By: WASH R&E-Liberia – An international aid agency, “WaterAid” has released a new report in which it says the lives of 3,783 children could be saved in Sierra Leone if it met its Millennium Development Goal (MDG) to halve the proportion of people without safe sanitation by 2015.
The report, “Saving Lives”, reveals that Sierra Leone is one of 57 countries currently most off-track to meet its sanitation MDG target. On current trends Sierra Leone is due to halve the proportion of people lacking sanitation by 2435, missing the MDG sanitation target by 420 years.
According to the latest figures released by UNICEF and the WHO, only 13% of the population has access to safe sanitation. The MDG target for Sierra Leone is for 56% to have access for improved sanitation by 2015.
According to the Country Representative of WaterAid in Sierra Leone, Apollos Nwafor, by meeting the Millennium Development Goal target on sanitation by 2015, they can save the lives of nearly four thousand children in Sierra Leone, noting that they need to do more to save these lives.
The report comes as 70 ministers from governments around the world attend the Sanitation and Water for All High Level Meeting on the 20th of April, 2012 in Washington DC, the United States of America.
Mr. Nwafor further said the Washington Meeting is crucial to turning the corner on providing essential life saving access to safe water and sanitation. He called on the government and the international community to grasp the opportunity and act in response to the crisis of lost lives
The WaterAid report also says that the lives of 2.5 million people around the world would be saved if everyone had access to safe water and adequate sanitation.
The report concludes that there are more people in the world today without sanitation than there were in 1990, and “the poor quality of sanitation and lack of access to safe drinking water causes 1.4 million child deaths every year due to diarrhoea, and that present deaths are preventable”.
Diarrhoea caused by unsafe drinking water and a lack of quality sanitation is the biggest killer of children under the age of five in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the second biggest killer of children worldwide.
The Sanitation and Water for All meeting in Washington on 20th April brings together 100 ministers and delegates from over 50 countries to discuss the water and sanitation crisis. Participating governments have to bring pledges to the table on increasing access to water and sanitation for the next two years; donor governments also have to provide commitments ahead of the meeting.
The meeting is part of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank spring meetings and brings together governments, NGOs, the private sector and civil society.
WaterAid is an international aid agency that transforms lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in the world’s poorest communities. The Organization works with partners and influence decision-makers to maximize our impact.