Skip to main content

Water And Sanitation

Volume 405: debated on Friday 16 May 2003

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what policy the Government has adopted on what nations can do on their own to achieve the goal set by the United Nations on halving the number of people without access to water for nourishment and hygiene by 2015. [112604]

The Government supports country-owned Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs), as the best way in which nations can achieve, on their own, the goals set by the United Nations on water and sanitation. PRSPs offer donors the opportunity to support a country's own priorities and reforms. They also help enhance and streamline the financing of water supply and sanitation. DFID works with partner governments to strengthen PRSPs and with donors to align their support.Water supply and sanitation are consistently identified as a priority for the poor in participatory poverty assessments, and many PRSPs recognise the contribution of access to a safe water supply in reducing both income and non-income related dimensions of poverty. DFID advocates such an integrated approach to sanitation, water supply and hygiene promotion measures to combat poverty in our discussions with partner governments.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many of the national poverty reduction strategies received by her Department include measures to increase access to clean water and improve sanitation; and how her Department encourages such activities. [111856]

Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) provide a country-owned framework to strengthen the impact of public action on poverty, and to promote progress towards the Millennium Development Goals. Water supply and sanitation are consistently identified as a priority for the poor in participatory poverty assessments, and all PRSPs generally recognise the contribution of access to a safe water supply in reducing both income and non-income related dimensions of poverty.A review of Full and Interim Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers in Sub-Saharan Africa has found however that treatment of water supply and sanitation is not comprehensive and often inconsistent. In particular, sanitation and solid waste management received limited and inadequate attention. Also, despite the significant continuing work on sector reforms (in decentralisation, and rural and urban water supply and sanitation), their incorporation in the country PRSP initiatives requires considerable strengthening. The Uganda PRSP was a notable exception having good coverage of water and sanitation issues, and serves as an illustration of good practice.Despite their weaknesses, Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers represent a huge step forward and we remain committed to focusing on helping partner governments implement them. PRS and the linked Medium Term Expenditure Framework sanitation sector. This financing supports fiscally sustainable strategies for the scaling up of reforms to acountry level.Processes provide an opportunity to move to a programmatic approach, which will also help enhance and streamline financing of the water supply and sanitation sector. This financing supports fiscally sustainable strategies for the scaling up of reforms to a country level.DFID are working with partner governments to strengthen PRSPs as they are revised (each three years). We advocate an integrated approach to environmental health to combat poverty and continue to push for the inclusion of sanitation, water supply and hygiene promotion measures into individual country PRSPs. In addition, through the Overseas Development Institute and WaterAid, we are supporting an in depth research and advocacy project which aims to address these issues in more detail.