Africa Public Health Alliance calls on AU to make water management top priority

14-18 MAY 2012 | CAIRO

The Africa Public Health Alliance has called on the African Union and its Ministerial Council on Water to scale up efforts to ensure access to clean water and sanitation for African people.

During the Fourth Africa Water Week, the Alliance called on Ministries looking over water resources to adopt a population-based approach and to engage in multi-sectoral planning for improved human development outcomes. This call is underpinned by new research—or Scorecard--published by the Africa Public Health Alliance as a Report Card, available in pdf format on the right.

The research notes that in over 30 African countries, 30 to 70% of people have no access to safe water. The result is that poor access to water and sanitation is worsening health outcomes for women and children. Water related diseases such as diarrhoea and malaria account for some of the biggest causes of child mortality. Women’s development is also negatively impacted by lack of sustainable access to water, it is estimated that in low income countries, they spend about 40 billion hours fetching water. Investing in water and sanitation is crucial for improved health, food security and productivity of African nations.