Source: 20minutos.com.mx / The Dawn / December, 15, 2015. Every day, about 500 children under five years old die in sub-Saharan Africa from diarrheal diseases related to inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene, warned the United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF).
The organization said that the difficult sanitary conditions in sub-Saharan Africa have worsened in the last 25 years with population growth, so he called for concrete actions and sufficient financing to prevent the situation from deteriorating.
Each year, more than 180,000 children under five years old die, said UNICEF in a report published on Tuesday, before the next conference on financing for treatment of inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene in Dakar, capital of Senegal.
“With children dying each day, with millions stunted, with such an enormous economic toll, can not be a usual thing”, said UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa, Manuel Fontaine.
He said that the peace of progress should be accelerated with strong policies and an increased financing for a major change.
According to UNICEF, today almost half of the global population without access to drinking water live in sub-Saharan Africa and about 700 million people in the region lack sanitation.
With a population that has nearly doubled in the last 25 years, access to sanitation only increased by six percentage points and water by 20 percent across the region over, the same period.
Therefore, without rapid action, the situation could worsen dramatically over the next 20 years due to the rapidly rising populations that surpass the efforts of governments to provide essential services.
To address this situation, UNICEF convened the first conference on financing for water sanitation and hygiene in West and Central Africa, which will take place in coordination with the government of Senegal and the African Ministers’ Council on Water.
The meeting aims to agree on new mechanisms to achieve more than 20 billion dollars annually, which would be allocated on universal access to water and sanitation.
The participation of representatives of 24 governments of the region, major investment banks, international organizations, companies and experts is expected.