Tag Archives: Feliciano dos Santos

AMCOW AfricaSan Awards 2010 Winners: Feliciano dos Santos, Takiso Achame and David Kuria

A musician and activist whose songs about using latrines and washing hands are positively influencing the hygiene practices of communities in Mozambique; a widow who has risen through her caste status to lead a campaign against open defecation in her village in Ethiopia; and a toilet entrepreneur whose innovative partnership with local authorities is changing the way public toilets in Kenyan towns are managed, are the top winners of this year’s AMCOW AfricaSan Awards.

Feliciano dos Santos. Photo: © Steven Fisch Photography / The Independent

Musician Feliciano dos Santos was announced winner of the Grassroots Champion Award for dedicating his life and his music to campaigning for better public health through clean water and adequate sanitation. Santos and his Massukos Band have been using music to inspire thousands of villagers in rural Mozambique to curb the spread of disease by adopting good hygiene practices, such as washing hands, boiling drinking water and building latrines.

Takiso Achame, a widowed member of a traditionally discriminated community in the remote village of Shashera in Southern Ethiopia, was picked for the Distinguished Woman Leader in Sanitation for her exemplary local leadership over a communal cause. Even though her community often attracts the least attention from health promoters and local leaders in terms of accessing water supply, sanitation and hygiene services including awareness, Achame has become the self-appointed champion to eliminate open defecation in her village.

David Kuria won the Public Service Award for implementing a partnership model that is delivering safe, clean and affordable sanitation to the urban poor in Kenya. His company, Ecotact, is pioneering a private-public partnership approach with local authorities, and water and sewerage utilities to build public toilet malls in urban centres and informal settlements. By demonstrating the viability of sanitation as a business, David has been able to attract more than US$1.2 Million for the construction of 40 public toilet facilities in 12 municipalities in Kenya.

The top winners were announced by the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) Task Force on Sanitation during the Africa Water Week being held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (November 22-26, 2010).

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CNN – The songs tackling Mozambique’s sanitation woes

(CNN) — In Mozambique, music stars don’t often sing about eternal romance or lovelorn relationships. Crooning lyrics like “Let’s wash our hands for the children to stay healthy, for the uncles to stay healthy, for the mothers to stay healthy, we build latrines,” Mozambican music icon Feliciano dos Santos is using his songs to educate people about the importance of sanitation and hygiene.

With his internationally-known band, Massukos, Santos spreads his life-saving messages to the most far-flung areas of Mozambique where scores of people still struggle due to lack of clean water and waste management systems.

“People sing the song because they like the sound and the rhythm but also because they know the message that we are passing and what we want to do,” dos Santos told CNN.

Link to video/complete article

In Mozambique, Singing a Song of Sanitation and Hoping to Change Habits

FELICIANO DOS SANTOS is one of southern Africa’s leading musicians, and while he sings beautifully about the usual things – love and longing and sorrow – he is better known in the highland villages near here for catchy lyrics of a more peculiar sort, songs about going to the bathroom and washing your hands when you are done.

In one fetching tune, sung in the tribal language of Nyanja, he exhorts people to boil water “so we can prevent diarrheal diseases.” In another, this one a pulsating rumba, he declares that “sanitation can change your life.”

Feliciano dos Santos/PBS

Feliciano dos Santos/PBS

[…] Though his band, Massukos, has toured in Europe and appeared before crowds in the thousands, he spends most of his time running a small charity called Estamos (“We are”) in his native Niassa, an isolated backwater near the Tanzanian border and among the poorest of Mozambique’s 11 provinces. The organization’s main goals are clean water and safe sanitation. […] Estamos has more than 30 employees and an annual budget of nearly $1 million.

[…] In April [2008], Mr. dos Santos was one of seven grass-roots activists to win a $150,000 Goldman Environmental Prize, awards given annually in San Francisco. He already has spent some of the cash on latrines.

See also : PBS web page “Mozambique: Guitar Hero” page which includes a music and a documentary video on Feliciano dos Santos

Source: Barry Bearak, New York Times, 24 Oct 2008

See below a Hesperian Foudation video featuring Feliciano dos Santos