World Toilet Day 2016: Toilets and Jobs Print

 

OFFICIAL STATEMENT BY

 

THE EXECUTIVE SECRETARY OF THE AFRICAN MINISTERS' COUNCIL ON WATER (AMCOW)

ON WORLD TOILET DAY  - 19TH NOVEMBER 2016

 

 

November 19, marks yet another World Toilet Day whose theme is toilets and jobs. With over 600 million people on the continent without access to sanitation, the effect of this gap is felt widely in two different areas. These being the effects on the health and on employment and income.

 

The World Bank has richly documented across the continent, the huge economic effects in terms of loss of GDP to the continent annually due to lack of access to sanitation and hygiene. It has also been acknowledged by the International Labor Organization (ILO), that about 17% of deaths in the work place are related to diseases most of which are related to poor sanitation and unsafe hygiene.

On the other hand, millions of jobs could be created for people to work and earn wages to reduce unemployment while providing sanitation services to the people in need. In the municipal areas of Dar es Salaam and rural communities around the city to the N’gor coastal parts of Dakar there are diverse needs for sanitation goods and services. From Cairo to Cape Town, the problems are the same and the needs no different.

The provision of access to sanitation to the millions that lack this service in Africa will not only lead to achieving the Africa Water Vision 2025, the SDG 6 but most importantly lead to achieving a good number of the SDGs and of course the agenda 2063 of the African Union.

In line with our mandate at AMCOW, the Secretariat continues to work with member states to ensure improved livelihoods for our people. In this regard, we continue to work to improve the enabling environment for sanitation and hygiene. We and our partners will focus on building and strengthen capacity, strengthening institutions and the policy framework, deepening knowledge and learning and mainstream the youth and gender in the sector.

We will continue to work on the systems and processes for monitoring and reporting on these N’gor declaration political declaration for the continent for improving sanitation and commitments therein to hold ourselves accountable, track progress and learn from what we do and continuously improve on it.

The world economy has slowed down and many people lost their jobs. In Africa, there is a huge potential to create millions of jobs in the sanitation sector. These jobs when created will put income in the hands of millions and maintain the health and well-being of the individuals. As we mark this year’s World Toilet Day, being my first as the Executive Secretary of AMCOW, I want to remind us that the sanitation sector has a huge potential of not just improving our health, but also putting income in our pockets.

Happy World Toilet Day!

 

Dr Canisius Kanangire

Executive Secretary

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