More than 400 million people in Africa do not have access to safe drinking water and some 600 million lack adequate toilets and bathrooms.
This is a major crisis which a high level meeting taking place next month in Burkina Faso will try to tackle urgently.
Heads of state, decision-makers, finance ministers, water and sanitation ministers, investors and donors from north and south will meet in Ouagadougou on 21-23 November 2013, the organisers, Water and Sanitation for Africa (WSA), announced last week.
The forum will also serve as a valuable platform for Africa’s private businesses, trade associations, and housing development practitioners to identify business opportunities in the water and sanitation sector, WSA added.
Despite its booming and growing economy (average 5.6% per year), Africa’s development is largely constrained by poor infrastructure.
Decades of state corruption, financial mismanagement, nepotism, dictatorship and abuse of power have left the ‘rich-poor’ continent in tatters, with huge deadly consequences on the health and well-being of the majority of Africans.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) estimates that the total cost of bridging Africa’s infrastructure gap over the next decade will be about US$93 million a year.
So-called high level meetings to solve Africa’s problems have usually turned out to be talk-shops and some sort of ‘social networks’, where the big guns drink, eat, crack jokes, make friendships, and make promises that they could not keep.
Many observers are hoping that the Ouagadougou meeting does not follow this sad trend, but brings credible results to save the continent’s poor souls.
Water is life and sanitation is dignity!
More information, log in http://hlf.wsafrica.org.
Photo by Heaven’s Family blog