Tag Archives: East Africa

Leveraging Partnerships to Achieve Total Sanitation in East Africa

A 2010 analysis showed that most East African countries have national sanitation policies and plans in place, but that the actual programs often lack coordination. To meet the Millennium Development Goals for sanitation, such programs must combine their efforts to achieve behavior-change outcomes and focus on commonalities, which include an emphasis on learning, demand creation, and capacity building.

These key understandings are among several discussed in a new Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) Learning Note, Partnering on the Road Towards Achieving Total Sanitation in East Africa. The report highlights the objectives and initial outcomes of a learning exchange held in Tanzania, which focused on how governments and agencies can work effectively as partners to achieve sustained sanitation scale up.

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Eastern Africa drought: seven million people in need of WASH services

Seven million people, including over 700,000 refugees are in need of waster, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services according to a United Nations report of 15 July 2011.

The drought affecting Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia and Djibouti is being called the worst in 50 years. UN agencies have asked for US$ 1.6 billion to pay for essential programmes in the Horn of Africa, but have only received half that amount so far.

Water trucking is still needed in the driest areas as natural water points failed to refill sufficiently. Two million people have been given better access to safe drinking water so far in 2011.

Paradoxically, some areas in Ethiopia and Somalia are expected to receive above-normal rainfall in the June to September period. This is likely to increase the risk of flooding and subsequent outbreaks of waterborne diseases.

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2nd Eastern Africa Regional Sanitation Conference starts in Kampala

The second Eastern Africa Regional Sanitation Conference and Learning Forum opened in Kampala, Uganda, 2 March 2010, with calls for a more cohesive effort towards achieving regional and global sanitation targets.

In a key-note speech at the opening of the three-three day conference, Uganda’s Minister of Water and Environment, Hon. Maria Mutagamba, said a large proportion of the population in Africa still faces sanitation challenges only five years to the deadline for meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) targets.

The Conference, which was organised by the African Civil Society Network on Water and Sanitation (ANEW) and its partners under the theme, Tracking Progress on the AfricaSan+5 Action Plan and other International Commitments, will provide a forum for countries within the Eastern Africa region to share progress and experiences on the implementation of the eThekwini declaration, Sharm el Sheikh and the declaration and commitments of the first East Africa Conference.

The eThekwini Action Plan, which was agreed upon during the second African Conference on Sanitation and Hygiene in Durban, South Africa, articulates the critical actions to be further developed, funded and monitored by 2010 in order to put Africa ‘back on track’ to meet the sanitation MDGs.

Noting that only 37 percent of the 800 million people in Africa have access to adequate sanitation, Ms Mutagamba said there is a critical need for sector partners to focus their most critical activities towards addressing the urgent priorities at hand.

“The deadline for meeting the MDGs is fast approaching. The challenge that we face is how to take these innovations and experiences to a scale that is adequate and sustainable in order to respond to the African sanitation crisis,” she said.

Uganda’s Minister of Water and Environment, Hon. Maria Mutagamba. Photo: ANEW

“We need to place local authorities, now primarily responsible for sanitation in many countries in Africa, in the driver’s seat. However, adequate resources need to be transferred, capacity has to be strengthened and awareness has to be raised,” urged Ms Mutagamba.

The Executive Secretary of ANEW, Ms Jamillah Mwanjisi, noted that while the civil society organisations, donors and the various governments have over time come together to map out ways of addressing sanitation challenges, similar effort had not been put in the implementation of these plans.

The Conference has drawn participants from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea and Sudan, and will comprise of state, non-state and donor agencies in the water and sanitation sector.

The conference will produce a regional monitoring report detailing progress and recommendations on action taken and those still required for Eastern Africa countries on the various commitments on sanitation. It will also agree on key recommendations for the next international meetings, especially the African San meeting.

Follow conference updates on Twitter and see photos on Twitpic.

Read the conference documents:

Source: ANEW, 02 Mar 2010

East Africa Regional Conference: Accelerating Access to Sanitation – conference report

The East African Regional Conference ‘Accelerating Access to Sanitation’ attracted more than 190 mostly African water and sanitation specialists from 25 countries to discuss these matters at the start of the International Year of Sanitation. The conference was held in Nairobi, Kenya, from 27 – 28 November, 2007. It was convened by the Kenyan Ministry of Water and Irrigation (MWI) and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and organised jointly by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH and the KfW Development Bank (KfW).

This conference was called to raise awareness of the sanitation challenge, to set a course for significant improvements and to accelerate actions on the ground. The General Assembly of the United Nations has declared 2008 as International Year of Sanitation (IYS). This conference was therefore also the regional launch for IYS 2008.

The conference report includes a set of key messages and recommendations. Hard copies can be requested from Mr. Marcel Swiatek, marcel.swiatek[at]gtz.de
East Africa Regional Conference : Accelerating Access to Sanitation : conference report [1.6 MB]

See also the conference web site for more information and all conference background documents and presentations.