Tag Archives: AfricaSan

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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Registration open for AfricaSan 4

AfricaSan web logo

AfricaSan 4 is being held on October 8-10 2014 in Dakar, Senegal. The website is now up and running and registration is open: www.africasan.com

AfricaSan 4 continues the AfricaSan tradition, building on approaches that have worked. It is essentially a political meeting seeking to raise the priority of sanitation amongst the new generation of san leaders. The timing is AfricaSan 4 is fortuitous both as the last AfricaSan meeting to assess progress against the MDGs; as well as being well-positioned to build momentum on sanitation and hygiene for the SDGs.

The theme of AfricaSan 4 “Making Sanitation for All a Reality in Africa” responds to the visionary ideals of a new generation of Africa’s sanitation ministers. It sets the bar high so that the highly successful eThekwini commitment process can consider a new set of targets and indicators to help accelerate progress towards universal coverage.

The AfricaSan 4 theme not only concerns itself with sanitation access. It seeks to address the full sanitation value chain (containment, emptying, transport, treatment, disposal and reuse). Moreover it also focuses on a full sanitation ladder of access, including making Africa open-defecation free. By sanitation is also implied hygiene: AfricaSan 4 will host a specific discussion on how to accelerate good hygiene behaviour change.

AfricaSan 4 has also had a strong regional and country process leading up to the Dakar meeting. Led by the chair of AMCOW’s AfricaSan Task Force Subcommittee, WSP, countries have engaged in three substantial sub-regional meetings in which countries have been involved in a peer-to-peer exchange on progress and sector bottlenecks in country action plans. Progress on country action plans and against the eThekwini commitments have been mapped and the results will be presented at AfricaSan 4. A feature of this preparatory process was the conscious effort to align the different sanitation sector monitoring processes in Africa.

Get in engaged with this important opportunity for sanitation in Africa, share this post with your colleagues who may be interested and come to Dakar!

Piers CrossBest wishes,

Piers Cross
AMCOW Lead Advisor on AfricaSan

Recommendations on the Strategy and Road Map for the Implementation of the eThikweni Declaration

The Executive Committee of the African Ministers’ Council Water (AMCOW) met from 24-28 November 2008 at the UN Office in Nairobi, Kenya, under the theme “Carrying forward the Sharm El Sheikh Declaration and Commitments on Water and Sanitation (adopted by the African Union Summit, Egypt, June 2008).”

The meetings included that of the AfricaSan Taskforce on the eThekwini Declaration on 26 November 2008.

The AfricaSan Taskforce came up with the following recommendations:

  • To develop a work program for the implementation of the AfricaSan follow-up activities (Awards, communication and knowledge, M&E, monitoring commitments implementation, country action plans, International Task Force meeting, and preparation of the AfricaSan 03) and a funding proposal for the activities implementation, including a staffing plan by the end of February 2009
  • To hold an AfricaSan Awards Ceremony in 2009 back-to back with an event (AMCOW meeting, 2nd African Water Week), etc.)
  • To assist countries develop national AfricaSan action plan and conduct a peer review mechanism to enhance cross learning and improve sanitation profile
  • To open an AfricaSan window within the AMCOW web site
  • To report to AMCOW every 6 months on the implementation of the eThekwini commitments implementation using the proposed indicators and with the support of the AMCOW TAC members
  • To work with relevant initiatives on M&E (JMP, GF4A, GLAAS, etc) and countries to include sanitation and hygiene in all M&E activities and programs
  • To hold every quarter a VC meeting of the AfricaSan International Task Force and every 6 months a face-to-face meeting
  • To develop a concept note for AfricaSan 03 by the end the first quarter of 2009

Furthermore, there was two general AMCOW recommendations on sanitation:

  • With regard to the eThekwini Declaration, country level implementation of the Declaration should be the subject of systematic follow-up;
  • WSP [Water and Sanitation Program] to work with AMCOW Secretariat to finalize its communication strategy, put together a team to decide on criteria and promote nominations, and to develop mechanisms to “raise the bar” on expectations with regard to sanitation development.

Read the full Summary of recommendations of the meeting

Source: IISD Linkages – Executive Committee and Technical Advisory Committee of the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW)

South Africa – On track to flush out bucket system

Durban – South Africa has almost met the Millennium Development Goal of halving the number of people who do not have proper sanitation, but there are still challenges to overcome, says Water Affairs and Forestry Minister Lindiwe Hendricks.

“Remarkable achievements have been attained in our bucket eradication programme.

“Although not all the buckets have been removed by the end of last year, we came very close and should see those that do remain removed in the next few weeks.”

Speaking in Durban at the second AfricaSan conference on Sanitation and Hygiene on Monday, where representatives from more than 40 African countries gathered, the minister highlighted that where many challenges in dealing with the sanitation needs of the people of South Africa.

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