Freshwater Action Network
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'Access to sanitation is a human right' Rwandan Premier echoes CSO calls at AfricaSan3

Kigali - July 20, 2011

The Rwandan Prime Minister, Rt Hon. Bernard Makoza has echoed civil society voices, recognising sanitation as a human right.

He also launched and expressed his country's support for the five-year drive for Sustainable Sanitation in Africa by 2015 and called upon other African leaders to put in place sound and effective policies that can enhance the achievement of the commitments they have made to accelerate the implementation of sanitation programme.

The Prime Minister said this while opening the 3rd Africa Conference on Sanitation (AfricaSan3) at Serena Hotel, Kigali. He also underscored the importance of increasing funding to achieve the MDGs target for sanitation. He said people should not doubt the will of African leaders to improve the quality of life of their people.

"Sanitation is the people's right and yet they are not being done any favours,'' he stressed. He expressed delight that Rwanda is among the four countries in sub-Saharan Africa that had attained the MDG on water and sanitation but said that efforts were still ongoing to achieve 100% sanitation coverage in the country.

The Premier called on African leaders to make sanitation their political priority and adequately resourced. He cited Rwanda as a good example of countries that have made political
commitment and progress on attaining the MDG targets on sanitation.

The Premier urged other sub Sahara countries to emulate Rwanda in her efforts of achieving the MDG targets on sanitation and hygiene and also called on decision makers at different levels to significantly commit on delivering sanitation for all services by targeting the most vulnerable, poor and marginalised people in the communities.

The Award

The Premier received an award on behalf of President Paul Kagame of Rwanda in recognition of his efforts and commitment in improving sanitation and hygiene in the country.

In the handover ceremony, the vice president of the African Ministers' Council on Water (AMCOW), Samuel Nkomo, encouraged other African countries to learn from Rwanda.

This high-level conference has brought together more than 600 delegates including; African government Ministers responsible for sanitation-related portfolios; professionals from the public and private sectors; civil society; multilateral donor/development agencies, research/training institutions and the media to get Africa back on track to meet the sanitation MDG and
achieve sustainable universal sanitation coverage in Africa.

Compiled by: Judith Grace Auma (UWASNET) James Kiyimba (WaterAid) and Ceridwen Johnson (Fresh Water Action Network‐FAN)

Image: Rwandan Premier Rt Hon. Bernard Makoza joining the WASH UNITED Club in support for Sanitation. Looking on holding a ball is CSO leader Doreen Wandera Kabasindi, also the Executive Director of Uganda Water & Sanitation NGO Network (UWASNET), Member of ANEW and on the FAN Global Governing Council