Posts tagged ‘WaterSan Perspective’

July 25, 2016

African Water Ministers Adopt Dar es Salaam Roadmap for Achieving Water Security and Sanitation

WaterSan Perspective Reporter
July 25, 2016

Activities at the expansive Julius Nyerere international conference centre in Dar es Salaam hit a crescendo over the weekend as over 30 African water ministers and high-level delegations from 53 African nations adopted a roadmap aimed at achieving sustainable and universal access to safe water and sanitation all over Africa.

The adoption of the roadmap titled “the Dar es Salaam Roadmap for achieving the N’gor Commitments on Water Security and Sanitation in Africa” drew the final curtains on the 10th AMCOW General Assembly and the 6th Africa Water Week which began on Monday the 18th of July 2016 in Tanzania.

With a strategic objective of making considerable progress on water security and sanitation in line with the Agenda 2030 by improving efficiency, transparency and integrity within sector institutions to achieve sustainable services and create a conducive investment climate as well as integrating the agenda for water, sanitation and climate to improve health and nutrition outcomes, the Dar es Salaam roadmap aspires to ensure coherence in policy implementation, increase gender, equity and social inclusion, and transboundary cooperation in Africa.

Officials at the 10th AMCOW General Assembly in Dar es Salaam

Officials at the 10th AMCOW General Assembly in Dar es Salaam

African water ministers believe that by increasing transparency and accountability in the sector, governments across Africa would be able to account for financial contributions, focus on complementing existing initiatives with a view to avoiding overlap and redundancy and ensure a participatory environment for civil society and citizens in policy formulation, sector planning and monitoring.

The roadmap also recognizes the role of innovative financing and budgetary prioritisation for the water sector, sanitation and monitoring. Other aspects of the ministers’ plan of action for the continent’s water resources include provision of drinking water, improved sanitation, hygiene, effective and efficient management of wastewater, transboundary water resources, and strengthening Africa’s capacity to respond climate change.

The 10th General Assembly of the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) which was held on the sidelines of the biennal 6th Africa Water Week also witnessed a change of guards as the Water and Irrigation Minister of the United Republic of Tanzania, H.E Gerson Lwenge took over the reins of AMCOW presidency from his Senegalese counterpart, H.E Amadou Mansour Faye who held the fort from 2014 – 2016 while Dr. Canisius Kanangire was officially unveiled as the new AMCOW Executive Secretary. Dr Kanangire, who hails from Rwanda, is the immediate Executive Secretary of Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) has over two decades of high level experience in water resources management and he succeeds Mr Bai Mass Taal who leaves AMCOW after 8 years of admirable leadership.

In his acceptance speech, the new AMCOW President expressed delight at AMCOW’s rotational mechanism which led to his emergence and he urged his colleagues to roll up their sleeves for the onerous but achievable task of ensuring the realisation of the SDG-6 in Africa.

“We must build and sustain cooperation among riparian countries in managing transboundary water resources as it is a fact that the more we invest in managing water resources, the more we strengthen AMCOW and the more we advance collectively towards achieving SDG-6,” Engr Lwenge said.

To serve alongside the new AMCOW President are Water resources ministers from Central African Republic, South Sudan, Egypt, Swaziland and Liberia who were elected AMCOW Vice Presidents representing central, east, and north, southern and West African sub regions.

Addressing the General Assembly, Vice President Samia Suluhu of Tanzania urged the august assembly of water ministers from across the continent to “tackle present and future challenges by diversifying our sources of water and be innovative in financing mechanisms taking into account the huge funding requirements for the sector, and the urgency of mobilizing funds to put the right infrastructure and skilled manpower to develop and manage the sector more efficiently.”

Also speaking at Africa’s flagship water event, the commissioner for rural economy and agriculture of the African Union Commission, H.E Rhoda Peace Tumusiime implored Member States to step up efforts to realize the African Agenda 2063 on the ‘Africa we want’ because water is key to reducing poverty in Africa.

“There is need for us to put in place sound policies, legal and regulatory frameworks to support investments from various sources in water, sanitation and hygiene and also promote gender equality and women empowerment,” she added.

Organised by AMCOW in collaboration with the Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture of the African Union Commission alongside regional and international partners, the 6th Africa Water Week represents a political commitment at the highest level for creating platform to discuss and collectively seek solutions to Africa’s water and sanitation challenges.

May 17, 2016

Les gouvernements entrent dans une nouvelle ère de collaboration sur le climat

WaterSan Perspective
May 17, 2016

En lançant le coup d’envoi de la conférence sur le changement climatique de l’ONU à Bonn (du 16 au 26 mai), la Secrétaire exécutive de la Convention climat de l’ONU, Christiana Figueres, a déclaré que, suite à la conclusion de l’accord historique de Paris l’année dernière, les gouvernements laissent maintenant derrière eux la phase des négociations et en entrent dans une nouvelle ère de collaboration.

La réunion intervient quelques semaines après que 176 pays et l’UE ont signé l’accord historique sur les changements climatiques de Paris conclu l’année dernière en France, et est un événement clé de la planification de la prochaine conférence climat à Marrakech en novembre.

Protestors during COP21 in Paris

Protestors during COP21 in Paris

En s’adressant aux délégués lors de la séance plénière d’ouverture de la réunion, la Secrétaire exécutive de la Convention-Cadre des Nations Unies sur les Changements Climatiques, Christiana Figueres, a déclaré: « Le monde entier est uni dans son engagement envers les objectifs mondiaux énoncés dans l’Accord de Paris, ainsi que les moyens permettant de les atteindre.

Mais plus important encore, avec l’adoption des objectifs de développement durable, vous avez déverrouillé la possibilité de relever le défi du changement climatique en grande partie par l’accomplissement de l’Agenda 2030 pour le développement durable ».

Dans ses remarques liminaires, la ministre de l’Environnement française et Présidente de la COP21 (le nom officiel de la Conférence sur le changement climatique de l’ONU à Paris l’an dernier), Ségolène Royal, a déclaré que le 12 décembre 2015 (le dernier jour de la conférence de Paris, lorsque l’accord a été conclu) avait montré au monde que la communauté internationale est capable de s’unir pour répondre au défi mondial du climat et de s’embarquer sur la voie du développement durable.

« Depuis l’accord de Paris, il s’agit désormais de bâtir sur les compromis ambitieux, équilibrés et justes qui ont été trouvés en décembre dernier, pour renforcer l’action sur le terrain. Les fondations sont posées, à nous maintenant de construire notre maison commune. Je vous appelle à être des constructeurs et des facilitateurs », a-t-elle dit.

Dans ses remarques, Salaheddine Mezouar, président désigné de la conférence sur le changement climatique de l’ONU à Marrakech (COP22) et ministre des Affaires étrangères du Maroc, a présenté les principaux objectifs de la réunion qui aura lieu en novembre.

« Notre ambition pour la COP22 est de contribuer à l’adoption des procédures et mécanismes d’opérationnalisation de l’Accord de Paris, et l’adoption d’un plan d’action pour la période pré-2020 en termes d’atténuation, d’adaptation, de financement, de renforcement des capacités, de transfert de technologie et de transparence », a-t-il dit.

En soulignant l’importance du financement climatique, M. Mezouar a ajouté que la COP22 serait également l’occasion de convenir d’une feuille de route prévisible et concrète en vue de mobiliser les 100 milliards de dollars que les gouvernements ont convenu de mobiliser pour aider les pays en développement à verdir leurs économies et à s’adapter au changement climatique.

Paris hosted the COP21 in December 2015

Paris hosted the COP21 in December 2015

À cette fin, il a suggéré que les gouvernements, ainsi que les institutions financières publiques et privées, envisagent la création d’un “mécanisme accéléré” pour le financement du climat.

Après l’ouverture de la conférence climat de l’ONU à Bonn, Mme Figueres et les présidents de la COP, actuel et désigné, ont planté un arbre sur le terrain de l’ONU, pour commémorer la signature de l’Accord de Paris et marquer la Journée de la Terre 2016.

April 20, 2016

La Signature de l’Accord de Paris marque une étape critique pour un avenir durable

WaterSan Perspective
April 20, 2016

Le nombre record de pays engagés à signer l’accord de Paris à New York le 22 avril annonce la prochaine étape vers l’entrée en vigueur de l’accord et un moment critique de l’effort mondial visant à assurer de solides espoirs pour un développement humain sûr et pacifique.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

La maxime du responsable de l’ONU Ban Ki-moon qui énonce que notre génération est la première qui peut mettre fin à la pauvreté, mais la dernière qui peut agir pour éviter les pires changements climatiques illustre le fait que la réduction des émissions de gaz à effet de serre à temps pour éviter des hausses ingérables de la température assure la légitimation de ces espoirs.

Plus de carbone dans l’atmosphère équivaut à plus de pauvreté. Nous ne pouvons pas assurer un développement durable sans lutte contre le changement climatique, et nous ne pouvons pas lutter contre le changement climatique sans aborder les causes profondes de la pauvreté, les inégalités et les modèles de développement non durable », a déclaré Christiana Figueres, Secrétaire exécutive de la Convention-Cadre des Nations Unies sur les Changements Climatiques (CCNUCC).

Mme Figueres animera un débat avec Ségolène Royal, ministre française de l’Écologie, du Développement durable et de l’énergie et Présidente de la 21ème Conférence des Parties à la convention sur le climat des Nations Unies, devant un public invité, en marge de la réunion de l’Assemblée générale sur les Objectifs de développement durable (ODD) le jeudi 21 avril.

La prise de conscience que le changement climatique et le développement ne peuvent être résolus que s’ils sont considérés de manière inséparable est articulée dans le programme de développement durable 2030, adopté par les Nations en septembre dernier à l’ONU à New York.

La réalisation des objectifs de l’Accord de Paris sur le climat appelle à des taux de décarbonisation sans précédent. Les 15 courtes années à l’horizon de 2030 devront produire des résultats sans précédent en termes de bien-être mondial et d’éradication de la pauvreté.

Rien de moins ne sera efficace qu’une transformation massive à l’échelle mondiale vers l’énergie propre, la restauration des terres et des économies et des sociétés pré-sécurisées contre les changements climatiques existants.

« Les acteurs-clés au sein des gouvernements, du secteur privé et de la société civile façonnent leur vision sur la façon dont ils peuvent contribuer au mieux à cet objectif. Nous avons un créneau très court pour harmoniser les stratégies et mettre davantage l’accent sur l’urgence de la mise en œuvre. Les approches stratégiques développées cette année vont modeleront la voie globale pour les années à venir », a déclaré Mme Figueres.

Les ODD contiennent non seulement un objectif distinct pour le climat (#13), mais l’action climatique fait également partie intégrante du succès de la mise en œuvre de la plupart des 16 autres ODD à l’ordre du jour.

Cela fonctionne de trois manières fondamentales qui sous-tendent la relation entre la nature de la menace des changements climatiques et les aspirations à un avenir meilleur, plus sûr et plus juste.
Le climat et le développement sont verrouillés ensemble tout d’abord par la cause et l’effet, par la nécessité d’une transformation sans précédent vers une économie bas carbone, et puis et par le calendrier exigeant des mesures qui sont nécessaires pour rester bien en dessous d’une hausse de la température de 2 degrés Celsius, voire 1,5 degrés identifiés dans l’Accord de Paris comme ligne de défense encore plus sûre.

February 19, 2016

Swiss Re Foundation Offers 150 000 USD in Awards to Initiatives Strengthening Resilience in Water Management

WaterSan Perspective Reporter
February 19, 2016

An international organization based in Switzerland that addresses social and humanitarian problems worldwide and builds local capacity to face them – Swiss Re Foundation, has announced the launch of the “ReSource Award 2017″.

The ReSource Award focuses on social entrepreneurial approaches implementing the principles of sustainability in water management.

The prize builds on more than ten years of experience in supporting outstanding partners heading for sustainable watershed management.

An international jury will award up to USD 150 000 to new social entrepreneurial initiatives driving sustainable water management practices. The prize combines financial and non-financial contributions.

Chrispus Twikirize, fetches water from their well in Ibaare, Igara Bushenyi district of Uganda

Chrispus Twikirize, fetches water from their well in Ibaare, Igara Bushenyi district of Uganda

With this award, the Swiss Re Foundation aims at contributing to the advancement of water resilience in low, lower-middle and upper–middle-income countries.

The foundation is now inviting charities, non-profit organizations and revenue-generating social enterprises to submit proposals for novel, entrepreneurial solutions in sustainable water management practices.

One of the 2016 Finalists is MSABI http://msabi.org, in Tanzania. MSABI was started in 2009 by Australian Engineer Dale Young in response to frequent cholera and typhoid outbreaks in the rural regions of Tanzania.

It is a Social Business Incubator. The organization is pioneering progressive and innovative hardware and software systems that create and “spin-off” independent and locally owned WASH service delivery businesses. They help stimulate and create local market demand for essential services that improve the livelihoods and wellbeing of disadvantaged rural and peri-urban communities.

January 19, 2016

Amina J. Mohammed to Serve as New Chair of WSSCC

January 19, 2016
WaterSan perspective Reporter

Amina J. Mohammed, Environment Minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, has been announced as the new Chair of the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) effective as of April 5, 2016.

The former Assistant-Secretary General and Special Advisor to the Secretary General on Post-2015 Development Planning, Mohammed will chair the Steering Committee and guide the work of WSSCC’s Geneva-based Secretariat, its operations in 20 countries in Africa and Asia, and its 5,000 members in 150 countries.

Amina J. Mohammed, the new Chair of the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC)

Amina J. Mohammed, the new Chair of the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC)

Hosted by the United Nations Office of Project Services, WSSCC is the part of the United Nations devoted solely to the sanitation and hygiene needs of the most vulnerable people around the world.

Ms. Mohammed replaces the interim-Chair, Andrew Cotton, Emeritus Director of the Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC, Loughborough University), and previous Chair, Prof. Anna Tibaijuka, Member of Parliament, Tanzania, and former Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of UN-Habitat.

“WSSCC embodies the transformative spirit of the Sustainable Development Goals, promoting WASH at the national level as a strategic entry point for attaining multiple targets” says Ms. Mohammed.

“By improving sanitation and hygiene at scale in sub-Saharan Africa, South and Southeast Asia, in particular, the Council is playing an important role in improving education and health, and in empowering women. I am proud to Chair an organization that understands that equality and universality must go hand-in-hand towards achieving a sustainable development agenda.”

As the Secretary-General’s Special Advisor on Post-2015 Development Planning, Ms. Mohammed worked systematically to ensure the successful adoption by Member States of the Sustainable Development Goals in September 2015.

She is an Adjunct Professor at Columbia University and previously held the position of Senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria on the Millennium Development Goals, serving three Presidents over a period of six years. In 2005 she was charged with the coordination of the debt relief funds ($1 billion per annum) towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals in Nigeria.

From 2002-2005, Ms. Mohammed served as coordinator of the Task Force on Gender and Education for the United Nations Millennium Project.

The appointment of Ms. Mohammed will build upon WSSCC’s tradition of having a Chair with experience serving as a senior official of the United Nations and who is a current or former government official. WSSCC is an organization that prides itself on the intersection of state and non-state actors, and the appointment of Ms. Mohammed will ensure that this continues.

WSSCC logo

WSSCC logo

Christopher W. Williams, Executive Director of WSSCC, welcomed Ms. Mohammed, saying, “The issues of sanitation and hygiene are crucial to improving health and development. In the post-2015 era, we need strong global leadership to deepen our efforts, and bold ambition to advance a transformative agenda. I am confident that Ms. Mohammed will be instrumental in helping WSSCC translate global goals into local action, ensuring governments enable communities and that organizations bring about meaningful change at scale.”

In her role as Chair of WSSCC, Ms. Mohammed plans to draw upon her experience and network of contacts in politics, business, academia, and demonstrated knowledge of the United Nations, to raise awareness about practical solutions to improving sanitation and hygiene.

Under her leadership, WSSCC intends to continue its current growth, notably of its Global Sanitation Fund, a catalytic facility that supports the establishment of national sanitation and hygiene improvement programmes in Africa and Asia. Programmes supported by GSF have empowered over 8 million people in 36,000 communities to improve their sanitation, adopt good hygiene practices, and drive local process that contribute directly to education, health and economic development.

January 10, 2016

Changing Lives: World Vision’s Investment in Malawi Gives Hope to Thousands

George Mhango
January 08, 2016

Eighteen-year-old Daniel Mwanza and her two sisters recall having no kind words towards their parents due to poverty levels they were subjected to.

The three children from the family of Francis Mwanza from the area of Group Village Headman (GVH) Funachina in Traditional Authority (T/A) Nthondo in Ntchisi struggled to have good food, water, sanitation and hygiene and decent shelter for years.

“My sisters were once deprived of better education because fees to go to private secondary schools after they had missed out on the list of those selected to pursue education in public secondary schools,” he says.

Daniel and her sisters further admit facing nutritional challenges, which World Vision wants dealt with by championing food security programmes in the current financial year using 20 percent of Malawi’s fresh water through irrigation.

Daniel (L) and mother

Daniel (L) and mother

How Life Changed

In a dramatic turn of events, problems the Mwanza family faced are history such that they have become role models due to various achievements—thanks to the dairy farming and seed multiplication projects.

This follows a decision by Mwanza and his wife to join Cheka Cooperatives in 2009 after undergoing a-World Vision funded training in dairy farming and seed multiplication as part of modern methods of agricultural production.

After the training, World Vision provided cooling equipment and a generator, so that milk is not spoiled once farmers supply the product to the cooperative for market links.

The cooperative—which was registered in 2009—has about 1113 members and others are on course to joining it due to its benefits. Initially, the number of dairy cows has increased from 30 to 215 under Cheka Cooperatives.

A warehouse was also constructed in Nthondo Area Programme (AP) with funding from the United States support office. Farmers keep their seeds and other crops in the warehouse pending market identification during each harvesting season.

“After the training in 2009, I was given one dairy cow, which has given birth to seven more—meaning that I have eight dairy cows now. I am able to supply milk to the cooperative for business and earn more money than before,” says Mwanza, adding that without a certificate one cannot do dairy farming.

His joining and engagements in dairy farming enables him to procure more bags of fertiliser any growing season, which he could not before due to poverty levels.

“I was a regular victim of food handouts, but this kind of farming has put my family on another positive scale,” says Mwanza.

During a tour of Nthondo AP, which included visitors from World Vision Malawi’s support teams such as South Korea, Taiwan, US, Germany, New Zealand and Canada, it was learnt that Mwanza remains one of the outstanding members of the cooperative in terms of human development.

This is because Mwanza is now a hero. He has improved lives of not only his children and family, but community at large through dairy and seed multiplication.

The family of Mwanza has since 2009 bought a one-tone-car, a maize mill, a motorbike. He has created job opportunities by employing five people who work on dairy cows, maize mill and his car.

Knowing that selection to public secondary schools is not easy; Mwanza and his wife Emelda, decided to send their two daughters to a private secondary school using proceeds from dairy and seed multiplication ventures.

“I am now a financially blessed person. I don’t complain much about how and what to feed my family, even school fees and water access. I have what a family needs.

“Above all, I aim higher so my children do not suffer, but rather have the much needed attention for them to be educated and live a healthier life,” says Mwanza.

Profitability of Farming
Just this year, Mwanza has earned close to K1.5 million from maize sales. “I practice modern farming that is why I make such money,” he says.

His wife Emelda alluded that they also get K94 000 per month from the sales of milk, a development which portrays that the family is indeed doing well in as far as village life is concerned. She adds that they used to sleep on empty.

“As a mother, I am now happy because we have anything that we desire to service our family. Money is no longer a problem because some money is gained through matola (local paying transport), so too the maize mill,” states Emelda, a mother of seven.

“We eat a balanced meal and drink a lot of milk daily that is why I look healthier. Previously, I was not like this since food was a problem. Sometimes, we used to fight over food,” echoes Daniel, who is now in Standard Eight.

He says they do work hand in hand with their parents in managing dairy and seed multiplication projects once they are back from school to have the spirit of self-dependence when they grow up.

Views of Communities and Support Offices
Cheka Cooperatives marketing secretary Jonathan Chisinga in an interview said the area lagged behind in water and sanitation, health, education, business, farming among others.

He says such programmes have helped in uplifting the well-being of children, who used to drop out of school due to lack of fees and malnutrition challenges.

“Farmers bring their products to Cheka. In turn, we as executive members source markets for them. Once their products are sold, they get their money based on volumes they brought to the association,” he says.

In his own words, T/A Nthondo admitted that daily livelihoods of Mwanza, other members of Cheka Cooperatives too have improved.

“We want more people to join the cooperative to deal with poverty levels in this area. We also thank World Vision because since the introduction of these programmes, communities can afford an improved life and send children to better schools,” said Nthondo.

World Vision Central Zone operations manager Rachel Kathyanga wants more markets explored besides the fact that communities should grow more crops or engage in dairy farming.

Emelda (R) poses with Kathyanga ( in Middle) and another official

Emelda (R) poses with Kathyanga ( in Middle) and another official

“Imagine! The Mwanza family was given one cow, but today they have eight and make money through milk sales, this is great. Furthermore, it is pleasing to note that they have bought a vehicle, maize mill and motorbike.

“As World Vision and support offices, we are amused with this positive change and that is what we want to see in our operations,” said Kathyanga.

A delegation of various support officials, who recently visited Nthondo, also underscored the need for good transition ahead of local ownership from 2019.

John Michael, the leader of delegation said: “Our visit is meant to see how locals would work after 2018, when we close shop. We also want to find out what we can do now so that the projects are sustained after 2018.”

While the programmes in Nthondo are phasing off in 2018, the likes of Mwanza and Chisinga, think there should be more trainings in how to manage projects.

December 3, 2015

COP 21 / CMP 11: A Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction to Combat Climate Change Launched

WaterSan Perspective Reporter

PARIS, Dec. 03, 2015 – 18 countries (Austria, Brazil, Cameroon, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Norway, Senegal, Singapore, Sweden, Tunisia, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United States of America), and over 60 organizations today  launched an unprecedented Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction to speed up and scale up the sector’s huge potential to reduce its emissions and literally build greater climate resilience into future cities and infrastructure.

The Alliance, which gathers organizations from countries to cities, NGOs, public and private organizations, networks of professionals, of cities, of companies as well as financing institutions, announced the initiative at the Lima to Paris Action Agenda Focus on Buildings, in Paris.

Participants at COP 21 / CMP 11

Participants at COP 21 / CMP 11

Among other members, the International Union of Architects (UIA) now represents, through national architecture organizations, close to 1,3 million architects worldwide; the World Green Building Council (WGBC) represents 27000 companies involved in green buildings business worldwide; the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) represents 180000 building surveyors globally; the European Construction Industry Federation (FIEC) represents the construction sector employers through 33 national federations in 29 countries.

The buildings and construction sector is responsible for 30 per cent of global CO2 emissions but it also has the potential to avoid about 3.2GtCO2 by 2050 through mainstreaming today’s available state-of-the-art policies and technologies. Reducing energy demand in the building sector is one of the most cost-effective strategies for achieving significant greenhouse gas reductions.

Real estate represents about 50% of global wealth. Creating this transformation requires investing around an additional US$220 billion by 2020 – an almost 50% increase on 2014 investment in energy efficient buildings – but less than 4% of the current total global annual investment in construction activity ($8.5 trillion/yr). Returns on this investment could be as high as 124% if investments in ambitious policy and technology actions are being made now.

As of today, 91 countries have included elements of commitments, national programs, or projects and plans relating to buildings in their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), the declarations by countries of what they are prepared to commit to.

With support and greater awareness, many more may realize the potential for the building sector to contribute to realizing national targets.  Yet, the building sector is very local and needs to align many different actors, which is a primary objective of the new alliance.

As cities keep on growing until more than 70% of the global population will call urban areas home, it becomes crucial for the sector to reduce its emissions and literally build in greater resilience against climate change.

 

March 25, 2015

Global Sanitation Experts Hail Madagascar Roadmap to become Open-Defecation Free Nation by 2019

WaterSan Perspective
March 25, 2015

A high-level delegation of global sanitation and hygiene experts is in Madagascar for the biannual Steering Committee meeting of the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), a United Nations body devoted solely to the sanitation and hygiene needs of vulnerable and marginalized people around the world.

WSSCC Logo

WSSCC Logo

During the visit, the Steering Committee will see WSSCC’s Global Sanitation Fund (GSF) programme in Madagascar, locally known as the Fonds d’Appui pour l’Assainissement (FAA), in action. Developed and guided strategically by a diverse group of national stakeholders, the FAA is facilitated by Medical Care Development International (MCDI) and implemented by 30 sub-grantee organisations.

It has evolved into a driving force in the national movement to end open defecation, which adversely affects the health, livelihood and educational opportunities for 10 million people in Madagascar and some 1 billion worldwide.

The five-day Steering Committee visit is dedicated to reinforcing the country’s top-level political commitment to a new “National Road Map” for the water, sanitation and hygiene sector that aims to end open defecation in Madagascar by 2019. Madagascar’s most senior politicians, including President Hery Rajaonarimampianina, Prime Minister Jean Ravelonarivo, the President of the National Assembly, and Dr. Johanita Ndahimananjara, Minister of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, have committed their support to achieving open-defecation free (ODF) status.

“Since 2010, Madagascar has made tremendous progress in ensuring access to basic sanitation for the rural population of the country, by introduction and scaling up of Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS),” says Dr. Chris W. Williams, Executive Director of WSSCC. “Nearly 1.4 million people now live free of open defecation in over 10,900 communities throughout the country, one of the best examples of how individual and local initiative can lead to collective, transformative change for an entire country.”

The visit also coincides with heightened global awareness of sanitation in 2015. The United Nations Secretary General and Deputy-Secretary General have launched a Call to Action on Sanitation, encouraging global institutions, governments, households, the private sector, NGOs, and Parliamentarians, to eradicate the practice of open defecation.

A latrine in rural Uganda.  The world remains behind in providing universal access to safe and hygienic toilets.

A latrine in rural Uganda. The world remains behind in providing universal access to safe and hygienic toilets.

“FAA has become an important catalyst for the initiation and creation of a national, regional and local movement in favour of eliminating open defecation,” says Dr. Rija Lalanirina Fanomeza, GSF Programme Manager, MCDI. “A wide spectrum of sanitation and hygiene stakeholders in Madagascar are actively collaborating to have maximum impact on the ground.”

Ever since President Rajaonarimampianina’s government came into power in January 2014, sanitation has received special attention, and the need for achieving an open-defecation free Madagascar has been considered inevitable by the highest political leadership of the nation.

During the visit, the delegation will visit villages which are now free of open defecation, and those that are not, in order to gain a firsthand understanding of the how and why people change and sustain their sanitation and hygiene behaviours.

March 25, 2015

Journalists Start West Africa’s 1st Online Newspaper on Climate Change

WaterSan Perspective
March 25, 2015

West Africa’s first online newspaper dedicated to opening new panoramas in the coverage and reportage of climate change and the region’s environment has been launched.

The online newspaper (www.climatereporters.com), which was launched over the weekend In Republic of Benin, Cote d’Ívoire and Nigeria simultaneously in commemoration of the 2015 International Francophonie Day envisions an informed, environment-friendly and climate-conscious citizenry living in a safe and serene West African environment, free from climate disasters and environmental despoliation.

Farmers worldwide are already feeling the effects of rising temperatures and more frequent droughts as a result of climate change

Farmers worldwide are already feeling the effects of rising temperatures and more frequent droughts as a result of climate change

Speaking at the launch, the medium’s Editor-in-Chief, Atâyi Babs revealed that the newspaper is “dedicated to bringing fresh, crisp and engaging climate reports from all over the world to West Africa, using the region’s finest blend of climate story tellers to enhance understanding and engender climate action across the region.”

“We are change catalysts, bringing international climate reports to every doorstep in West Africa at the same time taking the West African climate story to the world,”Atayi added.

The launch of the newspaper on the International Francophonie Day which is observed within La Francophonie’s 77 member states in celebration of the French language and Francophone culture and the signing of the Niamey Convention on 20th March 1970 which established the Agence de Coopération Culturelle et Technique, reinforces the new medium’s capacity to reflect the rich linguistic and cultural diversity of West Africa. The newspaper is published online, real-time in English and French simultaneously.

With a multilingual team of talented reporters from across the region, ClimateReporters provides an interesting mix of environmental news stories and an imperative source of environmental information and opinion.

The medium aspires not only to focus on the big stories but also seek out some of more unusual and controversial environmental issues from around the world.

Speaking at the launch in Abidjan, Alain Landry Zahoré, the Cote d’Ivoire Bureau Chief disclosed that with special pull-out categories on climate change, sustainable development, road to Paris, energy, WASH, land, forests and health, ClimateReporters will focus attention on the present and future environmental issues facing the health of the planet and West Africa in particular.

September 6, 2014

Seven Journalists Win Prestigious WASH Media Awards

WaterSan Perspective, WSSCC and SIWI
September 06, 2014

Up to seven journalists have won this year’s WASH Media Awards for their excellence in reporting on water, sanitation and hygiene-related (WASH) issues.

WASH Media Awards Winners

WASH Media Awards Winners

The journalists, their winning entries, and the award categories are:
• Marcelo Leite (Brazil): “The Battle of Belo Monte” (Category: Water and Energy)
• Natasha Khan (Canada) and Ketaki Gokhale (USA) “No Menstrual Hygiene For Indian Women Holds Economy Back” (Category: Equity and Inclusion in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene)
• Seun Aikoye (Nigeria):“Lagosians shun public toilets as open defecation continues” (Category: Ending Open Defecation)
• Mbali Chiya (South Africa): “Human Rights to Water and Sanitation”(Category: The Human Right to Water and Sanitation)
• Umaru Sanda Amadu (Ghana): “Water Wahala”(Category: WASH in the Future: The Post-2015 Development Agenda)
• Dilrukshi Handunnetti (Sri Lanka): “Sri Lankan Girls Miss out on Sanitation Gains” (Category: Monitoring WASH Commitments)

They received their awards on September 05, during a ceremony at the closing plenary session of the annual World Water Week in Stockholm.

In Stockholm this week, the journalists shared their experiences with leading water, sanitation, environment and development experts. The week concluded with a 2014 Stockholm Statement on Water, a collection of films and papers calling for a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) on Water.

Journalists 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 biannual WASH Media Awards competition is sponsored by Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI) and the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (www.wsscc.org) and More than 100 entries from 30 countries were evaluated by Mr. Mark Tran, a notable international correspondent for The Guardian, UK.

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