The United Nations has joined forces with the Angolan Government to achieve universal access to water to boost health and curb poverty in the Southern African nation.
Under the “Water for All” scheme – also known as the Joint UN Programme on Water and Sanitation – that was launched last week in the capital, Luanda, Angola has committed to providing water for 80 per cent of urban and 50 per cent of rural dwellers by 2012, with targets raised to 100 per cent and 80 per cent, respectively, by 2020.
The multi-year programme is a joint initiative of the Government, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the UN International Labour Organization (ILO) and the non-governmental organization Institute of Medicine (IOM).
Clean, piped water is prohibitively expensive for many Angolan families, forcing them to rely on unsafe water, which, along with poor sanitary conditions, contributes to nearly 90 per cent of deaths from diarrhea.
UNICEF has underscored children’s right to water and a clean environment, as enshrined ini the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
At the launch of the new initiative, Jocelline Bazile-Finley, UN Resident Coordinator, said that it will help Angola reach the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) on ensuring environmental sustainability and “will also contribute to reducing poverty.”
Some 120,000 people are set to benefit directly from the initiative, funded by the Spanish Government, while 400,000 others are expected to impacted positively.