KAMPALA - The East African regional Manager for Water Aid, Lydia Zigomo, has commended Rwanda’s good political will which has facilitated the current progress as regards attaining water and sanitation targets.
She said this during the second East Africa Regional Sanitation Conference that started yesterday in Kampala, Uganda.
Addressing the press, Zigomo noted that a good political will is key, if major development strategies, including universal access to increased safe water access and improved sanitation are to be realized.
“Everybody across the world is talking about Rwanda. Considering where this country has come from, a lot has been achieved and this is because of the good leadership that is in place,” she said.
“In terms of sanitation and water, there is a strong will at the central level but the challenge is to increase capacity building at the local levels so that once resources are released they serve the intended purpose.”
Zigomo also urged East African sanitation leaders to accelerate progress in regard to the EThekwini declaration that was signed in 2003 to improve sanitation in the region.
“Countries agreed to dedicate 0.5 percent of their Gross Domestic Product towards improving sanitation and safe water access, however this is yet to be achieved.
“Rwanda as well as some other countries have the policies and instruments in place, but specific budgets should be allocated for this cause so that we can be able to track progress of whether this money is enabling universal access to these services,” she added.
“With the commitment that this country has regarding development initiatives, it is noticeable that there is great potential to go further than all the other countries in the region.”
Joseph Katabarwa, an official with the Ministry of Health, noted that the three-day meeting will serve as a platform through which the country’s representatives will exchange ideas with experts so that they can further strengthen the progress in the country.
According to given statistical data on the progress of the EThekwini commitments, Rwanda has shown impressive headway in implementing a national sanitation policy and coordinating stakeholders in this cause.
Organised by ANEW, Water Aid, UNICEF, WSP and the Government of Uganda, the conference which brought together over 300 participants from 10 African countries was officially opened by Uganda’s Minister for Water and Environment, Miria Mutagamba.