Posts tagged ‘wsscc’

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.

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.



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.

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 ( and More than 100 entries from 30 countries were evaluated by Mr. Mark Tran, a notable international correspondent for The Guardian, UK.

February 19, 2014

Journalists Gather In Cotonou to Place Spotlight on African Commitments to Water and Sanitation

WaterSan Perspective and
WSSCC – Water Supply & Sanitation, Collaborative Council
February 19, 1014

Less than a year from the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), journalists in Africa are casting a critical eye on the progress in water, sanitation and hygiene improvements being achieved by African governments, and the on-going challenges in this priority sector. This week, some 40 journalists and other stakeholders are gathering in a regional media workshop organized by the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) in Cotonou, Benin.

Overview of the room during the opening session

Overview of the room during the opening session

At the global level, rates of open defecation have been substantially reduced, but considerable disparities are still apparent between the different regions. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) / United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) Joint Monitoring Programme report of 2013, “Eastern Asia, South-eastern Asia and the Latin America and Caribbean regions have seen a steady decline since the JMP’s earliest measurements describing conditions in 1990.

In Southern Asia, the population practising open defecation peaked around 1995, after which it declined. Only in sub-Saharan Africa is the number of people defecating in the open still increasing.”

In terms of water supply, inequalities also persist. “Of the 2.1 billion people who gained access since 1990, almost two thirds, 1.3 billion lived in urban areas. By the end of 2011, 83% of the population without access to an improved drinking water source lived in rural areas.” Women are usually responsible for supplying their households with safe drinking water, but in some cases the water is not safe. Recent studies have lifted the lid on the difficulties for them, particularly rural women.

These include, but are not limited to: time wasted fetching water or finding a private place to defecate which has economic and social implications, discrimination, and also health risks associated with poor management of menstrual hygiene.

Speaking to participants at the opening ceremony of the regional meeting, Amanda Marlin, WSSCC Programme Manager for Advocacy and Communications, said that the delay in achieving WASH goals posed huge challenges in both rural and urban areas.

“We know that the lack of sanitation and drinking-water supply presents economic and health-related problems for individuals and communities,” Ms. Marlin said. “The disparity between the rural and urban areas in terms of distribution and service provision is a challenge. The MDGs helped us achieve great outcomes but there is still room for improvement. Unfortunately, we are off track for the sanitation target. Reducing and eliminating inequalities is key.”

Mme Amanda MARLIN, WSSCC Programme Manager Communications & Advocacy WSSCC

Mme Amanda MARLIN, WSSCC Programme Manager Communications & Advocacy WSSCC

In a context of global mobilization for the post-2015 development agenda, WSSCC is putting this unfinished business at the heart of the discussions. In partnership with the Ministry of Health of Benin, and the Partenariat pour le Développement Municipal (Partnership for Municipal Development), this regional workshop takes place from 18 to 20 February 2014 at the Azalai Hôtel de la Plage in Cotonou. It has brought together 40 participants including 30 journalists from the West Africa WASH Journalists Network ( present in 13 West African countries.

March 22, 2013

Global Sanitation Fund helps 1.4 million people gain improved sanitation

WaterSan Perspective
March 22, 2013

The Global Sanitation Fund Progress Report 2012, a new report from the UN-based Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), details programmatic results, reporting methodology and financial data from Global Sanitation Fund (GSF) programmes in Africa and Asia.

In 10 countries – Cambodia, Ethiopia, India, Madagascar, Malawi, Nepal, Nigeria, Senegal Tanzania and Uganda – Global Sanitation Fund Sub-grantees have implemented sanitation and hygiene awareness-raising and promotion activities resulting in:

1.4 million people with improved toilets.
More than 1 million people in nearly 4,000 communities now live in open defecation free environments.
Almost 10,000 communities have participated in demand-creation activities.
3.8 million people have heard about the importance of good hygiene through community activities and communications campaigns.

Global Sanitation Fund Logo

Global Sanitation Fund Logo

The Global Sanitation Fund is a unique financing mechanism for sanitation programmes and is leading a drive to improve toilets for an initial target of 16.3 million people over five years.

The Global Sanitation Fund, a United Nations Trust Fund, was established by the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council in 2008 to inject finances into countries with high needs for sanitation. The new report reveals that 2012 was the most vigorous year of implementation to date, with more than 100 organizations and thousands of individuals involved in the work.

The Global Sanitation Fund’s model of financing action to achieve improved sanitation focuses on improved latrines through behaviour change (hygiene education, raising awareness and demand-creation) and sanitation marketing. The programme does not support subsidized hardware or construction of latrines. When communities stop defecating in the open and use toilets as part of a long term improvement in hygiene practices, the benefits are widespread.

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.

A number of early lessons learned are analysed in The Global Sanitation Fund Progress Report 2012 in order to strengthen future country-driven programmes. For example some Sub-grantee organizations lacked capacity in sanitation, hygiene and demand creation. Therefore during 2012 support was given to training Sub-grantee staff on the large-scale (multi-state or nation-wide) behaviour-change approach which is the hallmark of a typical GSF programme.

GSF operates in developing countries with existing sanitation policies, but funding shortfalls. Civil society and national governments form a national Programme Coordinating Mechanism providing strategic oversight on the GSF programme to ensure that it is in line with national sanitation policy and international standards. GSF then appoints an Executing Agency which acts as a programme manager and grant recipient. The Executing Agency selects, supervises and supports Sub-grantees who implement the programmes. Country Programme Monitors, independently appointed by GSF, verify and report on the work of the Executing Agencies to WSSCC.

By investing in the integration of sanitation programmes within national programming, this streamlining of process is vital to avoid duplication of resources and to ensure efficient monitoring and evaluation of programmes. Thus, the GSF is a viable delivery model for achieving results at scale within national policy frameworks.

There are 2.5 billion people, close to 40 percent of the world’s population who do not have access to basic sanitation. The Global Sanitation Fund is an efficient and cost-effective opportunity for contributors to help large numbers of poor people attain safe sanitation services and adopt good hygiene practices.

The Millennium Development Goal target on sanitation is one of the most off-track. Yet good sanitation has proven to be a highly cost-effective in terms of economic development, health and education.

Kibera Slum in Nairobi, Kenya

Kibera Slum in Nairobi, Kenya

Country ownership is the cornerstone of Global Sanitation Fund programmes and local responses vary according to local needs. Here are some highlights from diverse country programmes:
In Madagascar GSF Sub-Grantee organizations are currently working on the ground in 14 of Madagascar’s 22 regions. The GSF programme will continue to foster sector collaboration to have an impact on sanitation at a national scale.
GSF-supported interventions in Malawi have enabled more than 125,000 people to access improved toilets by the end of 2012, that’s up from 52,000 at the end of 2011.
In Nepal, the GSF-supported programme has enabled more than 440 communities to be declared open defecation free in the target districts.
As a result of GSF continued expansion into districts and blocks within its target area in India, the number of people living within areas where the GSF-supported programme is working has increased from 4 million to 6 million in the last 12 months.

The numbers of people and communities reached present one view of The Global Sanitation Fund’s impact to date, but the programme’s ‘footprint’ is much larger, as the GSF is showing early signs of helping change attitudes and influence policy within the sanitation sector in ways which lie beyond the formal indicator categories. The strategic oversight role of each country’s Programme Coordinating Committee (PCM) harnesses the skills and insights of a multi-stakeholder group for effective development.

In Madagascar the PCM helped lobby the Government of Madagascar to create a Department of Sanitation within the Ministry of Water. Sanitation can sit in sub-departments of ministries so it is helpful when governments make it easier for sanitation professionals to take part in budgetary decision-making and strategic policy making, especially concerning health issues.
In Tanzania the GSF is financing part of the National Sanitation Campaign which the African Development Bank is also funding. This is an example of how PCMs can be helpful in identifying sector funding gaps and integrating financing into the national sanitation programming leading to additional government resources being invested in sanitation as results become apparent.

In The Global Sanitation Fund Progress Report 2012, WSSCC gratefully acknowledges the donors that make the GSF work possible: the Governments of Australia, Finland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. By the end of 2012, US$ 65 million have been committed to programmes in ten countries.

Six additional Global Sanitation Fund country programmes will be launched in 2013 starting with Burkina Faso and Togo followed by Bangladesh, Benin, Kenya and Pakistan.

2013 is International Year of Water Cooperation

2013 is International Year of Water Cooperation

October 10, 2011

INDIA: WASH journalists told to mind about the impact

WJA Reporter
October 10, 2011

Over 500 people from across the world are in Mumbai, India attending the global forum on sanitation and hygiene.
The forum which kicked off on Sunday at Mumbai convention centre hotel has attracted participants from various sectors in countries where sanitation and hygiene are issues these days.

The participants include over 25 journalists who had a one-day workshop that focused on reporting on water, sanitation and hygiene.

The journalists were addressed by various important people including Amanda Marlin, the programme Manager Advocacy and communication at Water Supply Collaborative Council (WSSCC)

In her address, Amanda urged the journalists to be advocates for “transparency and accountability.” This, she noted would compel service providers in the sanitation and hygiene sectors to provide the right services to the people.

Amanda Marlin, the programme Manager Advocacy and communication at Water Supply Collaborative Council (WSSCC) on the extreme left. On the extreme right is Jon Lane, Executive Director, WSSCC

Amanda further stressed the need for feedback mechanism in the process of reporting on WASH issues to ensure the necessary impact.

The other speaker at this journalists’ workshop was Jon Sawyer, the Director of the US-based Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

Jon Sawyer, Director , Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting

He briefed the journalists about the West Africa reporting on water and sanitation initiative of the Pulitzer Center’s on Crisis Reporting. This initiative, as Sawyer noted, aims at improve the quality of reporting on WASH by drawing on the knowledge, skills and experience of the West African journalists while giving them a global voice.

Babatobi Babatope- the General Secretary for the West Africa Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Journalists Network also address the journalists. He noted that the network has helped WASH journalists in West Africa to overcome various challenges in reporting on WASH issues.

Babatobi Babatope,General Secretary, West Africa Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Journalists Network

He encouraged the journalists to report on other sectors in their countries apart from WASH issues to ensure that their countries achieve Millennium Development Goals.

The international journalists were also introduced to Water Journalists Africa- a network of water journalists in Africa who report on water by Fredrick Mugira, the editor for the network’s site
Mugira encouraged African journalists to be part of this network.

He briefed them on the pleasing achievements the network has been able to achieve in just 6 months after it was started by African journalists who report on water. Journalists from Asia expressed interests to be part of this network.

The workshop goes on till Friday.

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