Category Archives: Africa

Olivia Onyemaobi, the Nigerian social entrepreneur improving menstrual hygiene management education in her country

Olivia Onyemaobi, the Nigerian social entrepreneur improving menstrual hygiene management education in her country. Lionesses of Africa, March 1, 2018.

Personal experiences and the desire to make a difference in the lives of others are often the two key drivers of social entrepreneurs when it comes to starting up their businesses. For Nigerian social entrepreneur, Olivia Onyemaobi, founder of Pad-Up Creations, her inspiration came from the need to help women and girls to manage their menstrual hygiene and fulfill their potential.


Olivia Onyemaobi, founder of Pad-Up Creations (Nigeria)

What does your company do?

We are a social enterprise in Nigeria manufacturing affordable and eco-friendly washable/reusable sanitary pads to help keep girls in schools during their menstrual cycle and also improve women’s economic involvement in society. We also organize menstrual hygiene management and reproductive health education in schools and women groups.

Read the complete article.

New call for tenders – WSUP

Strengthening public finance for urban sanitation services in Mozambique

It is estimated that poor sanitation costs Maputo’s residents over US$ 7.4 million annually as a result of access time lost, premature deaths, productivity losses due to sickness, and health care costs. The majority of the population relies on on-site sanitation, 28% on septic tanks, and 28% on improved latrines. Many of these systems are emptied by mechanical and manual private operators paid for by households themselves, the total value of which is unknown but thought to be significant. The remainder of the population, over 30%, have access to a non-improved latrine. It is this latter section of population that is most negatively and disproportionally impacted by poor sanitation.

In December 2016, a new sanitation surcharge was approved by CMM (Municipal Council of Maputo), with plans for implementation in 2017. WSUP intends to support CMM in the implementation of the surcharge and introduction of eligible sanitation services. CRA (Conselho de Regulação de Águas, the national water and sanitation regulator) and WSUP intend to undertake a 6 month research project to capture learning from the implementation of previous activities in Maputo, and the replication by CRA in Beira and Quelimane. This includes a documentation of the process, an assessment of the sanitation surcharge, regulatory framework agreement and compliance with the agreement (transfers and investments).

Consultancy objective:
The overall objective of this consultancy is to strengthen CRA’s capacity to more effectively and equitably mobilise public finance into urban sanitation services in Mozambique. More specifically, the objectives are:

1. adapt tools and strengthen capacity to model financial cost of delivering sanitation services in urban centres of Mozambique, and
2. strengthen CRA’s regulatory mechanisms, tools and oversight to ensure more effective and equitable sanitation service delivery in Mozambique.

Bids due: Before 23:59 (GMT +2) on 22nd March 2018
Location: Desk and Mozambique
Start date of consultancy: 30th March 2018
End date of consultancy: 18th September 2018

More information and details of how to apply can be accessed on the WSUP website (‘Current research calls’).

Global Waters Radio: Jacky Ralaiarivony on Water and Sanitation in Madagascar

Global Waters Radio: Jacky Ralaiarivony on Water and Sanitation in Madagascar. Global Waters, January 2018.

“I am really optimistic….I can tell you, other countries, they come here to learn more about how Madagascar is implementing these community-led total sanitation activities.”

For the past eight years, Jacky Ralaiarivony has served as USAID/Madagascar’s water and sanitation program specialist. During that time, he has helped expand the role that public-private partnerships play in the island’s capacity-building efforts to improve water supply, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), and has also been closely involved with Madagascar’s successful community-led total sanitation (CLTS) campaign, which continues to take root across rural districts and has become an internationally recognized success.


A local mason examines a SanPlat latrine slab in Amboditafara, Madagascar. Photo credit: Water CKM Project

Jacky recently spoke with Global Waters Radio from the USAID/Madagascar office in Antananarivo about the reasons behind CLTS’ success on the island, the importance of monitoring and evaluation in strengthening the mission’s WASH programming, and prospects for Madagascar fully eliminating open defecation in the years ahead.

Read the complete article/listen to the podcast.

The future is urban, the future is African (and implications for sanitation)

The future is urban, the future is African (and implications for sanitation). WASH Economics, January 9, 2018.

UNPD brought out their 2017 update to World Population Prospects (WPP) last summer. One striking graph from that got me digging into the data into the 2014 World Urbanisation Prospects (WUP) data.

This may seem slightly off-topic for a WASH economics blog, but understanding population trends is crucial in economics.

For costing purposes, you’ll often find yourself multiplying a per household or per person unit cost, by a number of households or people. future-is-african

That’s true whether you’re estimating the costs of reaching the SDGs at the global level, carrying out strategic financial planning at the  national level, or understanding how to finance a sanitation master plan at the city level.

So, the future is African. This becomes obvious, when looking at the figure below from WPP 2017. A lot can happen between now and 2100, but the trend for the African continent is striking. Even at 2050 (not that far away, scarily) the absolute numbers are striking, with Africa seeing a ~150% increase on its 2010 total population.

Read the complete article.

Quiet Heroes in the Fight against Ebola – Global Waters

Quiet Heroes in the Fight against Ebola. Global Waters, January 3, 2018.

While the Ebola crisis was at its peak in Liberia, a small group of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) entrepreneurs helped in a significant way by repairing hand pumps in clinics and other health facilities in some of the country’s hardest-hit counties.

By restoring access to water — not only for drinking, but also for infection prevention and control — these WASH entrepreneurs ensured that facilities had the resources they needed to promote handwashing and safe hygiene practices that could help combat the spread of the disease.


Newly graduated WASH entrepreneurs prepare to deploy to their target communities. Photo credit: Global Communities Liberia

Liberia’s Bong, Lofa, and Nimba counties were some of the areas most affected during the Ebola crisis. The communities in these counties are largely rural and hard to reach. Roads and infrastructure are poor and government services are limited.

In these rural communities access to water and sanitation facilities are extreme challenges. According to the latest data from the WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, nearly 80 percent of rural Liberians do not have adequate sanitation facilities. At the same time, 47 percent of rural residents do not have safe drinking water sources.

Read the complete article.

BBC News – Menstruating girls banned from crossing Ghana river

Menstruating girls banned from crossing Ghana river. BBC News, January 11, 2018.

Ghanaian schoolgirls have been banned from crossing a river while they are menstruating – and on Tuesdays.


Girls living near Kyekyewerein (not pictured) are affected by the ban

The ban, apparently given by a local river god, has outraged children’s activists, especially as girls must cross the river to reach school.

It means girls in the Upper Denkyira East district, in the Central Region, could miss out on their education.

Sub-Saharan Africa is already struggling to keep girls in school during their periods.

The UN’s scientific and education organisation, Unesco, estimates one in 10 girls in the region does not attend school because they are menstruating, while a World Bank report notes that 11.5m Ghanaian women lack the appropriate hygiene and sanitation management facilities needed.

Read the complete article.

San-Dem: Formative Research in Zambia: Briefing Note – SHARE

San-Dem: Formative Research in Zambia: Briefing Note. SHARE, November 2017.

Conclusions: Shared sanitation in Bauleni compound and possibly other similar settings present challenges for coordinating, cleaning and ensuring proper use of toilets by plot members. Share_Logo_MAIN_STRAP_RGB

Improvements are dependent on landlords whose primary motives for making these improvements are financial, social, and familial.

Properly designed demand-side interventions may be able to increase peri-urban sanitation quality in a cost-effective way.

Recommendations for the intervention

  • Target landlords as the primary target audience because they are responsible and financially capable of making toilet improvements.
  • Aim towards strengthening social cohesion on plots, as toilets are maintained as a shared resource
  • Primarily use the status and nurture motives, which scored highest, while also emphasizing justice and disgust to promote social cohesion and cleanliness
  • Encourage the use of different financial investment schemes by landlords to encourage savings for deliberate, planned toilet improvements