ANEW meets with AMCOW president

ANEW has been urged to support AMCOW in advocating for the realization of the right to water and sanitation in Africa. This was said by Minister Buyelwa Sonjica, President of AMCOW during a side meeting with ANEW held on July 29th in her offices in Cape Town.

ANEW and AMCOW meeting participantsMinister Sonjica (centre) with AMCOW TAC President, Vice Presidents and ANEW representatives. Honorable Sonjica who is also the Minister of Water and Environment Affairs of South Africa acknowledged that the right based approach is critical in ensuring that Africa meets its water and sanitation targets and civil society should play an important role in ensuring that national governments deliver on their commitments. it’s no longer about the numbers but  it’s about reaching the people we promised to serve, she said. 

Minister Sonjica’s comments come at the wake of United Nations General Assembly’s decision in favour of recognizing water and sanitation as human right. The resolution – put forward by Bolivia and co-sponsored by 35 states – passed overwhelmingly with 124 states voting in favour and 42 abstaining.

Minister Sonjica welcomed the General Assembly’s decision  but cautioned on the need for African governments to understand what it would require to realise this right. She encouraged ANEW to advocate for policy recommendations and time bound plans in ensuring that this right is realised in all the countries.

ANEW reaffirmed its commitment to support AMCOW in reaching the African water agenda. The Executive Secretary, Jamillah Mwanjisi informed the minister that ANEW has conducted a series of national dialogues to discuss the right to water and sanitation. The dialogues have provided an opportunity for countries to discuss and reach a common understanding on the commitments and responsibilities that come with the right to water and sanitation.  Through these dialogues ANEW was able to gather substantial information to support its advocacy work on the right to water and sanitation.

The meeting with Minister Sonjica was also attended by AMCOW TAC president; Mr. Reginald Tekateka and Vice presidents for Southern, Northern and Eastern Africa.  In this meeting, ANEW also presented the main outcomes of the ANEW-AMCOW roundtable on the operationalization of the joint MoU. Minister Sonjica welcome this initiative and confirmed her support to CSOs.

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Updated on 2 August 2010

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