UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
SDGUN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

For Africa to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs) on Water Sanitation and Hygiene(WASH), an expert on African WASH issues urged governments across the continent here on Monday to commit more resources.

Usher Sylvain, Executive Director of African Water Association (AFWA) told Xinhua during the opening of the 77th Scientific and Technical Committee (STC) conference here that a lot more work than was done during the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) era needs to be done in order to achieve the SDG targets.

“What is the SDG target? When you look at SDG-6 the main is to have a 100 percent access to water and 100 percent access to sanitation services. You need investments to get the infrastructure to get the water to the population and you need to have this sustainably so MDGs (2000 to 2015) it was rough for Africa,” Sylvain observed.

He admitted that although close to10 African countries achieved their MDG targets on water , none came close on the sanitation side, making it a tough challenge as the SDGs target date is less than 15 years away.

However looking at what some countries including Ghana were doing, the Executive Director thought the continent was moving in the right direction, not on paper but in reality.

“Sanitation: definitely things are going to change on sanitation because AFWA as an organization is really hitting hard on sanitation. We are looking at bringing sanitation to a very high level, instead of what we have seen up to date. What we are seeing on sanitation is on-site sanitation. Non-sewerage sanitation,” he pledged.

Sylvain said AFWA was running a continental program with support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to help African countries improve upon sanitation. This he said will help make the necessary impact.

The five-day conference that brought together Directors, the technical persons and engineers from the water utility to think about the water sanitation issues in Africa to define what the real issues are and what the solutions can be for the continent.

Ghana’s minister for Sanitation and Water Resources, Joseph Kofi Adda announced government’s new program to modernize operations of the WASH sector.

“I wish to bring to the attention of all participants that here , that the sanitation sub-sector would soon see modernization of its operations from an injection of modern and state-of-the art technology to help rid our cities and towns of filth and end open defecation,” Addah disclosed.

The Minister challenged the private sector to position itself to take advantage of the opportunities that these innovations come with.

Rose Kaggwa, Director of the Business and Scientific Services at Uganda’s National Water and Sewerage Corporation also in an interview with Xinhua called for prioritization of investments into the WASH sector.

“One of the critical challenges that Africa is facing with regards to access is prioritizing investments. Because many times we say we don’t have money, but it is not necessarily true. Most of the case is sanitation is being thought to be very expensive

“But if you think about the appropriate technology that has been used in other parts of the world –Developing Countries in Asia and Latin America we can definitely improve the sanitation access within the countries by adopting appropriate low-cost technology that we can use,” Kaggwa who is also the President of the STC added. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/Newsghana.com.gh