Accra, April 20, GNA – Former President John Agyekum Kufuor has said universal access to safe water and sanitation remained one of the most compelling ideas in human development and must be pursued with vigour to ensure its realization.


”It gives value and hope to every human life in every country, city and village in the world. It also makes economic sense. Universal access to water and sanitation would save US$12 billion per year in health costs,” he said in a statement signed by his Spokesperson, Mr Frank Agyekum.


Former President Kufuor, who is chair of the Sanitation and Water for All Partnership (SWA), was opening in Washington DC the technical meeting of sector ministers on water and sanitation on the sidelines of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund spring conference.


He said the full economic gains of safe universal water and Sanitation is estimated at US$170 billion, adding that :”water and Sanitation not only develops economies, it saves lives, protects the environment, gives especial benefits to women and children, and builds social capital in communities and local governments.”


The ministerial meeting is a precursor to the SWA High Level Meeting on Friday to be attended also by ministers of finance and economic planning to set the agenda for the fight for the provision of improved water and sanitation worldwide.


Among the ministers at Thursday’s meeting were Mr ET Mensah and Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, Ministers of Water Resources, Works and Housing, and Local Government and Rural Development, respectively.


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