Zimbabwean sanitation and human rights advocate Nomathemba Neseni dies

Nomathemba Neseni in June 2011 at a SuSanA side event. Photo: Flickr/SuSanA

“Sanitation is a passion, not a job,” said Noma Neseni last year at the Global Forum on Sanitation and Hygiene in Mumbai, India. “I became a human rights commissioner because of toilets. What is gender equality or poverty alleviation when we are forced to defecate in the open?”

Ms. Nomathemba (Noma) Neseni, the Director of the Institute of Water and Sanitation Development (IWSD) and Human Rights Commissioner in Zimbabwe passed away on 30 August after a short illness.

She took over the leadership of IWSD in mid-2007, after working for a number of years as Deputy Director. Ms. Neseni had extensive experience in the water and sanitation (WASH) sector, ranging from project planning to gender mainstreaming. She wrote a book [1] on WASH financing, which was published in May this year.

At IWSD, Deputy Director Mr. Lovemore Mujuru has taken up the post of Acting Executive Director.

Ms. Neseni served for many years as the National Coordinator for Zimbabwe for the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), and more recently she was elected as a member of the WSSCC Steering Committee.

IWSD has been an IRC partner for many years, most recently in the ZimWASH project [2]. In 2009 Noma Neseni wrote an article [3] in IRC’s Source Bulletin about how the decline in Zimbabwe’s sanitation services eventually led to the 2008 cholera outbreak, the deadliest in Africa for 15 years.

[1] Neseni, N, 2012. Financing of WASH in a declining economic environment: financing of WASH for sustainability. LAP Lambert Academic Publishing.  http://washurl.net/dou0ka>

[2] IRC – ZimWASH

[3] Noma Neseni, Sanitation perspectives in the new Zimbabwe. E-Source, May 2009

Source: WSSCC, 30 Aug 2012 ; The Herald / allAfrica.com, 01 Sep 2012 ; IWSD

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2 responses to “Zimbabwean sanitation and human rights advocate Nomathemba Neseni dies

  1. She was a real more of all. Sanitation issues were more at her heart as an organisation here in zambia we will miss her alot

  2. She was a great neighbour friend and coleague at the UZ .Mother to Nigel and Tatenda ,Nelson. Will be missed by all at 92 Baines avenue! Rest in peace Mai Nigel

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