WASH champions celebrated at AfricaSan Awards

Originally posted on wsscc:

Photo: Alma Felic/WSSCC Photo: Alma Felic/WSSCC

 

By Okechukwu Umelo

For a minute, I thought I was attending the Oscars or Grammys. The 2015 AfricaSan awards, held at the King Fahd Palace in Dakar on 26 May, was a night of glitz and glamour. A red carpet was rolled out to welcome participants who enjoyed a gala dinner and vibrant music and theater performances from local artists.

Photo: Alma Felic/WSSCC Photo: Alma Felic/WSSCC

But all the fanfare was for a very worthy cause: to celebrate water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) leaders who have made major strides and broken down barriers in WASH across Africa.

And the winners are:

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Review of eThekwini commitments at AfricaSan 4: Progress still slow, new commitments expected

Originally posted on wsscc:

Photo: Javier Acebal/WSSCC Photo: Javier Acebal/WSSCC

By Alain Tossounon

Seven years after the commitments made in eThekwini, The African world is meeting in Senegal for the 4th Conference on Sanitation and Hygiene. The meeting in Dakar could be the opportunity for yet another new start. However, the review of the commitments made in Kigali, Rwanda, shows that, although some countries have made significant efforts, others are still lagging behind. A spurt of effort is now needed to ensure universal access to sanitation in all countries on the continent.

In 2008, 45 African countries took up the challenge of prioritizing sanitation to achieve the MDGs. Since then, 42 countries have actually pursued the process of monitoring progress towards fulfilling the commitments made at eThekwini, and over 30 have produced action plans.

Photo: Javier Acebal/WSSCC Mansour Faye, Minister of Water and Sanitation in Senegal, during the opening ceremony of AfricaSan 4. Photo: Javier Acebal/WSSCC

Seven years on, the picture…

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Proceedings of the Menstrual Hygiene Management in Schools Virtual Conference 2014

WASH in Schools Empowers Girls’ Education: Proceedings of the Menstrual Hygiene Management in Schools Virtual Conference 2014. United Nations Children’s Fund and Columbia University, New York, 2015.

Authors: Sommer, Marni, Emily Cherenack, Sarah Blake, Murat Sahin and Lizette Burgers.

This publication brings together the key elements of the 16 presentations in a case study format. Each case study outlines the context in which the programme or research is being undertaken, the methods or approaches used, the accomplishments realized and challenges faced. Each case study also provides a number of recommendations to help guide future work.

The virtual conference also provided an opportunity to engage in a visioning exercise during which the participants collectively brainstormed and ranked a list of priority action items to be accomplished by 2024.

The 2015 virtual conference will showcase findings from formative research on MHM in WinS that is underway in a variety of countries.

From eThekwini to Ngor: A bumpy road for sanitation

Originally posted on wsscc:

Photo: Javier Acebal/WSSCC Photo: Javier Acebal/WSSCC

By Raphael Mweninguwe in Dakar, Senegal

The road from eThekwini, in South Africa, to Ngor, in Senegal, has been a very rough and bumpy one in as far as improving access to billions of people in Africa is concerned, experts admit.

The eThekwini Declaration was launched in 2008, when African Ministers and experts met to commit themselves to improving the sanitation and hygiene in Africa. Since then little progress has been done.

During the Opening Plenary of the 4th African Conference on Sanitation and Hygiene on Tuesday, Senegalese President Macky Sall said that the road from eThekwini has not been in vain. He pointed out that some achievements have been made, but the road remains bumpy.

President Sall also explained that “as Africa now changes its road map from eThekwini to Ngor, I dont think we will miss another opportunity to have our people fail…

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Engaging communities in Matam, Senegal

Originally posted on wsscc:

By Alma Felic and Okechukwu Umelo

Last week, the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) family, including Global Sanitation Fund (GSF) programme managers and WSSCC National Coordinators, visited rural communities in the region of Matam, Senegal. It was an unprecedented opportunity to engage with communities and hear about their successes and challenges related to water, sanitation and hygiene. Browse through the photos and captions below to learn more.

Achieving ODF status

Photo: Okechukwu Umelo/WSSCC Photo: Okechukwu Umelo/WSSCC

Photo: Okechukwu Umelo/WSSCC Photo: Okechukwu Umelo/WSSCC

The village of Belly Thiowi became open-defecation free (ODF) thanks to efforts led by communities and supported by GSF implementing agencies through behavior change approaches. The first photo shows the situation prior to reaching ODF status – multiple defecation zones are drawn in red between houses and trees. The second photo shows the community after achieving ODF status, with no visible open defecation zones.

Young members of the community are activated to…

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“In this room, we have the answers.” – WSSCC/GSF family gathers for global learning and sharing event

Originally posted on wsscc:

Photo: Okechukwu Umelo/WSSCC Photo: Okechukwu Umelo/WSSCC

By Okechukwu Umelo

“The discussion between you can fertilize thinking,” said Chris Williams, Executive Director of the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) at the Global Sanitation Fund (GSF) learning and sharing event in Dakar, Senegal. “In this room, we have the answers,” he continued.

Photo: Alma Felic/WSSCC

The event was held as part of various preparation activities for the fourth AfricaSan conference in Dakar. It gathered GSF programme managers and teams from across the globe, as well as WSSCC national coordinators, implementation partners and sanitation and hygiene specialists within the GSF network, to discuss cross-cutting opportunities and challenges related to implementing GSF programmes.

In his address, Mr. Williams stated:

“How can we support countries to get to that next level? Pure exchanges and technological platforms are key. We have a technological challenge as well as a structural challenge to overcome, so that information is available…

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Lifebuoy champions need for handwashing with soap public private partnerships at AfricaSan 4 to improve newborn survival

Photo credit: Lifebuoy/Unilever  #HelpaChildReach5

Photo credit: Lifebuoy/Unilever #HelpaChildReach5

Dakar, Senegal 25th May – Unilever, through health soap brand Lifebuoy is calling on African leaders gathering in Senegal this week for AfricaSan – the continent’s pre-eminent sanitation and hygiene conference – to recognise the role of public private partnerships in addressing newborn and child health. The move comes as Lifebuoy announces the renewal of its partnership with USAID and the expansion of newborn hygiene programmes across Kenya following a successful four-year partnership. Lifebuoy aims to reach 71 million across Africa by 2020 as part of its behaviour change programme which has engaged 257 million people in 24 countries, since 2010.

In its mission to reach 1 billion people with its lifesaving message of handwashing with soap, Lifebuoy joined forces with USAID and its Maternal and Child Survival Programme (MCSP), to create a dedicated newborn programme to make handwashing with soap commonplace among mothers. Worldwide, 40% of under-5 deaths occur in the newborn period and handwashing with soap is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce preventable diseases like diarrhoea and pneumonia, the main causes of child mortality.

The programme will combine Lifebuoy’s marketing and consumer expertise and proven handwashing behaviour change methodology, with MCSP’s ability to deploy programmes on a large scale, allowing the partnership to reach millions of new mothers. The collaboration proves the vital role that public private partnerships play in public health interventions in Africa and beyond.

“Most newborn deaths due to infection could be averted through simple preventive measures, such as improving hygiene and ensuring curative care is available to sick children.   Unilever and USAID renew our commitment to scale up newborn hygiene programs together.  A simple hygiene message – handwashing with soap – can help save the lives of babies,” said Katie Taylor, Deputy Child and Maternal Survival Coordinator at the U.S. Agency for International Development. “With Unilever and Lifebuoy, we are combining our expertise to achieve real change for the mothers and children in Africa – so every child in Africa can live beyond their fifth birthday.”

Senegalese politician and award-winning singer Youssou N’Dour has pledged his support to Lifebuoy’s Help A Child Reach 5 campaign to highlight the importance of hygiene in reducing child mortality, particularly in Africa. He is described as one of the world’s greatest singers and has advocated for children in Africa and abroad. “50% of the world’s under-5 deaths happens in Africa, with 1 in every 10 children born dying before their 5th birthday,” said N’Dour. “The simple act of handwashing with soap can save children’s lives and should play a key part in the post-2015 development agenda. I am calling on policymakers and governments in Africa to help make this happen by expanding handwashing education programmes.”

The Fourth Regional Conference on Sanitation and Hygiene in Africa (AfricaSan 4) is focusing on the theme: Making Sanitation for All a Reality in Africa.  With the launch of the United Nations’ new Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) in September, Lifebuoy is raising awareness of the need to track handwashing facilities and behaviours in the water and sanitation goal (SDG 6). How individual countries choose to implement the SDGs and build the targets and indicators into their own national plans will determine their success and Lifebuoy is working to ensure its message “Handwashing with soap saves lives” is heard at the highest levels in Africa.

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