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African governments face pressure over water plans

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MILLIONS OF African children will die in the next 100 years because their governments have failed to plan water and sanitation improvements, charity WaterAid warned this week.

The charity said that without these plans, sanitation and poverty reduction targets set by the United Nations (UN) will be missed.

United Nations Millennium Development Goals [MDGs] set in 2000 include halving the number of people without access to clean water by 2015.

But according to WaterAid, the target will not be met until 2026, at the cost of 10 million children dying from diarrhoea.

A WaterAid report, Dying for the toilet published this week also reveals that the MDG target for access to clean water in subSaharan Africa will be met in 2105 instead of 2015, leading to 133 million children dying.

'Lots of children are going to die [from diarrhoea] anyway but this is the number who'll die just because we are off track on the [MDG] targets, ' said WaterAid policy officer David Redhouse.

He blamed the governments of developing countries for failing to recognise the importance of good sanitation.

Redhouse urged donor organisations like Britain's Department for International Development (DFID) to assess the water and sanitation component of all projects they fund.

'DFID says that countries are not asking for water and sanitation [funding], but [we're saying] 'you've got a duty to discuss it with every country', ' said Redhouse.

The UN was reviewing the progress of the MDGs. Among the delegates is British international development minister Hilary Benn.

A DFID spokesman said: 'The UK will be seeking strong commitments from all 191 nations to step up efforts to achieve the MDGs- including more and better aid in support of developing country plans.'

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