The Sanitation and Water For All (SWA) Partnership, a Civil Society Organisation, says failure to manage and prioritise sanitation and water could affect societies negatively for generations.
The Chief Executive Officer, Ms Catarina de Albuquerque, disclosed this on Friday in a Media Advisory statement on Africa Finance Minister Meeting (FMM), made available to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
She said the meeting, scheduled to hold virtually on Nov. 4, by 12:00, in Dakar, 15:00 , Nairobi and 7:00, New York, would be live streamed and simultaneous interpreted in English and French, while Asia and the Pacific region would be on Dec. 2.
According to her, African finance ministers can stop this by using evidence to make smart decisions to help their countries to flourish.
“Now is the time to make the logical choice to invest in water and sanitation solutions that have the best return on investment.
”The current global water and sanitation crisis is increasing unmet demand leading to colossal, rapidly increasing costs.
”Meeting Sustainable Development Goal 6 which is ‘water and sanitation for all by 2030′ is not a burden; it is a massive opportunity.
”To find concrete solutions to the financing gap, the partnership Sanitation and Water for All, a global platform for achieving the water, sanitation and hygiene-related targets of the SDGs, is organising three Regional Finance Ministers’ Meeting in November and December,” she said.
Albuquerque said the attendees at the meeting would focus on the fact that expanding water and sanitation services by strengthening the systems that deliver them was the bedrock of economic growth and sustainable development.
”Financial decision-makers must create an enabling environment through investing in institutions and people and they must mobilise new sources of finance –whether from taxes, tariffs, transfers, or repayable finance,” she said.
Albuquerque said that well-resourced, well-run water and sanitation systems were catalysts for progress in every sector, from gender, food and education, to health, industry and the environment.
”In the case of water, sanitation and hygiene, the evidence is clear: continuing to neglect these services will only continue to stunt the growth of our economies, populations and societies,” she said.
According to the Media Advisory, the global partnership Finance Ministers Meeting will agree on investment in universal access to water, Sanitation and hygiene.
It said that the meeting would underscore the crucial role of water, sanitation and hygiene to the African economy, population and environment during and after COVID-19.
It will also offer ministers practical options to use the opportunities offered by the sector to improve economic recovery.
It said that the meeting would be preceded by a two-month preparatory process that would rely on multi-stakeholder dialogue at country level to ensure that finance and sector ministers were briefed and ready to actively participate in the FMM.
NAN reports that SWA Africa FMM would be co-convened by global partners such as UNICEF and the Global Water Practice of the World Bank.
The regional partners would also include the African Development Bank and the African Ministers’ Council on Water.
NAN also reports that the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajia Zainab Ahmed was also among the African ministers that will be participating in the meeting. (NAN)