Friday, 1 August 2008

HRH The Prince of Orange

The speech given by HRH The Prince of Orange, Chairman of UNSGAB, at the AU Summit in Sharm El-Sheikh (see blog of 14 June) is given here. An excerpt:

To meet the MDG drinking water target for Africa, 33 million people a year will have to gain access to an improved drinking water source. At the current rate of only 15 million new users a year, it is obvious that we are not going to meet this target. We need to more than double our efforts.

But to meet the MDG sanitation target, the number of people using improved sanitation will need to rise far more. At the current rate of 10 million new users a year, it will take an enormous effort to bring the number to 45 million people a year – almost a five-fold increase on current levels.

Africa is clearly not on track to meet the Millennium Development Goal target for drinking water and sanitation. We must not allow Africa to reach the point where it faces a continuous, endemic water and sanitation crisis that debilitates and kills huge numbers of people, threatens the health of the workforce, stands in the way of economic growth, and limits access to education and therefore life opportunities.

Let’s hope Africa’s leaders really were listening to the Prince.