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Accelerating access to sanitation: conference report
There is an urgent need to take action in order to avert the sanitation crisis looming in Sub-Saharan Africa, the region that has so far made least progress towards achieving the global sanitation target¹. According to the WHO / UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation, only 37 % of people living in Sub- Saharan Africa in 2004 had access to adequate basic sanitation compared to a global average of 59 %. Evidence from Sub-Saharan Africa suggests the actual figures are even worse, at a time when rapid urbanisation is adding additional stress. The East African Regional Conference 'Accelerating Access to Sanitation' attracted more than 190 mostly African water and sanitation specialists from 25 countries, 1 Millennium Development Goal 7, Target 10, states: "To halve, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation." The year of reference year is 1990. to discuss these matters at the start of the International Year of Sanitation. The conference was held in Nairobi, Kenya, from 27 - 28 November, 2007. It was convened by the Kenyan Ministry of Water and Irrigation (MWI) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and organised jointly by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH and the KfW Development Bank (KfW). This conference was called to raise awareness of the sanitation challenge, to set a course for significant improvements and to accelerate actions on the ground. The General Assembly of the United Nations has declared 2008 as International Year of Sanitation (IYS). This conference was therefore also the regional launch for IYS 2008.