As a follow-up to the 2008 International Year of Sanitation (IYS) there are plans for a virtual scrapbook of IYS activities and a review of sanitation advocacy campaigns commissioned by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The IYS logo has been updated with a bar of soap and the “timeless”slogan, “Sanitation for All”. These are some of the activities that Clarissa Brocklehurst, Chief of Water and Environmental Sanitation at UNICEF and coordinator of UN-Water’s Task Force on Sanitation, mentioned in an interview with UN-Water. During the IYS, the Task Force assumed a leadership role in global advocacy and capacity building.
Several countries have developed specific sanitation policies, as a result of the IYS campaign events, Ms. Brockelhurst said. The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) is preparing the Secretary-General’s Report on the IYS.
“In some countries the campaign succeeded in leveraging more funds for sanitation. For example, in Nepal, the Department of Local Infrastructure Development and Agricultural Roads decided to allocate 20 percent budget of its water supply project for sanitation and the national government has allocated US $660,000 for a stand-alone sanitation programme. In Nigeria, budget allocations in some states and at national level have increased for sanitation and hygiene and the fact that the National Council on Water Resources has made 2009 the National Year of Sanitation, clearly show a commitment to improving sanitation nationwide. Reports we have received from China also indicated that the IYS campaign contributed to an increased budget allocation for rural sanitation.”
“Some country’s reported that the IYS campaigns had helped bring out about institutional changes in how sanitation is addressed at the national level. In Angola, the government has taken steps to establish a new national technical unit for environmental sanitation within the ministry of environment. In Pakistan, a Water and Sanitation Sector Donor Coordination Group and National Working Group on School Sanitation and Hygiene Education have been established.”
“With funding from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), we have commissioned a new project to be carried out by the German Toilet Organization: The My School Loo Contest, which will use comic strips to educate school children about the importance of sanitation.”
UN-Water’s Task Force on Sanitation is supporting implementation of the recommendations of Ministerial Declaration on Water Supply and Sanitation in Small Rural Settlements in the Black Sea Region. The declaration was one of the ouputs of the recent roundtable organised by the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation (UNSGAB).
“The Task Force is also supporting follow up to the other sanitation conferences that took place during IYS, particularly AfricaSan and the eThekwini Declaration.”
Read the full UN-Water interview with Clarissa Brocklehurst or listen below to the audio version.