During the global Finance Ministers Meeting held yesterday, 4th November 2020; members highlighted how Finance Ministers would be significant if actively engaged and conversant of the critical role the WASH sector has to both the country and its economic muscle.
Speaking during the meeting, Liberian Minister of Finance H.E. Samuel D. Twea said that; most Finance Ministers are no very conversant with the role of WASH in an economic setup until they are convinced. Therefore; WASH practitioners must develop better strategies like developing a WASH Commission that will enable partners to precisely highlight WASH indicators if the sector is to attain great strides.
The minister also critiqued the tendency of allocating resources specifically for a particular waterborne disease, instead they plead with donor partners like USAID, ADB and IMF among others who were also part of the meeting to channel these resources to WASH as a whole claiming that if WASH cannot be dealt at a primary stage it can result to more complications in the long run.
Catalina de Albuquerque who is the Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) CEO, said that not only will engaging Finance Minister boost the sectors economy, but also the Finance sector will be able to increase revenues through WASH investments.
Identification of other alternatives for creating water systems in rural areas, cost recovery and Social Investment programmes were recommended
Commenting on Malawi’s progress in WASH during the meeting, the Board Chair for WES Network Kate Harawa, commended government’s effort to have increased budget allocation to the sector to K90 billion from K26billion. Since January this year, the WASH sector has had a number of advocacy activities lobbying for increased funding among other issues.
Attending from Malawi was Minister of Finance, Hon. Felix Mlusu, Minister of Forestry and Natural Resources Hon. Nancy Tembo and Minister of Health Hon. Khumbidze Chiponda.
Reviewing the meeting; Hon. Nancy Tembo said the involvement of Hon. Mlusu opens a new horizon for the sector and going forward there is a need to invest also in rural areas as all along including within the K90 billion allocation, much resources were being channeled to urban areas. “…..and as government it is our responsibility to ensure that resources are distributed accordingly and the targeted people have access to the services being provided,” passionately narrated the Hon. Minister in a separate interview with WES Network.
As per SDG 6, Malawi must have access to safe and clean water and sanitation services by 2030.