Water and Sanitation: Third evidence session
Tuesday 12 December 2006, Committee Room 6
Professor Sandy Cairncross, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Darren Saywell, Regional Director, International Water Association
Laura Webster, Senior Policy Officer, Tearfund
Professor Tom Franks, University of Bradford
Antonio Miranda, Director, International Affairs, The National Association of Municipal Sanitation Services (ASSEMAE) (a Brazilian Association of Public Water Operators)
Vicky Cann, Campaign Policy Officer, World Development Movement
Evidence of a global water crisis is widespread. Currently, more than 2 billion people have no access to sanitation and one billion are without access to clean water. The UN believes that over the next 2 decades the average supply of water per person worldwide will drop by a third. The increasing scarcity of water will hit poor people the hardest, with farmers, slum dwellers and women and children amongst the most vulnerable groups. 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 Committee has begun an inquiry into Water and Sanitation. The main purpose of the inquiry will be to examine how donors - notably the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) - can support progress towards Millennium Development Goal 7, which aims to reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation by 2015, and support progress towards other MDGs through achieving outcomes in water and sanitation.
In 2005, DFID announced a doubling of its aid to Africa for water. The 2006 DFID White Paper has doubled this figure again to £200 million by 2011. The White Paper pledges support for the delivery of water and sanitation services and the sustainable and equitable management of water resources. The inquiry will examine how DFID is fulfilling these commitments, as well as assessing multilateral efforts to secure progress on water and sanitation. The Committee will also look at progress by other stakeholders on water and sanitation.
The session on 12 December will be made up of two panels, the first focusing in Sanitation and the second on Water Governance. Key issues for each panel include:
- Addressing the urgent need to catalyse progress on the sanitation MDG target
- DFID’s policies and resources for sanitation, including technical capacity
- Replicating successful small-scale sanitation initiatives
- Sanitation and sewerage in poor urban areas
- Local level arrangements for accessing water and sanitation
- DFID’s role in enhancing accountability and water governance
- Provision of water and sanitation services at the municipal level
- Private sector involvement and partnerships for water and sanitation
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).
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