Jean-Jacques Cornish

Finland launches campaign for access to clean water and sanitation as a basic human right

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South Africa is ready to sign a memorandum of understanding with Finland on access to water and sanitation as a basic human right, says Dr Trevor Blazer of the Department of Water and Sanitation.

Finland’s Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Dr Jaana Husu-Kallio expresses the hope that Water Affairs Minister Lindiwe Sisulu will go to Helsinki to ink the deal which has been delayed by the COVID lockdown.

Finland has launched a programme entitled WASH that involves governments, research organisations and civil society in ensuring access to clean water and sanitization -particularly for women and girls.

It is part of the Scandinavian country’s bid to win a three-year term on the United Nations Human Rights Council when elections are held in October

Ambassador Anne Lammila told the delegates participating in Pretoria and Helsinki that 2,2 billion people around the world lack access to safe drinking water and 4,2 billion lack safely managed sanitation services.

“The impact on child mortality rates is devastating with more than 297 000 under five whondhe annually from diarrhea diseases due to poor sanitation, poor hygiene or unsafe drinking water,” she says.

Dr Dhesigen Naidoo of the Water Research Commission says loss of earning globally from woman and children being excluded from the economy for health reasons amounts to $100 billion a year.

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Jean-Jacques Cornish is a journalist and broadcaster who has been involved in the media all his adult life.

Starting as a reporter on his hometown newspaper, he moved briefly to then Rhodesia before returning to South Africa to become a parliamentary correspondent with the South African Press Association. He was sent to London as Sapa’s London editor and also served as special correspondent to the United Nations. He joined the then Argus group in London as political correspondent.

Returning to South Africa after 12 years abroad, he was assistant editor on the Pretoria News for a decade before becoming editor of the Star and SA Times for five years.

Since 1999 he’s been an independent journalist writing and broadcasting – mainly about Africa – for Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape
Talk, Radio France International, PressTV, Radio Live New Zealand, Business Day, Mail & Guardian, the BBC, Agence France Press,
Business in Africa, Leadership, India Today, the South African Institute for International Affairs and the Institute for Security Studies.

He has hosted current affairs talk shows on Talk Radio 702 and 567 Cape Talk. He appears as an African affairs pundit on SABC Africa and CNBC Africa.
He lectured in contemporary studies to journalism students at the Tshwane University of Technology and the University of Pretoria.

He speaks on African affairs to corporate and other audiences.
He has been officially invited as a journalist to more than 30 countries. He was the winner of the 2007 SADC award for radio journalism.

He’s been a member of the EISA team observing elections in Somaliland, Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Egypt and Tunsiai.

In October 2009 he headed a group of 39 African journalists to the 60th anniversary celebrations of the Peoples’ Republic of China.

In January 2010 he joined a rescue and paramedical team to earthquake struck Haiti.

He is immediate past president of the Alliance Francaise of Pretoria.

Jean-Jacques is a director of Giant Media. The company was given access to Nelson Mandela in his retirement years until 2009.
He is co-producer of the hour-long documentary Mandela at 90 that was broadcast on BBC in January 2009.