African water ministers want water, sanitation stand-alone goal in post 2015 agenda

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Abuja-The African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW), has called on all stakeholders to water and sanitation a stand-alone goal in the post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals.

The ministers made the call in a statement in commemoration of the 2015 World Water Day and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Saturday.

The statement quotes AMCOW’ -Secretary, Bai Mass Taal, as saying that post-2015 Development Agenda would not be achieved without sufficient attention given to water.

“Water` centrality to development is well documented and is not up for debate, it is a fact that has been proven throughout history.

“But is it rather sad to note that water’ social, and environmental value is often overlooked by people across different divides of life,’’ he said.

According to him, the World Water Day celebrated on March 22 of every year, draws attention on issues around water and the need to it a priority.

Taal said that the day also provided the world with an opportunity to look back at what had been achieved for the water and sanitation targets under the Millennium Development Goals.

He said that it was also a perfect moment to look at how water and sanitation should be positioned in the next generation of Sustainable Development Goals within the post 2015 period.

‎The secretary said that Africa had lost no fewer than five per cent of its GDP to poor coverage of water and sanitation, adding that the development was unacceptable.

“The transition MDGs to SDGs should also reflect a step change in the way of doing for the water and sanitation sector.

“Africa cannot afford to keep water and sanitation under developed in this modern and age.

“Lack of water development and sanitation has massive and costly impact on and development ,” he said.

Taal said that only seven per cent of Africa’s hydropower was in use, saying that with increased access to water, the challenge would be surmounted.

“Only seven per cent of Africa’s hydropower has been developed and there is a growing gap in electrification.

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“This is rather unacceptable. The World Water Day 2015, therefore, serves as a day to remind everyone to do things differently.

“As we commemorate the World Water Day 2015, we look forward to continued close collaboration with member states, UN agencies and other stakeholders to refine the Post 2015 targets.”

He, however, urged all member states to agree on definitions and indicators to be used to monitor and report progress at national and international levels.

Taal added that AMCOW was implementing a Pan-African project aimed at the establishment and consolidation of monitoring and reporting for water and sanitation in the region.

He called for monitoring and reporting process at global and other levels to ensure alignment and linkages with the Pan Africa Monitoring and Reporting System.

He said that it was to avoid unnecessary duplication and unnecessary placing monitoring burden on member states.

‎NAN reports that the 2015 World Water Day theme is, “Water and Sustainable Development”.‎ (NAN)