Home Sci-TechEnvironment Eritrea: Statement By H.E. Tesfai Ghebreselassie Minister of Land, Water and Environment, Eritrea At the Sanitation and Water for All

Eritrea: Statement By H.E. Tesfai Ghebreselassie Minister of Land, Water and Environment, Eritrea At the Sanitation and Water for All

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High – Level Ministerial Meeting for the Africa region

4 November 2020

Honorable Chairperson of SWA – Mr. Kevin Rudd,

Excellencies fellow ministers and

Representatives of Development Partners

Distinguished participants

I feel honored to represent my country Eritrea in this SWA High Ministerial virtual meeting. I congratulate the organizers of this event, which will be a medium for sharing experience on how the participating countries have been implementing the WASH program, and the way forward.

To reiterate the obvious and commonly narrated adage, water is life, i.e. it is a fundamental resource for life sustenance. Due to the defining role that it plays in securing socio-economic development and overall human wellbeing, access to adequate and safe water, sanitation and hygiene services is basically a human rights issue. With this outlook, Eritrea is working with great commitment to ensure this right for its citizens and to realize the SDGs by 2030. The progress that Eritrea made in this regard is appreciable when compared to the awful condition that prevailed before its independence.

Of the total population above 80% now have access to acceptably safe drinking water and over 32% have access to toilets. Recently 54% of our villages have declared themselves to be open defecation free (ODF), 50% of our schools have access to safe drinking water and 67% have latrines; while 50% of health facilities have access to improved water source. The sharp reduction of waterborne diseases and relief of tens of thousands of people, mainly women and young girls and boys from the back breaking everyday task of fetching water are also noteworthy.