The U.S. Government on Friday said that it had given priority to Nigeria, Kenya, Liberia, South Sudan, Uganda, and Ethiopia’s access to drinking water and sanitation, under its foreign assistance initiative.
Mr Aaron Salzberg, Special Coordinator for Water Resources at the U.S. State Department Bureau of Oceans, Environment and Science, disclosed this to Journalists across Africa in a teleconference.
Salzerberg spoke on the occasion to mark this year’s `Earth Day’ with the theme, ‘’Water for the World Act and Water Issues in Africa’’.
He said that the U.S. Congress had recently passed the Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act, making the government’s foreign assistance to include access to drinking water and sanitation.
‘’Africa is a particular focus of our efforts on safe drinking water and sanitation.
‘’The United States Congress recently passed the Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act, which made access to drinking water and sanitation a priority for U.S. foreign assistance.
“The Act requires the President to identify a set of priority countries for U.S. foreign assistance targeted towards drinking water and sanitation, and many African countries are on that list.
“We have identified that list of priority countries, and again, many African countries are on this list. These include Nigeria, Kenya, Liberia, South Sudan, Uganda and Ethiopia,’’ he said.
According to him, the proportion of people who lack access to safe drinking water and sanitation is particularly high in Africa, and particularly among poor and rural populations.
Salzerberg said that the lack of safe water, sanitation and hygiene was responsible for ‘’leading causes’’ of death in children under
The U.S. official said that his government was working globally to improve water security, to ensure that people had access to
sustainable supplies of water.