PERUSAN 2008 “Proposals for Sustainable Sanitation” Launches

Approximately 1,200 people attended the opening ceremony of the First Peruvian Conference on Sanitation, PERUSAN 2008. The conference, “Proposals for Sustainable Sanitation,” is an initiative led by the Ministry of Housing, Construction, and Sanitation, the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of the Environment. The international cooperation agencies forming part of the Grupo Agua support this initiative through proposals for specific sanitation activities.
Minister of Housing, Construction and Sanitation Enrique Cornejo, Environmental Minister Antonio Brack, and Health Minister Oscar Ugarte led the opening ceremony.
During the ceremony, the housing minister reported that US$2.5 billion had been invested in water and sanitation projects nationwide. “Sanitation means dignity for individuals and families,” he said.
Official Conference Website
The minister expressed his satisfaction with respect to working proactively with the ministers of health and the environment, as well as with public and private organizations, non-governmental organizations, and journalists to develop proposals for effective water management.
Minister Ugarte said that his sector was committed to providing timely treatment of diseases and promoting disease prevention as a complementary strategy to water management. “We aspire to a healthy country with safe water,” he said.
Minister Brack said that the sanitation era should begin by addressing two key problems: water pollution and solid waste contamination. “Without safe water, countries cannot achieve healthy development,” he said, paraphrasing the speech from Japan’s prime at the APEC conference.
Participants at the ceremony included local and regional government officials, sanitation service operators, regional directors, ministry officials, as well as representatives of private companies, international cooperation agencies, regulatory agencies, and non-governmental organizations.
PERUSAN 2008’s objective was designing proposals for sustainable sanitation with multisectoral participation. With a goal of promoting the inclusion of sanitation on the public agenda and partnering with the mass media for the substantive, clear, and responsible dissemination of the proposals.
Because nearly half of the Peruvian population does not have access to basic sanitation services and more than 70 percent of the wastewater generated in the country is not treated before final disposal, the proposals will also focus on resolving these problems. PERUSAN 2008 highlighted the support received from international cooperation agencies and non-governmental organizations in each of the activities implemented.
PERUSAN 2008 contributed to defining a strategy to implement the National Sanitation Plan of the Ministry of Housing, Construction, and Sanitation, to raising public awareness of sanitation issues and to promoting a new vision regarding sanitation in Peru, from a multisectoral perspective. In addition, PERUSAN 2008 served as an opportunity to exchange experiences, good practices, and knowledge associated with policies on incentives, capacity building, and regulatory frameworks.
Main organizers of the event were the Ministry of Housing, Construction, and Sanitation, the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of the Environment, the Water and Sanitation Program and the international cooperation agencies forming part of the Grupo Agua.
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