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Southern African governments failing to keep water and sanitation promises

A new WaterAid report reveals that 13 Southern African countries will miss one or both of their 2015 targets on safe water and sanitation. It calls for US$3.6 billion more investment per year to bring the region back on-track.

3 Mar 2014

From promise to reality, a briefing by our Southern Africa team, highlights the extent to which government promises on water and sanitation are not being kept.

At current rates of progress, over 40 million people in Southern Africa promised safe water by 2015 will miss out. Another 73 million will go without sanitation. This is because of a lack of money going into these services.

More investment needed

The report calls on governments in Southern Africa to draw more revenue from their countries’ natural resource wealth to boost social spending. Botswana and Angola are held up as positive examples of this approach, both on-track to meet their sanitation target.

It also shows that water and sanitation aid money is not being targeted to the right countries in Southern Africa.

Robert Kampala, WaterAid’s Head of Region for Southern Africa, said:

Southern African governments must meet their past promises on water and sanitation and, together with donors, invest at the levels needed to put an end to the crisis that causes hundreds of thousands of children’s lives to be prematurely and needlessly extinguished.

That two countries in the region are on-track to meet these crucial Millennium Development Goals shows that it can be done. That most are currently set to fail on one or both targets demonstrates all too vividly the lack of priority governments in the region are placing on these basic services.

A crucial meeting

The report comes ahead of the High-Level Meeting of the Sanitation and Water for All Partnership on 10 and 11 April 2014. Water, sanitation and finance ministers from across the globe will come together in Washington DC. WaterAid will be there to ensure the findings of this report are heard at the highest level.

Read From promise to reality: the urgent need for Southern African leaders to deliver on their water, sanitation and hygiene commitments >