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AfDB urges Africa nations to have clear-cut policies on sanitation

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AfDB urges Africa nations to have clear-cut policies on sanitation

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The African Development Bank has called on African countries to have clear policies that address funding gaps in the sanitation and hygiene sector.

Mr. Nelson Gomonda, AfDB rural water and sanitation expert, made this call at the ongoing Africa Virtual Water and Sanitation Week on Thursday.

Speaking on “Driving national progress in hand hygiene through various types of fixation,” Gomonda said it was concerning that low investment in hygiene was inherent in countries.

He said it was of great concern that many countries did not have these plans.

Gomonda said that having plans and policies was an important requirement for them to be able to enjoy funding from development partners, who may want to award grants.

According to him, AfDB was intervening in Namibia for a sum of $ 5 million, because the country had plans on what it needs and how to face the challenges.

“African nations must be clear about their fictional sanitation needs, and these must be backed by policies, they must stand.

“They must develop these policies, cost it, to address hygiene promotion,” Gomonda said.

He called for the appointment of champions of hygiene in the countries who would spearhead activities promoting the importance of sanitation and hygiene in the region.

Malawi Health Equity Network’s Mr. George Jobe noted that the challenges of poor access to water and sanitation have led to an increase in impact cholera cases, especially in children under five years of age.

Jobe said that access to water and sanitation was negotiable, hence the need to include it in the nation’s annual budget.

He emphasized that frequent and ongoing budget analysis would be an avenue for key stakeholders to learn about issues and would also create an opportunity to lobby for inclusive development.

“We remember the Abuja Declaration in which countries have committed to dedicate 15% of their annual budgets to health fiction.

“These issues go beyond water and sanitation and there is a need to monitor these commitments,” Jobe said.

He also expressed the need to strengthen the capacities of local and rural communities to awaken their interest in the importance of the sanitation fiction.

Ms. Susanna Smets, Senior Water Supply and Sanitation Specialist at the World Bank, said that hand hygiene is the most affordable investment in health.

According to Smets, the advent of COVID-19 has demonstrated the critical importance that hand hygiene plays, saying that hand hygiene must be reflected in all policies and programs.

He said that a collective effort from all was needed to help governments reflect these needs.

The Nigerian News Agency reports that in 2015, the Ngor Declaration called for universal access to “adequate and sustainable” hygiene services by 2030.

Since then, the COVID-19 pandemic has reinforced the critical role of hand hygiene for public health, in controlling the spread of infections and protecting healthcare personnel.

However, Africa is not on track to meet the Ngor Vision and the 2030 SDG target.

According to the latest JMP estimates, in 23 countries in Africa, at least a quarter of the population does not have access to facilities to wash their hands with soap and water at home in 2020.

Institutional arrangements for hygiene at the national and subnational levels are often complex, presenting a challenge to secure and track fictitious allocations.

Source: NAN

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