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African Women Seek Integration into WASH Sector

The international Forum of Professional Women for Water, Sanitation, and Environment in Africa, on Sunday called for the inclusion of women in the Water, Sanitation, and Environmental Sectors as part of strategies towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, 6 in Africa.

Making the call in Abidjan, Cote d lvoire during the 4th International Forum of the Professional Women for Water, Sanitation,and Environment in Africa, the President of the Ivorian Network of Women Professionals, Mrs Leontine Koffi, also called for the promotion of gender issues in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, WASH.

Koffi who posited that women should be at the core of WASH, said more training was required for women to know their roles and what they can do in the sector.

She said the Forum themed: “Water, and Environment: The Contribution of Women in Africa” was to show the actors in the water sector the active contributions of women in the management of water and improved sanitation.

Speaking, the Minister of Water and Forests, Mr Laurent Tchagba urged African women to urgently take the centre stage in issues relating to water, sanitation and environment.

He charged the women to take their rightful position in water collections, management and the environment.

Tchagba who said the forum was apt at a time climate change was ravaging the world added that the event would highlight the enormous contribution of women to sustainable management of water and the environment.

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Stating that the initiative of the women professionals and their contributions cannot be over emphasised as SDG 6, targets access to clean water for all by 2030.

The minister said: “Water sources are drying up and the environment are not spared due to Climate Change. Africans are waking up and wearing their thinking caps on how to sustain water, sanitation and environment. Let us ponder on the contribution of women in water management who are better positioned to manage water and reforestation.

He further pledged his ministry’s support for the women, adding that women should be integrated into the WASH sector and supported with adequate training.

Speaking, Executive Director, the African Water and Sanitation Association, AfWaSA, Dr Sylvian Usher stressed the need for the training of African women in the WASH sector, adding that, already AfWaSA has initiated training of young professionals on water through scholarships to level of masters, and PHDs to improve organisational capacity of AfWaSA.

He said strong actions will be taken into consideration to promote gender issues . “ In view of the continued support, we have been able to create Africa water Academy to collaborate with other institutions on capacity building.”

Usher said AfWaSA will continue to implement common projects to improve Africa in terms of water projects and capacity building.

On her part, the 2nd President of, the Scientific & Technical Council, Ms Rose Kaggwa, disclosed plans to engage young women in rigorous mentorship programmes in Africa that will bring about job satisfaction and prioritisation of women in the WASH sector.