Image:A little girl waits to fill her water container in the village of Kikonka, Bas-Congo province, Democratic Republic of Congo. Photo: UNICEF/Olivier Asselin
By Samantha Semoso – EMTV Online
Some 180,000 children under the age of five die every year – roughly 500 a day – in sub-Saharan Africa due to diarrhoeal diseases linked to inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned ahead of a conference in the region on boosting finance for the sector.
“With children dying every single day, with millions stunted, with such a huge economic toll, it cannot be business as usual,” said UNICEF Regional Director for West and Central Africa, Manuel Fontaine, aiming to bring universal access to water and sanitation to West and Central Africa.
With a population which has nearly doubled in the last 25 years, nearly half of the global population without access to improved drinking water lives in sub-Saharan Africa currently and some 700 million people in the region lack access to improved sanitation.
UNICEF, in cooperation with the government of Senegal and the African Minister’s Council on Water, the first West and Central Africa Innovative Financing for Water Sanitation & Hygiene, which was held in the Senegalese capital from December 15 through to December 17.