The country recognizes water and sanitation issues as a basic rights of all human being to have access to water and sanitation at an affordable price, Dr. Mulatu Teshome said.

President Dr. Mulatu Teshome said that Ethiopia is endeavoring to increase citizens access to water, sanitation and hygiene and realize targets set in the Sustainable Development Program (SDMs).

In his address at the 4th Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Ministerial Conference held at UN-ECA yesterday President Dr. Mulatu Teshome said that Ethiopia would work closely with partners to implement various programs in comprehensive and integrated manners.

The President said that Ethiopia is ready to share its experience in the ONE WASH National Program and seek to draw best practices from other members of the sanitation and water partnership.

The President further said that Ethiopia has ensured access to the basic social services and infrastructures to all its citizens as stipulated in the pro-poor growth strategy.

The Ethiopian government is commitment as it has allocated more than 65 percent of the national budget for public expenditure in the area of education, health, agriculture, rural roads, energy, water and sanitation, he said.

Dr. Mulatu said that Ethiopia is implementing the integrated community based water supply and sanitation program based on its National Water Resource Management Policy.

The country recognizes water and sanitation issues as a basic rights of all human being to have access to clean water and sanitation at an affordable price, Dr. Mulatu noted.

Water, Irrigation and Electricity Minister and ONE WASH Steering Committee Chairperson, Motumma Mekassa on his part said that Ethiopia will do its level best to achieve targets to access to sanitation and water for all segment of the society as set in the SDGs by the year 2030.

The Minister said that government is doing its level best to implement the water, sanitation and hygiene goals set in the SDGs by aligning with the second Growth and Transformation Plan.

UNCEF Executive Director Anthony Lake on his part said that concerted efforts should be employed to increase access to sanitation, hygiene and water supply in the next 15-years since millions of children could be affected.

Participants from ministries, UN agencies, civil and professional societies, private sector and NGOs drawn from various countries are in attendance in the two day conference.

Meanwhile, President Dr. Mulatu yesterday held talks with the UNICEF Executive Director on ways of addressing El Nino effects in various parts of the country and challenges facing children in Afar and Ethiopian Somali.

“The effects of the drought could not be overcome by food aid rather through health and education schemes along with humanitarian aid. In this regard, UNICEF should beef up support to reach children at risk.”

The UNICEF Chief on his part said Ethiopia is one of the best performers in achieving MDGs in Africa. “UNICEF wants to show high commitment to support in curbing the El Nino effect with special focus on children.”

Lake told journalists that he would visit Afar to learn more on the situation.

Source: The Ethiopian Herald
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