SWAKOPMUND – The African Union has emphasized the need for augmented investment in the continent’s waste management sector, a view expressed by AU Commissioner Josefa Sacko.
According to the Namibia Press Agency (Nampa), who spoke at the seventh Africa Sanitation (AfricaSan7) and Hygiene Conference in Swakopmund, investment enhancement can be actualized through robust partnerships. The conference, dedicated to sanitation and hygiene, serves as a platform to forge and strengthen collaborations necessary to achieve African targets in these critical areas.
Sacko elaborated on the diverse roles of stakeholders in the sanitation and hygiene ecosystem, highlighting their importance in mobilizing political support, providing strategic guidance, facilitating partnerships, and their pivotal involvement in implementation and information dissemination.
In her address, the Commissioner also urged participants to dissect the reasons behind Africa’s shortfall in meeting the sanitation and hygiene objectives envisioned in the Agenda 2063. She posed a central question to the conference regarding whether this lag is a result of insufficient political will, policy deficiencies, or other underlying causes.
Parallel to the Commissioner’s remarks, Namibia’s Deputy Minister of Health and Social Services, Dr. Ester Muinjangue, reported notable advancements in the construction of household toilets in certain Namibian regions, attributing this success to the National Sanitation Strategy implemented since 2009. However, she acknowledged that progress has been uneven across different areas.
Dr. Muinjangue pointed out the government’s commitment to improving sanitation and hygiene, underlined by the strategic priorities set forth for Namibia. She credited the educational efforts on health and hygiene, which have reached over 32,000 community members, including children, with significantly contributing to the containment of COVID-19 in the country.
The conference and its discussions aim to chart a path forward for African nations to realize their sanitation and hygiene goals, which are integral to fostering a healthy and sustainable environment for future generations.