African commitments on sanitation budgets not met

Africa is off-track to meet the Millenium Development Goals on Sanitation. Especially special public sector budget lines for sanitation to the tune of 0.5 percent of GDP are not forthcoming. Monitoring and evaluation systems for sanitation have also not been set up yet. This is the outcome of a review of progress in 44 African countries on implementation of the eThekwini Commitments of Sanitation endorsed by African Heads of State at the AU Summit in 2008 in the Sharm, El Sheikh Declaration.

The World Bank, Water and Sanitation Program and WaterAid reviewed progress on the 10 eThekwini commitments assessed against a harmonized scoring system. They shared their draft results during the second Africa Water Week in Johannesburg from 9 to 13 November. They reported trends that indicate real progress in ensuring that five commitments are being met in most countries:

1. There is a national sanitation policy.

2. There is one national plan to meet the MDG sanitation target.

3. Adequate profile is give to sanitation in the poverty reduction strategy plan.

4. There is a principle institution accountable.

5. There is one coordinating body for sanitation.

These findings are now being validated by the countries and the AMCOW Executive Committee. The end result will be published to serve as a platform for dialogue and consultation at regional, national and local levels to development and implement AficaSan country action plans to scale up and sustain sanitation and hygiene behavioural change service delivery.

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