Kagame wins continental award for sanitation
The Prime Minister, Bernard Makuza, yesterday, officially launched Africa’s ‘Drive to 2015’ campaign, that seeks to accelerate the implementation of strategies aimed at achieving the millennium development goal of access to adequate sanitation by 2015.
The launch was held during the official opening of the third African Sanitation and Hygiene Conference (AfricaSan 3) in Kigali.
Speaking at the conference, the Premier said that what Africa needs are healthy minds in vigorous bodies of its people.
“Rwanda has made some progress to become a case study on the continent on which the AfricaSan 3 can exchange views and experiences,” he said.
Rwanda is one of the four countries in sub-Saharan African countries and among nine African countries on track to achieve the MDG on hygiene and sanitation.
Makuza added that Rwanda has concluded a one-year program on action on hygiene and sanitation through improved access to clean water and hygiene and enhance pit latrine model as well as enhance washing advocacy.
“This will be done through the Ministry of Health and voluntary and effective community health workers operating at grassroots level in group settlements (imidugudu) so as to ease access to infrastructure and services like health centres and schools,” he said.
Makuza, however, hastened to add that although Rwanda has made significant progress in the areas of sanitation and hygiene, there is still more work to be done.
He called on decision makers in the political, economic, social and cultural spheres to mobilise themselves and show enhanced commitment through sound and effective policies.
The Prime Minister received an award of honour and recognition on behalf of President Paul Kagame for his success in implementing best practices and policies of sanitation and hygiene for the Rwandan people.
The vice president of the African Ministers' Council on Water (AMCOW), Samuel Nkomo, said that there is a lot that Africa can learn from Rwanda.
Meanwhile, during the opening ceremony, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced its intentions to invest millions of dollars in improving sanitation services in poor countries over the next few years.
The foundation is to significantly expand its sanitation program with a US$42m grant scheme to spur innovation in the area and a greater emphasis on encouraging behavioural change in communities.