Over 250m Africans still practice open defecation

By Confidente Reporter

IN sub-Saharan Africa alone, over 400 million people still do not have access to basic water services while over 767 million do not have access to basic sanitation and hygiene services, Minister of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, Carl Schlettwein has said.
Schlettwein mentioned this while speaking at the high-level ministerial conference on water last week.
He said even though Africa has made progress, almost all African countries have not yet achieved the SDG 6.1 and 6.2 targets.
“The situation is even more alarming for sanitation as over 767 million Africans do not have access to basic sanitation and hygiene services and over 250 million people still practice open defecation,” he noted.
Schlettwein further stated that despite these challenges, financial flows to the sector are not adequate and indeed declined sharply from $3.8 billion in the year 2000 to $ 1.7 billion in 2017.
“The current financial flows are but a fraction of the actual need and must be significantly enhanced without pushing already vulnerable economies into debt crises,” he added.
According to the minister, in addition, the water sector is also further challenged by climate change, inadequate policies, regulatory frameworks, weak coordination among actors, weak institutional and human resource capacity, weak monitoring, reporting and learning systems.
Schlettwein added that the continent’s challenges remain steep and that there is an urgent need for member states of the African Union and indeed the global world to put in place the needed strategies and policies to accelerate progress towards achieving SDG 6 for all by 2030, but equally the required financial and technological resources.
“The effects of climate change on water are starting to manifest themselves as an additional burden to African countries. It manifests itself through more erratic climate resulting in frequent more severe floods and droughts,” he said.