Namibian Minister of Agriculture, Water, and Land Reform Carl Schlettwein on Monday emphasized the need for Africa to shift the spotlight to water and sanitation in the ongoing battle against climate change.
Speaking at the 7th Africa Sanitation Conference in Swakopmund, Namibia, Schlettwein stressed that while energy transformation has received substantial support in climate mitigation, the water and sanitation sector remains underfunded. “Much less has been done for water and sanitation.”
“We need to think about what we can do differently to move the water, sanitation, and hygiene agenda forward. Let us think about how we can collectively turn the ideas into tangible impacts on the lives of our people. The nexus between water, food, sanitation, and the environment needs to be highlighted,” he said.
The conference is a biennial event organized by the African Ministers’ Council on Water and the African Union Commission, with a focus on “Strengthening Systems and Partnerships for Accelerated Action on Safely Managed Sanitation and Hygiene.”
According to Schlettwein, the conference aims to strengthen partnerships and promote knowledge exchange, and seeks to drive action in research, innovation, technology, capacity development, hygiene and behavior change, and inclusive approaches to sanitation development.