Kigali — Rwanda achieved the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) on sanitation and surpassed it by eight percent, State Minister for Energy and Water, Eng. Colette Ruhamya announced yesterday.
According to Ruhamya, about 58 percent of Rwandans have access to adequate sanitation.
MDG target 7c calls for reduction by half (50%), the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by 2015.
The minister made the remarks at the official announcement of the upcoming continental conference, AfricaSan 3, slated for next month in Kigali.
“It’s a privilege for us to host this conference; Rwanda is the only country in the sub-Saharan Africa that has achieved the MDG on sanitation. However, this is not where we want to be, we are aiming higher than this,” said the minister.
She added that despite the experience the country will be taking to the conference, all stakeholders will forge ways of renewing commitment for sustainable sanitation in Africa.
The conference will specifically focus on challenges of accelerating sanitation and hygiene programs on the continent.
“During the conference, delegates will mark the official regional launch of the five years sanitation drive and advocacy program endorsed by the UN General Assembly for engaging countries to improve access to sanitation worldwide,” she said.
Over 700 participants from 50 African countries are expected to attend the high level conference.
The representative of the African Council of Ministers in charge of Water, Oseloka Zikora, said that Rwanda has made significant strides on the issues of sanitation and that other African countries could leant from.
According to the World Bank’s Senior Sanitation and Hygiene Specialist, Yolande Coombees, countries are currently struggling with turning policies and strategies into action to achieve sustainable sanitation, adding that the Kigali conference will discuss strategies on how to achieve that.
Regarding budget allocation on sanitation, she said that during the previous conference in South Africa, it was agreed that countries allocate 0.5 percent of their GDP to sanitation.