Posts tagged ‘sanitation collaborative council’

August 22, 2012

Ethiopia Receives New Boost of Investment in Sanitation and Hygiene

Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC)
Water Journalists Africa Network
August 22, 2012

Ethiopia will receive an additional boost from the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) which officially announced a US$ 5 million investment through its Global Sanitation Fund (GSF) to help the government of Ethiopia achieve its Universal Access Plan in Sanitation and Hygiene.

The programme announced by WSSCC is part of the country’s wider national development vision, in which it pledges to “pave the path for all Ethiopians to have access to basic sanitation by 2015”. The Sanitation and Hygiene Improvement Programme was launched today at a high profile event in the presence of senior dignitaries, decision makers and civil society representatives, in the Ethiopian capital – Addis Ababa.

Progress made over the past decade especially on improving access to water sources, signals the political traction that the Ethiopian government and its partners have given to the development of the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) sector – which plays a critical role in improving the quality of life of its citizens. From 2005 to 2008, access to potable water in rural areas increased from 35 percent to 52 percent. However, despite positive trends in access to improved water sources, millions of Ethiopians continue to experience difficulties in accessing clean and safe water and sanitation facilities.

Global Sanitation Fund Logo

Enshrined within the country’s Growth and Transformation Program (GTD), the Government has in the past decade increasingly recognized the hampering effects of poor sanitation and hygiene on its wider development efforts – such as community health, eradication of poverty and economic advancement. Seeking to increase the financial investment in the sector, the GSF-funded programme will support the Government’s existing national Health Extension Program (HEP) to help address health issues linked to sanitation and hygiene.

In total, the programme will help 1.7 million people to gain use of improved toilets over the next five years, and 3.2 million people will be living in open defecation free environments.

“The GSF is delighted by the opportunity to support the Ethiopian government vision of an open defecation free country by 2015. This programme will need to pay close attention to gender, physical accessibility issues due to age, illness, accident or disability, as well as geographically or otherwise excluded groups in order to ensure that no one is left unserved in GSF programme areas”, said Archana Patkar, head of the WSSCC delegation in Addis Ababa.

The three-year programme worth US$ 5 million aims to strengthen institutional capacity in forty woredas to increase access to and use of sanitation facilities. With an initial focus on four regions namely Tigray, Amhara, Oromia and Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s region (SNNPR).

As part of the WSSCC, the Global Sanitation Fund has been established to boost expenditure on sanitation and hygiene in countries that meet strict criteria based on their specific needs and have an existing national sanitation policy and programme which requires further investment.

The GSF is supported by the Governments of Australia, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. In principle and in practice, the GSF respects national leadership, targets poor and unserved communities and expands coverage. The GSF is already actively working in Uganda, Madagascar,Senegal, Cambodia, Tanzania, Malawi, India and Nepal.

August 22, 2012

Six Journalists Win Prestigious Media Awards Geared Towards Improving Reporting On Water, Sanitation

Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC)
Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI)
August 21st, 2012

Six journalists have been named as winners of the “WASH Media Awards” competition for their excellence in reporting on water, sanitation and hygiene-related (WASH) issues.

The journalists and their winning entries are:
• Alain Tossounon (Benin): “Access to safe water in the town of Ava-Sô, A perilous conquest for survival.” (Accès à l’eau potable dans la commune de Sô-Ava, Une conquête périlleuse pour la survie.)
• Ngala Killian Chimtom (Cameroon): “The Taps Have Run Dry”
• Berta Tilmantaite (Lithuania): “The River Runs Back”
• Francis Odupute (Nigeria): “The Strategists”
• Francesca de Châtel (Belgium): “Water Around the Mediterranean”
• Ketan Trivedi (India): “Alchemy of Earning Money through Wastes and Making a Village Clean, Hygienic and Lovely”

The winners will receive their awards during a ceremony, on 31 August 2012 at the World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden. During the World Water Week, the journalists will share their experiences on reporting WASH issues with leading water, sanitation, environment and development experts reporting during different session throughout the week.

Media in general and journalists in particular are key partners for sanitation, hygiene and water sector professionals in their awareness raising, advocacy and behaviour change work. Journalists play a central role in the highlighting of water and gender related issues and positioning of women as environmental leaders. They greatly contribute to bringing in the spotlight the too often neglected issues of the necessity of toilets and hand washing for a dignified, safe and healthy life for billions of people. The WASH Media Awards, organized by SIWI and WSSCC, two leading sector organizations, take a clear stand that it is not only necessary, but vital.

SIWI’s Acting Executive Director, Mr. Per Bertilsson, highlighted the importance of the WASH Awards in recognizing and promoting professional journalistic ingenuity in covering WASH stories.

“The winning entries for the 2011-2012 WASH Media Awards reflect an excellent example of how journalists could creatively bring underreported stories to the surface. These stories will inspire many in our sector to engage in new interventions, as they offer new perspectives on solving issues related to water supply, sanitation and hygiene,” he said. The winners will be able to share their stories at three different sessions during the 2012 World Water Week, which takes place between the 26th and 31st of August, 2012.

The bi-annual WASH Media Awards competition is sponsored by the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) and the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI). More than 150 entries from 40 countries were evaluated by a jury chaired by: Mr. Mark Tran, a notable international correspondent for The Guardian, UK. The jury included Mrs. Faz da Hall, Executive Producer Channel Africa, SABC, South Africa, Mr. Jon Sawyer, Executive Director, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, USA. Mr. Olivier Nyirubugara, Senior Trainer Voices of Africa Media Foundation, Rwanda/Netherlands and Ms. Vinaya Deshpande, The Hindu, India. The jury praised this year’s entries for their journalistic excellence, investigative ability, and originality.

June 6, 2012

Tanzania: WSSCC Offers 5M USD to Tanzania for Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion

June 06, 2012

The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) has officially announced its support for a Sanitation and Hygiene programme investing US$ 5,000,000 from its Global Sanitation Fund (GSF) to help more communities in Tanzania increase access to and attain improved sanitation.

Known as the Usafi wa Mazingira Tanzani (UMATA) in Kiswahili, the programme announced by WSSCC is part of the country’s broader National Sanitation Programme, also unveiled by the Government at the national World Environment Day celebrations.

The GSF funded programme was announced at a high profile event hosted by President of the United Republic Of Tanzania, Dr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete in the presence of senior dignitaries, decision makers and civil society representatives, in the central area of Dodoma – where the programme will commence.

Global Sanitation Fund logo

Unlike in neighbouring countries, basic sanitation coverage in Tanzania is relatively good, as many people have latrines. However many latrines are either unused or unhygienic, as highlighted by a recent baseline district data which revealed that only 28 % of the rural population have access to improved sanitation and less than 25% of the total population is estimated to have a designated place for hand-washing with soap.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 70% of diseases in Tanzania are water related and it is estimated that these cost Tanzania close to US$ 600 million annually. As such the case for proper sanitation and hygiene as an effective preventative intervention is strong and has gained political traction recently.

Enshrined within the country’s development Vision 2025, the Government has increasingly recognized the hampering effects of poor sanitation and hygiene on its wider development efforts – such as eradication of poverty and economic advancement.

It therefore pledged to provide improved sanitation to 95% of its population by 2025. As part of the solution, the GSF-funded programme is supporting the Government in its landmark sanitation initiative “Go to Zero”. “The tide is really turning in favour of sanitation and hygiene,” said Mark Willis, Programme Manager for WSSCC’s Global Sanitation Fund. “The funds we are providing will mean that another 0.8 million Tanzanians will have better sanitation by 2015.”

The five-year UMATA programme worth US$ 5,000,000 aims to increase access and use of improved sanitation facilities and seeks to positively change behaviours related to sanitation and hygiene on a wide scale for communities. With an initial focus on three districts namely Bahi, Chamwino and Kongwa, the programme builds upon the National Sanitation Programme and existing country strategies.

It also aims to instigate significant change through strengthening existing national knowledge, skills and systems and the development of a National Information Education and Communications (IEC) strategy.

At a practical level, a pool of well-trained national facilitators will be deployed across the country to roll out sanitation and hygiene initiatives in Tanzania. The GSF-funded UMATA programme will contribute to poverty reduction through reducing healthcare expenses, increasing productivity, and improving attendance in schools amongst other benefits.

April 21, 2012

High Level Meeting Sets Course Towards Water and Sanitation for All

Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC)
April 20th, 2012

Government ministers from almost 40 developing countries met with UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake, UK International Development Secretary of State Andrew Mitchell, Chair of the United Nations Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation HRH the Prince of Orange, and major donors and water and sanitation sector organizations, to discuss speeding up global access to water and sanitation yesterday

The April 20 Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) High Level Meeting came ahead of the World Bank’s Spring Meetings this week.

One of pictures that were exhibited during the 2012 World Water Forum in Marseille France showing Women meditating in water.

It brought together the SWA Partnership of donors and agencies with 69 ministers responsible for finance, sanitation and hygiene portfolios.

The meeting was the second of its kind, and came against the backdrop of an announcement in March from UNICEF and the World Health Organization that the world had met the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target for improved drinking water sources, but that many still lack safe water, and that the target for improved sanitation is lagging far behind and will not be met at current rates of progress.

“Forty years ago exactly, in a triumph of science, engineering, and technology, Apollo 16 landed on the moon. It was the fifth mission to do so,” Lake says, “yet today, 1.1 billion people still practice open defecation because they lack the most basic sanitation facilities.” He continues: “If, two generations ago, we landed men on the moon, we can and we must afford people here on earth their most basic needs.”

His Excellency John Agyekum Kufuor, former president of Ghana and newly appointed chair of the SWA partnership, emphasizes the need for governments to act urgently.

“It is time to focus our energies on neglected areas and neglected people. The dream of universal access to sanitation and water is within our reach, but a tremendous increase in political will, adequate resources and coordinated efforts is required to get us there,” Kufuor says.

The High Level Meeting was moderated by Ambassdor Jan Eliasson, who has recently been named by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as the United Nations’ fourth Deputy Secretary-General. Currently Chair of WaterAid Sweden, Eliasson is a member of the UN Secretary-General’s Advocates Group for the Achievement of the MDGs. He notes that sanitation and hygiene are now being recognized as a cornerstone of development, security and well-being, and key to the welfare of the citizens of the world.

Eliasson says, the Minister, “are mindful of the economic value of sanitation and water to developing economies, but also of the human value.” “They have in mind the children who must be protected from illness, the boys and girls who must go to school, the women who must be freed from back-breaking labor. I know that the world is watching us – and I think those people are applauding.”

One of pictures that were exhibited during the 2012 World Water Forum in Marseille France showing children bathing.

According to UNICEF, at least 2.5 billion cases of diarrhea occur in children under five years of age every year, and an estimated 3,000 children die from it daily. The World Bank says huge savings in health care costs and gains in productive days can be realized by improving access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene and could amount to over 7% of gross domestic product, depending on the country. The economic gains to be made from investing in sanitation and water are estimated at US $170 billion per year. If everyone had access to adequate sanitation and water services, the world`s health sectors would save around $15 billion every year.

Organizers were hoping to build on the success of the first High Level Meeting in 2010, also convened by UNICEF at the World Bank, which led to increased focus and commitments from countries and donors. The 2012 meeting was greatly expanded, with 40 countries taking part, up from 18 in 2010. Of those present in 2010, nine countries have confirmed that they are meeting their commitments of increased budget allocations; and seven of the 13 donors present in 2010 have met or exceeded the targets they set for funding. Countries have also reported improved coordination and accountability among different institutions and almost half the donors have increased alignment with national planning processes.

November 16, 2011

Former President John Agyekum Kufuor to chair the Sanitation and Water for All partnership

Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), Geneva
November 16, 2011

His Excellency John Agyekum Kufuor, former President of Ghana (2001-2009) and former Chairperson of the African Union (2007–2008), will be the first high-level Chair of the Sanitation and Water for All partnership.

Kufuor is a passionate global advocate for leadership, governance and development. He is widely regarded for his African and international statesmanship, and his contributions have been recognized through awards such as the 2011 World Food Prize.

John Agyekum Kufuor, former President of Ghana

In accepting the position, former President Kufuor said: “The dream of sanitation and water for every person is within reach, but it will take a great deal of political will, adequate resources, and coordinated efforts. I am committed to making this happen, because I am not content to live in a world where 2.6 billion people lack access to a decent toilet and 900 million people do not have clean water to drink.”

Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) is an alliance of governments, donors, civil society organizations, development partners and water and sanitation agencies.

It is working to increase funding, improve the efficiency of resource use and strengthen the evidence base for the water supply and sanitation sector. The partnership convenes a biennial High Level Meeting to raise political awareness, supports countries in their efforts to develop action-oriented plans and works with UN-WATER and WHO to produce the Global Analysis and Assessment of Drinking Water and Sanitation (GLAAS) report.

Kufuor will chair the next SWA High Level Meeting at the World Bank in Washington, DC, on 20 April 2012. The meeting will bring together Finance Ministers and Water Ministers from developing countries, along with their counterparts from donor countries and sector experts. It will focus on the significant economic gains that can be made from investing in sanitation and water and the costs of failing to invest.

“Former President Kufuor has long been a campaigner for better access to water and sanitation.” said Darren Saywell, SWA Vice-Chair and WASH/CLTS Director at Plan International USA. “His leadership will help bring greater political attention to this neglected development issue”.

Since leaving office, former President Kufuor has joined by invitation the global elite Club of Madrid of former world leaders; assumed the presidency of the Italian development organisation, Alliance for Africa, working in health and education sectors on the continent; assumed the Chair of the Governing Council of Interpeace, a UN-supported Geneva-based alliance organisation for peace operating in 17 countries around the world. He has also been serving as World Food Programme Ambassador of the UN Against Hunger and engaged in field work in rural Kenya and Ethiopia advocating modern farming practices and food security policies.

November 12, 2011

Asia: For South Asians, sanitation means ‘dignity’ and ‘cleanliness’

This is a special report from South Asia WASH Media Forum, our sister network of Journalists in South Asia who report on WASH issues.

Amar Guriro
November 12, 2011

KARACHI – For the people of South Asia, sanitation means “dignity” and “cleanliness”, said a report released on by WaterAid together with the Freshwater Action Network South Asia (FANSA) and the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC).

The report is titled “South Asian people’s perspective on sanitation”. The report – put together from interviews conducted in South Asian countries, focus group discussions held with underprivileged communities and social groups across Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka – aims to bring the people behind the crude statistics into the sanitation debate.

Makeshift houses in Dharavi, the real Mumbai slum from 'Slumdog Millionaire', often described as the largest slum in Asia.

Talking about the report, WaterAid’s Mustafa Talpur said sanitation has never been on the agenda of SAARC in 16 summits over the span of 25 years. He said, “The Millennium Development Goal target for sanitation to be achieved by 2015 rests with countries in South Asia.

If South Asia makes progress on sanitation, then the world will make progress.” In South Asia, promising economic growth is countered with poor human development, poverty and disease, with almost half the region’s population without improved sanitation and over 700 million people forced to defecate in the open.

FANSA’s Ramisetty Muraili said, “The report clearly indicates that people want to live a life of dignity and health, but are frustrated by lack of effective support and failure of poorly planned and implemented projects, whereas some communities are reluctant to adopt safe hygiene practices because of sociological and cultural barriers and extreme poverty.”

Moreover, the collective voice of the people also associates sanitation with notions of happiness, pride, safety, health and education. The study appeals to policymakers to revamp institutional mechanisms that invite community participation in sanitation projects.

Above all, the study calls for greater accountability and transparency measures and a focus on human-centred development, targeting the below-poverty communities in India and the hardcore-poor of Bangladesh and Nepal.

WSSCC’s Archana Patkar said, “SAARC needs to recognise the sanitation crisis in the region and challenge the inequity in the provision and distribution of resources. Governments need to engage proactively in matters related to water, sanitation and hygiene.” She added, “The regional mechanisms for implementation, coordination, research and knowledge-sharing through the existing SAARC Secretariat is needed to strengthen the process of the South Asian Conference on Sanitation.”

When asked how sanitation is essential for life, Pakistan’s Mohammad Rafiq – an illiterate daily-wage worker from the peri-urban Choa Ganj Ali Shah, Chakwal district, Punjab – said, “Sanitation is an important part of our religion too. Cleanliness helps a person get a better education and higher position in society. Washing one’s hands with soap after defecation is very important for maintaining hygiene. Food hygiene prevents diseases and keeps children healthy.” Punitha from Chinnaviai – an urban panchayat in Kanyakumari district, Tamil Nadu, India – said, “Sanitation is the basis for happiness and satisfaction. It urges me to get up early and my first thought of the day is to keep my home and surroundings clean. As the day starts with cleaning, the whole day then becomes very active and happy.”

Pakistan’s Sughran Bibi – a housewife from Jungle Barali, Vehari district, Punjab – said, “In the absence of sanitation facilities, people feel degraded, especially when guests arrive. Many people have migrated from this area just because of poor sanitation.”

A kid walks throgh Dharavi slum in Mumbai India.

Veerkala from Kota Dewara, Uttar Pradesh, India, said, “Everyone in the village goes to the nearby fields for defecation. It is dirty, troublesome, time-consuming and dangerous, especially for women and physically-challenged people. It is very common for pigs to attack us from behind when we are squatting in the field. We are forced to take someone along when going out to the fields.”

Ram Avtar – a prominent member of the community from Bhora village, Jalaun district, Uttar Pradesh, India – said, “We waste so much time in going to the doctor and then waste so much money on medicines. By just paying a little bit attention to sanitation, we can save all that time and money and thereby enhance our economic condition.”

HA Chandana from Uva province, Sri Lanka, said, “Considering the United Nations’ standards, it is the duty of the Sri Lankan government to ensure access to water and sanitation.” Maya Chaudhari – a social activist from Chhotipaliya, Kailali district, Nepal – said, “When people really want it, change is definitely possible. There have been incredible changes in my village. Sanitary conditions have improved in a short period of time and the prestige of the villagers has skyrocketed among the neighbouring settlements. Chhotipaliya is treated as a model for people from other parts of the district.”

October 17, 2011

India: Sanitation and Hygiene Should be as Prominent as Immunisation

WJA Reporter
15th October, 2011

The Executive Director Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council Jon Lane wants issues of sanitation and hygiene to be as prominent as immunisation worldwide.

He however laments that this might take long.

“There is still a long way to go before sanitation becomes as prominent as immunisation,” notes Lane.

Jon Lane, Executive Director Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council

He was speaking at the closure of this year’s Global Forum on Sanitation and Hygiene in Mumbai India.

Lane highlighted the importance of improved sanitation and hygiene in economic development of countries and called for finding political and social solutions to sanitation and hygiene issues.

“We need to spend time persuading politicians that sanitation is important for them,” he stressed.

Lane suggested that for sanitation for all to be achieved, there is need for working hard, speaking plain language for everybody to understand, strong leadership and thinking big.

Earlier, while speaking in one of the breakout sessions, Nomathemba Neseni, Commissioner, Human Rights Commission of Zimbabwe noted that all people have a right to improved sanitation and hygiene. She termed these rights as, “the second generation rights.”

Likewise, throughout the week, participants at this forum who totalled to close to 500 called for working together to ensure sanitation and hygiene for all people.

Participants listen attentively during the Forum

In one of the breakout session, the participants resolved that punishments alone may not motivate people to change behaviours but community involvement. They were referring to the use of punishments and sanctions to end open defecation and enforce construction and use of pit latrines in rural communities.

However, Julian Kyomuhangi, assistant commissioner, ministry of Health, Uganda noted that the role and use of rewards and sanctions to motivate people to change behaviours was working effectively in Uganda.

Kyomuhangi disclosed that this method had helped to motivate people to construct pit latrines and stop open defecation in most parts of northern and central Uganda.

The 2011 Global Forum on Sanitation and Hygiene offered to the participants a crucial opportunity to share ideas on leadership, skills, knowledge, behavior change and actions that can improve the lives of the 2.6 billion people in the world without safe sanitation and hygiene.

The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) was the conference host and organizer.

October 5, 2011

Mumbai/Geneva: Experts gathering in Mumbai seek toilet-powered economic, educational, health and social gains

Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council
4 October 2011

A generation after man walked on the moon, a billion people on earth still defecate in the open and another billion use unsafe holes in the ground. Now sanitation is becoming much more prominent: as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said recently: “It is time to put sanitation and access to proper toilets at the centre of our development discussions.”

Some 500 activists, business leaders, health professionals, governmental officials and others will do just that by focusing on the topic at next week’s first-ever Global Forum on Sanitation and Hygiene ( in Mumbai, India.

Anna Tibaijuka Chair, Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council

Arranged 9-14 October by the Geneva-based Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) and the Governments of India and Maharashtra, the Forum aims to highlight how to save millions of lives around the world through handwashing, how to build educational opportunities for teenage girls through separate latrines, and how to “invest in waste” through biogas-generating toilets and other entrepreneurial innovation.

Of the 2.6 billion people living without safe and clean toilets, roughly a third live in South Asia, a third in sub-Saharan Africa and a third in China. These people are unable to fulfil their daily needs with safety, convenience and dignity. There are good reasons to turn this situation around, including evidence that points to the negative economic impacts of poor sanitation.

“Poor sanitation is costing developing countries between 3 and 7% of GDP,” said Anna Tibaijuka, chair of WSSCC. “Improved access to toilets has the potential to reduce healthcare costs, improve productivity, increase earnings from tourism and promote greater educational attainment, especially among girls. When a school has separate toilets for girls, with doors that lock, their attendance rates improve, especially once they reach menstruation.”

“Governments of developing countries need to continue to place a high priority on supporting improved access to sustainable sanitation services, while prioritizing sector investments and providing a clear roadmap to ensure comprehensive coverage to the poor and underprivileged, in particular,” added Jon Lane, executive director of WSSCC.

He said one aim of the Forum is to help put sanitation higher at the national, regional and global political levels, in part by building links between practitioners and policymakers.

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