Apr 19, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Minister of City Planning and Water Supply Rauff Hakeem says Sri Lanka will be able to meet sanitation targets of the Sustainable Development Goals well ahead of the time in the same as the country achieved much of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) well ahead of time.
Minister Hakeem, who represented Sri Lanka at the 7th South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN) held in Islamabad, Pakistan last week said Sri Lanka takes pride in achieving most of the MDGs well ahead of time.
"In that regard our country is indeed quite pleased that we were able to achieve the previous set of goals under the MDGs. We were even able to achieve our targets well ahead of time and we are also in the process of achieving the sanitation targets. By the time we meet in Delhi we will be able to report to you that we have achieved our target by that year," he said at the closing ceremony on April 13.
"It is indeed a pleasure for us to conclude another SACOSAN summit here in Islamabad. We look forward to SACOSAN 8 in Delhi. In the meantime all of us, member countries are going through our experiences and achievements in meeting with the sustainable development goals in particular Goal No. 6.2 that relates to safety managed sanitation," he added.
SDG No. 6.2 aims to achieve access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all and end open defecation, paying special attention to the needs of women and girls and those in vulnerable situations by 2030.
"By the time we meet in Delhi in 2020 we will be able to report to you that we have achieved 100% target by that year," the Minister said.
"Having said that it is indeed a matter of pride for all of us that we have taken into consideration all vulnerabilities that marginalize communities of our countries are facing in achieving particularly in such varied manners and we are looking at every marginalized citizen of our own countries and indeed it is a matter of pride for all of us that we look at the dignity of our girl child in all our communities in trying to promote the menstrual hygiene by accommodating achieving their targets taking into considerations all of them as important members of our societies. So we have many achievements to report including even achievements regarding safety managed sanitation of our indigenous communities in our own countries."
"It is indeed a matter of happiness and pride for all of us that we are able to come out with another declaration in Islamabad and we would soon be in a position to reach the goals that we have set ourselves through that the friendship and accommodation in hosting this function in an entertaining manner of our governments.
He said the SAARC governments have been wanting a headquarters somewhere and Sri Lanka last year pledged to host the center in Kandy. "By the time when we meet in Delhi in 2020 will have a permanent abode for the SACOSAN community," he said.