- The Steering Committee of the Water Supply and
Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) today elected Professor Anna
Tibaijuka, Former Executive Director of UN-HABITAT, as its new Chair.
WSSCC ( www.wsscc.org
) is an alliance of members from a range of
sectors who are committed to improving the lives of poor people
around the world by improving access to basic sanitation, good
hygiene practices, and safe drinking water. Prof. Tibaijuka will
succeed Dr Roberto Lenton, whose second and final term of office
comes to an end in March 2011.
"We live in a world of unacceptable inequality," said Prof.
Tibaijuka. "Two thirds of the world's population takes access to a
toilet for granted. Yet a third of the people alive today - 2.6
billion individuals, most of them in Africa and South Asia - do not
have access to basic sanitation, and 0.9 billion lack safe drinking
water. I want to address this inequality."
Prof. Tibaijuka grew up in rural Tanzania, and knows first-hand
the impact of poor sanitation and hygiene on the health and economic
well-being of a community. She has seen the benefits that small
changes can make: installing a separate toilet in a school can
improve girls' attendance; providing soap and water for handwashing
can reduce the spread of diarrhoea, the second leading cause of death
among children under five years old; and ensuring clean drinking
water can help reduce outbreaks of water-borne diseases such as
Recent analyses of progress towards achievement of the Millennium
Development Goals have revealed that sanitation is by far the most
off-track MDG in sub-Saharan Africa, and second globally, after
nutrition. "We are delighted that Prof. Tibaijuka has accepted the
challenge of leading WSSCC to address the neglected topics of
sanitation and hygiene," said outgoing Chair, Dr Roberto Lenton.
"These issues need champions, and she has already proved herself to
be a strong leader - respected in her home country, throughout
Africa, and on the world stage."
In her role as Chair of WSSCC, Prof. Tibaijuka plans to draw on
her experience and network of contacts in politics, business,
academia and within the UN system, to raise awareness about the need
for concerted action. Under her leadership, WSSCC intends to continue
its current growth, notably in the Global Sanitation Fund, a
programme of WSSCC, which supports sanitation work in many of the
world's poorest countries.
ots Originaltext: WSSCC
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