1 February 2013

Liberia: 'Women Lack Access to Safe Drinking Water'

Public Works Minister Samuel Kofi Woods has told delegates at the ongoing High Level Panel Meeting in Monrovia that women continue to suffer the excruciating perils of lack of access to safe drinking water in Africa.

Minister Woods said the lack of safe drinking water is also impeding the growth, development and survival of children on the continent.

"While we conclude these meetings and plan, we must restore hope in our people by acting and acting now...," Min. Woods said Wednesday at the Post 2015 High Level Penal Outreach on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene.

The Public Works Minister said the economy of African countries is being stagnated by their collective failures to leverage the opportunities available to manage and invest in the abundant water resources in Africa.

He said the selection of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf who is the Goodwill Ambassador for Water and Sanitation in Africa to co-chair the HLP indicates that Africa's voice is already present on the panel, but needs to be re-enforced.

The Executive Secretary of the African Ministers' Council on Water (AMCOW) said it is impossible to have development without water.

Mr. Bai-Mass Taal said the AMCOW declaration seeks to ensure that the issue of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) are at the center of development on the continent.

He said the declaration also advanced to the HLP seeks to ensure that everyone on the continent has access to safe and quality drinking water, clean environment by 2030.

Mr. Taal wants the HLP to consider WASH as the driver of equitable and sustainable economic growth in Africa.

According to AMCOW draft document, access to clean water and sanitation is prerequisite for healthy human living and has direct impact on the wellbeing and productivity of the population as well as sustaining freshwater eco-system.

The AMCOW declaration was presented to President Johnson-Sirleaf for inclusion in the post 2015 development framework.

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