WES Network pushes for standalone water ministry

The Water and Environmental Sanitation Network (WES Network) has petitioned Parliament seeking for an increased budgetary allocation in water, sanitation and hygiene provisions.

Speaking to Yoneco FM after delivering the petition, WES Network National Coordinator Willies Mwandira said the National Assembly has a legislative mandate of making sure that there is an increase in funding.

Mwandira added that government should institute a standalone Ministry responsible for water, sanitation and hygiene aiming at ensuring requisite sector leadership and proper allocation of finances.

“The key issue is about a standalone Ministry for water, sanitation and hygiene because we want it to have a legislative mandate so that the financial provision in the national budget is increased.

“We think as a country we should be able to improve on services as well as aiming at attaining Sustainable Developmental Goal (SDG) 6 by the year 2030,” said Mwandira.

In an interview after receiving the petition, Chairperson for the Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources and Climate Change Welani Chilenga commended the Network for raising what he called a genuine petition.

“There petition has got issues that are very genuine, and I think as a committee we are in total support with most of their resolution because this is very genuine.

“Water is very important, water is life, and as a country we are lagging behind and we need a Ministry on its own indeed not just moving the water department to any Ministry,” said Chilenga.

According to SDG 6, everyone on earth should have access to safe and affordable drinking water by 2030.

The United Nations understands that while many people take clean drinking water and sanitation for granted, many others do not. Water scarcity affects more than 40 percent of people around the world, and that number is projected to go even higher as a result of climate change.

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