call on African governments and ministries to proritise WASH as fundamental in the implementation and achievement of the SDGs.

‘‘As a civil society group, we understand that for the development of Africa, particularly regarding the health and dignity of our people, requires demanding action from our governments.

‘‘Only by prioritising and achieving the global goal 6 on water and sanitation that we will see the change we want and we recognise that we have a long way to go.”

Wandera also called for increased domestic resource mobilisation to achieve sustainable service delivery to leave no one behind.

The chairperson also called on all countries to progressively reduce inequalities arising from accessing water.

The African Civil Society Network on Water and Sanitation is a coalition of CSOs working to scale up access to water and sanitation in the region.

It works through advocacy and coordination to influence governments’ decisions to keep to the promises of meeting the Africa Water Vision 2025 and the AU’s Agenda 2063 of managing water resources effectively.

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