JOHANNESBURG-- The African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW), at their meeting here this week, has commended the South African government for establishing a department which focuses on sanitation issues.

The AMCOW Sanitation Project Manager, Kitchinme Bawa, says South Africa is among nine countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region which have already provided a progress report on what it has done to date to progressively deal with sanitation challenges it faces.

I am particularly impressed that South Africa has gone a step further with its 2016 Sanitation Policy and I know the Zimbabwean government is working on their sanitation strategy, and I hope that other member states will fast-track their initiatives, Bawa said here Tuesday.

If SADC member countries did not address sanitation challenges, it will be very catastrophic for Africa, cutting across education, health and entire productivity, and livelihood of our people, Bawa said at a meeting of representatives from various organizations from nine SADC countries in Kempton Park, near here, to give progress reports on their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) commitments.

Known as the Ngor Commitments Monitoring Sub-regional Meeting for Southern Africa, the event was a platform for countries to review undertakings made during the 4th AfricaSan Conference held in Senegal in 2015 when a set of commitments was concluded, with each country expected to work on a strategy to address its challenges.