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NEWS: The right to water and sanitation in Rwanda

The UK Independent newspaper reports, “In Rwanda the government intends to achieve ‘improved’ sanitation by 2012 whereby every community in the country will have its own Community Health Club, open defecation will be eradicated and every family will be able to safely dispose of their children’s faeces. In the same year, the government also expects to provide almost every Rwandan with clean pit latrines… The availability of clean water is an essential component of Rwanda’s sanitation goals…”

“Despite all the challenges, Joseph Katabarwa, the head of the environmental health department at the ministry of health is confident that Rwanda will reach its 2012 targets (of 100 percent achievement). He estimates that as of now, ’58 percent of people in the whole country have clean toilets, safe drinking water, personal and domestic hygiene and a proper house to live in.’ By September this year, he adds, a household and sanitation inventory will be conducted to pinpoint this exact figure.”

“Sadly, this continent of ours continues to be riddled with numerous threats that strip life from the innocent everyday. In Chad, seven percent of women die in the process of giving birth; in the Democratic Republic of Congo, at least 5.5 million people have lost their lives from conflict since 1998; and currently in Somalia, hundreds are perishing everyday on account of drought and famine. But as dramatic and tragic as all this is, it is not inadequate hospital conditions or war or famine that contributes to the majority of deaths on the continent; in Africa, inadequate sanitation is the continents most fatal threat. …Only 31 percent of Africans have access to adequate sanitation, despite sanitation and water being recognised as a fundamental human right. Approximately 1.5 million children die of diarrhoea every year, while another 1.9 succumb to respiratory infections. …(And Rwanda is) one of only four countries on target to halve inadequate sanitation conditions by 2015…”

The full article is at http://www.independent.co.ug/News/regional-news/4549?task=view.