Press Notice 17, Session 2006-07

MEMBERS OF THE UK PARLIAMENT VISIT ETHIOPIA
TO ASSESS WATER AND SANITATION PROVISION

Eleven Members of the British Parliament are today traveling to Ethiopia to assess the effectiveness of aid for water and sanitation provision. The group are members of the UK Parliament's International Development Select Committee which is carrying out an inquiry into water and sanitation in developing countries.

The Committee will assess the effectiveness of UK funding for water and sanitation projects. By the end of 2007, Ethiopia will be the highest recipient of the UK Department for International Development's (DFID) aid for Africa. The Committee will make recommendations on how DFID's water and sanitation programme can contribute more towards meeting the Millennium Development Goal of halving the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation by 2015.

The Committee will visit water and sanitation projects in Hosaena, Butajira and Alaba to see first-hand the difficulties faced by people in accessing adequate water and sanitation and will assess the effectiveness of such projects in providing solutions. As well as meeting local people, and district and federal officials involved in water and sanitation, the Committee hopes to meet Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and the Ministers for Water Resources, Health, and Finance and Economic Development. The Committee will also meet representatives of the EU, World Bank and African Development Bank in Addis Ababa.

Looking forward to the visit, the Chairman of the International Development Committee, Malcolm Bruce, MP, said,

"With the UN predicting that the average supply of water per person will drop by a third in the next 20 years, it is vital that the international community makes more rapid progress in addressing the lack of water and sanitation provision. The Committee hopes that what we see in Ethiopia will help us identify a variety of effective ways of providing safe drinking water and preventing widespread disease through the proper management of waste water, so that best practice can be spread to other developing countries. Access to clean water and sanitation are basic human requirements, and are crucial to many aspects of poverty reduction, including improved health and sustainable economic and social development."

The International Development Select Committee will be in Ethiopia from 2 to 7 February. Its report, based on the visit to Ethiopia and a number of evidence sessions held in the UK, will be published later in the year.

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Further Information:

Media enquiries in Ethiopia should be directed to Carol Oxborough, the Clerk of the Committee on +251 911 089642 or via DFID Ethiopia on +011 6180601.

The membership of the Committee is as follows: Malcolm Bruce MP (Chairman, Lib Dem), John Barrett MP (Lib Dem), John Battle MP (Lab), John Bercow MP (Con), Hugh Bayley MP (Lab), Richard Burden MP (Lab), Mr Quentin Davies MP (Con), James Duddridge MP (Con), Ann McKechin MP (Lab), Joan Ruddock MP (Lab), Mr Marsha Singh (Lab).

UK Media Enquiries: Alex Paterson 020 7219 1589, 07917 488 488 [email protected]

Committee website: www.parliament.uk/indcom

Watch committees and parliamentary debates online: www.parliamentlive.tv