Archive for February, 2012

February 27, 2012

Assainissement à Yaoundé. Biyem-assi et le carrefour caca

Par Yannick Sabze (yannicksabze@yahoo.fr)

C’est l’histoire d’un moment passé avec Ousmanou un jeune ferrailleur qui travaille à Biyem-Assi l’un des quartiers les plus populaires de la ville de Yaoundé (Capitale du Cameroun-Afrique en miniature). Tout le monde connais dans ce quartier, le carrefour caca. Ainsi tristement nommé à cause des excréments qui proviennent en grande quantité des puisards et se déversent dans la rue.

Les coupures d’eau si regulieres sont les elements par excellence qui mettent au grand jour, les serieux problemes d’assainissements de la ville aux sept collines. Au grand dam des habitants qui doivent supporter les effluves nauséabonds et la vue apocalyptique d’une mare de merde.Son atelier situé au carrefour caca est une tente faite de bout de tissus rafistolés.   Attendez… vous avez relu la phrase pour vous rassurer s’il s’agit bien du carrefour caca ? En effet ! Encore que ceux qui entendent prononcer pour la première fois « carrefour caca » peuvent s’imaginer que ce carrefour porte le nom du célèbre joueur brésilien kaka’, en reconnaissance d’une quelconque œuvre de bienfaisance. Il n’en est rien.

Ousmanou a eu la bonne idée de m’aborder alors que je prenais des photos pour les besoins de l’article. Après lui avoir expliqué les raisons de mon intrusion dans sa zone de travail, il s’est proposé de répondre à mes questions contre un peu d’argent pour s’acheter une bière et des cigarettes. J’ai failli le prendre dans mes bras. Il faut dire que j’étais un peu embarrassé car à cause de la saison sèche la mare de merde avait disparu. Pas de photo éloquente donc. Ce qui n’est peut être pas plus mal parce que les lecteurs délicats d’outre atlantique en auraient perdu l’appétit pendant un bon moment. Trêve de digression ! Revenons à Ousmanou qui m’a expliqué qu’il a souvent fait partie de ceux qui ont été sollicité par la voirie pour vider les puisards et déboucher les égouts. Il était dans la merde, avec pour tout équipement de protection, un léger masque et des gants.

Le Cameroun a connu une épidémie de choléra entre 2010 et 2011 qui selon les chiffres officiels a fait plus de 8000 cas de maladie déclarée et 300 décès. Les pénuries d’eau couplées à l’insalubrité y ont contribué. Le cas du carrefour caca en est une parfaite illustration. En effet, lors des saisons pluvieuses, le contenu des puisards qui a débordé est charrié vers les cours d’eau à partir desquels les populations vont s’approvisionner pour leur lessive mais aussi pour leur consommation. Une eau pourtant impropre à la consommation que les populations font bouillir pour boire. Pour parer à la demande en eau des populations de la zone, l’administration a aménagé une source d’eau sous le pont du carrefour. Le problème avec une telle source est qu’aucune mesure n’a été prise pour la protéger.

Il faut donc craindre que la nappe phréatique ne soit souillée. Des inquiétudes qu’Ousmanou balaie d’un revers de la main en buvant l’eau de la source, les pieds dans le courant d’eau nauséabonde. « Cette eau ne m’a jamais rendu malade » m’a-t-il confié. On peut bien lui accorder le bénéfice du doute. Toutefois, l’eau a été et est encore un problème de santé publique au Cameroun surtout lorsque des entreprises ont commercialisé l’eau provenant de telles sources dans des sachets. Coliques, dysenteries, amibes et choléra ont été le lot de ceux qui ont consommé ces eaux longtemps avant que le ministère de la santé n’en interdise la vente.

Au chapitre des doléances, des voix s’élèvent pour réclamer l’accélération de la rénovation du circuit des égouts dans les villes principales de Yaoundé et de Douala. Parmi les plus illustres voix se trouve celle du président de la république. Fait anecdotique, son cortège a été stoppé par une inondation alors qu’il revenait d’un voyage officiel. Les égouts bouchés avaient débordé suite à une pluie diluvienne, rendant impraticable ce qui est pourtant l’axe principal de la ville de Yaoundé.

February 27, 2012

Life in Slum Communities in Monrovia

By Mustapha Sesay Mustaphasesay25@yahoo.com

Travelling along the coastal areas of most West African cities, one will be worried to see the overcrowded situation in these places.
Most people spoken to advanced reasons for it being the cheapest place to live and easily get access into the cities at a cheaper cost.

Monrovia is no exception to this; on a visit to two slum communities, West Point that hosts over 50 thousand people and Clara Town that hosts 48 thousand people, the plights created by the lack of sanitation, hygiene and quality water is unimaginable as one million people are dying slowly from sanitation, water and hygiene.

In Clara County, a suburb of Monrovia, located on Bushrod Island in Liberia in Montserrado, the birth place of the famous football star and now politician, George Weah, is very worrisome as Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Journalists from fourteen West African Countries were moved with pity when the Headman David Jacob and community people disclosed that for years now there are only few pipes or water wells to meet the growing demand for water. Most get water from youths who sell it in gallons. Others will have to wait in line for hours or a days to at least get water to take home.
According to Albert, a resident, they are worried that one of their main taps or water wells is very close to the public toilets. To worsen the situation, most of the houses are without toilets or bathrooms. With such large population, there are only eleven public toilets. So people are now making it a habit of defecating in plastic bags and either throwing it on top of the roof of houses or along the streets.

This, in Monrovia, is called OPERATION CHAPEL BALL OR TODU BALL, meaning one must be careful at night not to encounter artificial bombs of toilets thrown in plastic bags.
To many this is not only polluting the air but also the main source of water during the rains. As such, the health of the population is greatly affected from both air and water contaminated diseases that are easily spread from one person to the next.
One major factor for this menace is that the population has grown at a rapid rate and the facilities cannot match with it. It is on this note that the elders are calling on the attention of the government and other agencies working on hygiene, water and sanitation to create alternative sources of getting affordable drinking water, establish dustbin sites, organize the youths to clean the environment and construct more public toilets.

Unlike Clara Town, the situation at West Point that hosts over fifty thousand people is nothing good to write home about. Commissioner Sylvester Lama emphasized that it is a threat to a cosmopolitan community. The population comprises different nationalities in the West Africa region engaged in diverse works of life.

Unfortunately, though it is one of the oldest counties, created in 1952 and named after West Point Military Academy of the United States of America with six different communities yet lacks adequate safe drinking water and sanitation facilities. On site visit, the shallow wells by the sea area are meant for cooking and domestic work. To get drinking water, they either travel to Clara Town, buy rubbers of water or travel to distant places.

As if this was not enough, the toilet facilities is unimaginable, the homes lack toilets, the youths who cannot afford to pay for the use of public toilets have to rush to the seaside and deposit waste products. For the other, they make use of make shift toilets that are opened to both men and women in the same building on a first come first serve basis. It is apportioned into smaller rooms; from the bowels of man directly in to the water all these waste are found floating by the seaside.
Here it is a matter of re-cycling of waste products. Most of the inhabitations are fishermen. So the fish eat the toilets and they are caught and sold or eaten by the locals. This means the toilets in another form goes back to Man and then to the fish.

It is no surprise that the Commissioner highlighted the health status of the 50 thousand people who are usually affected by water born diseases, pollution and unhygienic environment. It is as a result of this issue that the elders and Commissioners are now seeing the dangers of the makeshift pit toilets and now calling for the building of flush community toilets.
It is also suggested that the youths be empowered to regularly clean the beaches and costal areas. There should be more education programmes on hygiene, water and sanitation and platforms must be created where the youth and elders can sit and address these problems.

This situation is compounded on the grounds that there is no hospital at West Point. It was reported that for a place closer to the city, people are carried in wheelbarrows to hospitals far away. Recently, a pregnant woman died as a result of this acute situation. The educational facilities are also deplorable as there is only one public school.

The irony of this situation is that if we cannot address the situation in the city or its environment, what can we say about the rural towns and villages that are away from the seat of power
It’s now time to save the one million population in these two slum areas of Monrovia by ensuring that we raise the effects of there deplorable conditions among slum developers, sensitize the inhabitants on the need to practice hygiene, sanitation and getting access to clean and affordable water so that we tend to see a healthy and productive environment

February 27, 2012

Cholera Outbreak hits Northern Sierra Leone

By Diana Coker –dianacoker1@yahoo.com

Sierra Leone

Kambia and Port-Loko Districts in the northern part of Sierra Leone are the affected areas of Cholera out break. Ministry official says. The declaration came after reports of an increase number of death rate in Yeliboya, a cosmopolitan fishing area situated in Kambia.

The Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kisito Daoh in respect of the outbreak of cholera stated among others in a press release that after investigation from the Medical Microbiologist for Vibro Cholera and Staphylococcus feacalis in both stool and water samples collected from affected areas, have declared an outbreak of cholera in both Kambia and Port- Loko Districts.

What actually this press release did not say was whether there has occured any death whatsoever and also the mechanism put in place to address the outbreak before it gets beyond the current affected areas.

What perhaps most Sierra Leoneans are keenly concerned about is the inavailability and inaccessibility of clean drinking water in most areas in Sierra Leone, but more so in rural settings, what is available to the people is often a running stream which dries up in the dry season.

In an interview with one Madam Fatu Sesay who alledged that her husband died as a result of the cholera outbreak in Yeliboya, she appealed to the Government to provide them with clean drinking water and also construct quality toilet facilities in some public places. She stated that they depend on fresh water from rivers around Kambia District for domestic purposes, but this water she says are not treated.

She says that most of them are low income earning people, and therefore they cannot afford to construct quality toilet facilities in their homes, but rather what basically they have embarked on over the years is to build hanging toilets in the nearby streams.

From thorough investigation conducted in most places in the cities as well as towns and villages it has been found out that chlorine which is used to purify water generally is not available for sale in the country. It is understood that only the Guma Valley Water Company has the sole right to import and use this very important chemical.

Despite chlorine is not easily accessible, whatever little water they get be it from a bore whole, they fail to boil to kill bacteria which definitely affects their health and causes death. What needs to be done is for the Guma Valley Water Company and SALWACO to register these bore holes and water basins constructed in every part of the country, and provide them with water purification chemicals for a fee, if these very important life saving moves are made the issue of outbreak of cholera and diarrhea can be effectively combated and become a thing of the past.

Another key area of concern is the filthy environment in the city and other big towns, these is not helped by the fact that there are numerous streets trading activities which generates tones of garbage every day, the deposit of waste in sensitive parts of the country and the lack of capacity on the part of the Waste Management Company to effectively deal with the poor sanitation circumstances.

Even the land-field-sites are poorly managed due to inavailability of a bulldozer to use regularly to move the huge tones of garbage swelling up in particular location. Workers at these sites lack the requisite dressing gears, such as nose mask, protective overall, and boots to work in these sites.

During the dries, some of the land-field-sites emits dangerous gases into the air which eventually spreads out to the adjacent community, causing poor health situation, flies and mosquitoes germinates in their millions causing common diseases , such as diarrhea, cholera and malaria.

February 23, 2012

Millions lack access to WASH services in Liberia, Sierra Leone


                                                     By MUSTAPHA SESAY Mustaphasesay25@yahoo.com

What will the World be in the not too distant future if modalities are not put in place by World Leaders, Policy Makers, and Agencies towards  the deteriorating  situations of millions of deprived communities affected by lack of access to quality and affordable water, sanitation and hygiene?

As the adage goes, ‘when I see, I feel the plight of the situation, when I hear, I recall and when I touch, I am moved by the reality on the ground.’ This is exactly the situation of most slum communities and urban areas where the population exceeds the basic social amenities.

Taking a closer look at two post war countries; Sierra Leone and Liberia, one is bound to compare and contrast the deplorable slum situation between the two countries.

POOR SANITATION AT KROO BAY

One common feature is that Kroo Bay in Sierra Leone and West Point in Monrovia were places that housed thousands of internally displaced that fled the rural areas for the cities during the civil wars that ravaged the two countries. It was during that period that population explosion took place in urban areas there by ruining most of the facilities. After the war, most of the youths refused going back to their original places as some took up petty trading and established make shift structures as they had nothing to go back to.

MAKE SHIFT TOILETS AT WEST POINT

Despite promises by Governments of these countries to relocate these slum dwellers to safer and conducive places, yet this has not been feasible due to economic and political reasons.

Speaking to some elders and politicians, some of the factors responsible for the halting of such venture is that it is difficult to relocate a population of over thirty thousand to a site as the cost involved is so exorbitant as huge funds are needed for the relocated site to have basic facilities to prevent the people returning to their previous places.

Further more funds are not always available to ensure that the empty spaces left behind are utilized for developmental purposes. As a result, the criminals will utilize such places as their hide out that will pose security threat to the society.

Another worrisome issue discussed by most of the people in these slum communities is that most have stayed in those localities with children going to schools, so it becomes very difficult to move over to a new site.

Notwithstanding some of these views,  It is becoming clear that life in these two communities are plagued with diseases, pollution, environmental hazards as a result of the lack of water, sanitation and hygiene for the growing population.

On the area of sanitation, Kroo Bay has a stream flowing into the Atlantic Ocean, most of the house hold waste, and toilets are thrown into this stream. During the day children and pigs are seeing washing in the stream thus water born diseases are easily contracted

In the rainy season, the whole area is flooded as the water from the city is emptied into this area before getting into the ocean.  With this, there has been reported cases of flooding and loss of life and properties

Crime rate is high in this community simply because there is no proper building planning making it prone to fire disaster.

Unlike West Point   located on a peninsula  on the  Atlantic Ocean between the Mesurado and Saint Paul rivers that is resided by people from 14 West African countries .It is worth noting that this area is the main source of fish  but it is disheartening to see the deplorable nature of the community with a high rate illiteracy and without basic sanitation and health facilities. To worsen the situation, the community cannot boast of a single government clinic and a school to educate the children of basic hygiene and sanitation.

As a way of getting the view of the Commissioner of the area Sylvester Larno, WASH facilities in the town is one of the worst in the capital of Liberia.

Dilating on sanitation issue, Kroo Bay in Sierra Leone is far better than as compared to West Point, the reason being that some of the houses have toilets and there is a public toilet that is decent unlike West Point with a few make shift toilets. And even with that, only those who can afford money will have to make use of the structures while the poor practice open defecation to the disadvantage of the population. There are times youths do clean their areas and the major street making it accessible to most of the social facilities in the city.

Pure drinking water is accessible as tap water and wells could be visible, while at West point, it is the opposite as residents have to walk miles, buy plastic water or drink the unhygienic water that is closer to defecation centres.

SCRAMBLE  FOR WATER IN SLUM COMMUNITY

Some common features about slum communities are that they characteristic of overcrowding that are prone to epidemic diseases. This in return will affect the health status of the population. There is no privacy and most of the children grow up with bad attitudes in life. During the rains, flooding is the order of the day in these areas closer to the sea.

Notwithstanding these menace, improving sanitation, water and hygienic facilities will curtail the spread of diseases. There is need for regular sanitization and awareness programmes on these issues. Some of the youths should be provided with skill training jobs so that with livelihood, they can look out for decent places to stay.

February 22, 2012

Rural Women and Children struggle for safe clean drinking water

                                      By Ishmael Kindama Dumbuya, Sierra Leone

Climate change or the unfriendly activities of human beings on earth and the environment may be the result of acute shortage of clean and safe drinking water in Sierra Leone and other parts of the continent, causing millions of people including children and women suffer on a daily basis.

The situation of acute shortage of clean water has been experienced in the city and the provincial areas where less concentration is normally given to communities on the part of water and other social basic amenities. In Sierra Leone, the problemImages of acute shortage of clean and safe drinking water are not only occurring in the deprived communities in the provinces but those communities in the outskirt of the city as well.

Water is an essential commodity and the international community is putting more efforts to it to ensure human beings access safe and clean drinking water.

On September 30th 2010, the UN Human Rights Council adopted by consensus Resolution 64/292 the human right to water and sanitation affirming that water and sanitation are human rights. During this historic meeting in Geneva, the UN affirmed by consensus that the right to water and sanitation is derived from the right to an adequate standard of living, which is contained in several international human rights treaties.
Standard times environmental reporter, Ishmael Kindama Dumbuya travels to communities surrounding the capital city of Freetown and those in the Kambia District and get a first hand information on how the urban, rural and children are struggling to get safe and clean drinking water for their families.
I first travel to Kambia District, a distance of about 150 miles. From Kambia Town, I proceed to rural communities in a village called 15 Mile in the Tonkoh Limba Chiefdom, exactly 15 miles distance from Kambia Town. The village stretches northwards of the chiefdom and it is about 3 miles from the beginning of the Chiefdom. Over 1000 people live here.
There is no community center in this village in case there is a need for social activities or community meetings and gatherings. I spend a night in here and electricity is not something to think about in the village. When a vehicle passes through the village at night, children and adults normally glad when they see the brightness of the vehicle. Absolutely, there is no development here and parents who love their children to attend school send them to other villages like Mile 14 and Sella Kafta before they can get basic primary education.

Like in other communities in the Tonkoh Limba Chiefdom and other parts of the country, there is no water borne pipes or dug water well in the village. The over one thousand people in this village (children, youths and women) must walk two and half miles to fetch water for their daily use. In the morning after a stressful night in a strange village, I proceeded to the community only source of water called Kamaworni with Madam Mabinty Kamara and a class nine year old school pupil.
The water well of about 50 metres round is surrounded by trees and the water level is low and one must go very close to fetch a bucket of water and be careful not to fell into the well. In normal cases, clean and safe drinking water is usually colourless, but this is not the situation here in Kamaworni water site. The community drinking water is colorful and if you are a stranger, you will not have the audacity to take a bucket of water and wash your feet. But the community people who are used to this because of no alternative will do that and drink with confidence.

The clayed water is a host to toads, snakes and other water animals. If you are not used to see these things, you will be scared seeing snakes, toads and other animals dancing and playing in the water while children and women trying to fetch buckets of water for the day’s use. I saw stinky mud which was producing unfavorable smell from the water.
Mabinty Kamara who is married to a husband of this village and now 20 years since she came into the 15 Mile community said they have been facing with such situation of fetching filthy water for their homes. Madam Mabinty knows the water is filthy and not suitable for human beings to drink and do other domestic works. She said there is no alternative for them and “either we fetch clay water and allow it to sentiment for use or we do not get water for our homes at all costs”.
The drinking of the filthy water normally result to sicknesses for the community people and Madam Mabinty said “we do normally sick and because the God almighty is with us, some of these sicknesses are cured by the clay water after persistent drinking”.
Pa Ceray Sorie Kamara is one of the elders of the 15 Mile community.

He also reflected on the past how they have been suffering from the village without clean and safe drinking water for themselves and their children. Pa Kamara said “we have been drinking this water for some time now and we are use to this. We will continue to use to the sad situation if there is no assistance from NGOs, the government of Sierra Leone or any philanthropist individual or institution”.
Pa Sorie is not in favour of his community being left from development by NGOs and the government especially on development concerning water and sanitation. He said “the NGOs like Action Aid in the past ignore them and pass through their community to go and dig community dug-water well taps in other villages.

Pa Sorie adds “they pass us here as if we don’t want water wells. I don’t know if it is because the village is small and even the fact is the village is small, we are still people who need basic needs and clean water”.
After a stressful journey in 15 Mile Village in Kambia, I boarded a vehicle and back in Freetown for another assignment in the Tree Planting community in Leicester Road. The Tree Planting community is overlooking the capital city of Freetown. Madam Adama Fatima in the Tree Planting community in Freetown shares the same experience with Madam Mabinty Kamara who lives in the 15 Mile village.
Madam Adama also don’t use pipe-borne water for her home but will always take her bucket and looks towards a filthy water stream to fetch water for her children and for domestic purposes. She said they have been suffering at the community with no taps to easily fetch water and added that “any day I and my children must come to this filthy and static stream to fetch water.”
The Leicester Road community closer to the Western Area Peninsular Forest is also suffering from acute shortage of water. The watersheds which are the main sources for supplying water to the community and other parts of the city are dry-off because of massive cutting down of trees for settlement.

About two years ago, the National Commission for Social Action (NaCSA) dished out funds over one hundred and fifty thousand Leones for community gravity water taps but these proposed taps never worked for the community. Probably, some of the community elders shared the money among themselves leaving a host of residents to continue struggling for the clean and safe drinking water.
Although there are no known plans set by Non-Governmental Organizations and possibly the government of Sierra Leone to undertake pipe-borne or dug water taps in various parts of the communities overlooking the city and the provincial communities, the Minister of Energy and Water Resources while planting trees recently at the Moku Hills in the Western Area Peninsular Forests Reserve said they recognize that people are suffering to get clean and safe drinking water.

The Minister said as a responsible government, they will ensure they provide water for people in the country.
The only time the communities both in the provinces and some parts of the city can make use of clean and safe drinking water is during the mid of the raining season and if this situation is not corrected and assistance provided, communities in the provinces especially 15 Mile will continue to suffer and struggle to get clean and safe drinking water for their various uses.

February 22, 2012

Conseils relatifs à la rédaction des articles

Chers Collegues, je partage avec vous ces informations utiles pour la redaction des articles. Il est integralement copie sur le site de IRC

Les articles de terrain vous offrent l’occasion de partager les connaissances, les idées et les expériences avec d’autres personnes. Avant de vous atteler à la rédaction de votre histoire, vous voudrez parcourir les conseils relatifs aux articles ci-dessous pour vous aider à structurer votre écrit. Veuillez y inclure vos nom et prénoms, courriel, numéro de téléphone.

Titre : choisissez un titre qui saisit l’essence de ce que vous voulez communiquer
Langue : anglais, français ou espagnol
Style : concis et simple.
Originalité : tous les articles proviendront de l’auteur qui les propose.
Longueur : 700 -1000 mots

Pendant la composition de votre article:

Essayez de raconter une histoire d’un événement ou une série d’événements qui ont une influence profonde positive ou négative sur vous ou sur les personnes au sujet desquelles vous écrivez

Les bonnes histoires se servent d’un langage simple prennent en compte l’intérêt humain d’un projet. Elles ressemblent à un récit individuel relatif à un projet

Montrez, ne racontez pas. Faites vivre au lecteur les événements et les émotions décrits dans le regard des participants

Rappelez vous les « cinq Q » (Qui ? Quoi? Quand ? Où ? et Pourquoi ?) : Les histoires comprendront un résumé d’un événement ou d’une activité de même que les difficultés rencontrées, les leçons d’expériences, les succès, etc. Les lecteurs devraient en tirer une idée claire de ce qui a marché ou de ce qui n’a pas marché dans certains contextes – et des idées dont ils pourraient de servir.

Commencez par un gros titre qui accroche le lecteur et qui présente clairement et avec imagination les principaux personnages, le thème central de l’histoire

Dans la mesure du possible, les histoires devraient comprendre une photographie (en format .JPG), de préférence de personnes engagées dans une activité ou un événement.

Les photos numériques se prendront en résolution de 3 méga pixels au moins. Vous voudrez ne pas coller les photos dans un document MS Word et ne pas modifiez ou comprimer les photos, car cela en réduira la qualité. (Ce point est sans objet si vous l’envoyez par la poste). Prière, légender la photo.

Les histoires comprendront également une citation d’une ou deux des bénéficiaires ou toute autre personne impliquée dans le projet pour ajouter du contexte et de la crédibilité. Citez leurs noms et prénoms, et qualité.

Ecrivez par cœur. Racontez votre histoire honnêtement, entièrement, et succinctement.

Terminez par une conclusion qui résout le conflit/défie de manière positive, qui laisse les lecteurs avec un moment de soulagement, Ouf! ou Wao ! ou Bien !

Evitez les sigles et si vous les incluez, les expliquer au premier usage.

Retenez les 3 étapes suivantes:

Présentez le sujet, le défi, et/ou l’opportunité : Vers la fin du premier paragraphe, les lecteurs devront avoir une compréhension claire de la principale question.
Réponse : Après avoir introduit le sujet, allez directement à la réponse. L’intention de relever le défi constitue l’idée principale de l’histoire, et contient la plupart du temps des détails de l’histoire. Qu’est-ce que le programme ou l’initiative a réalisé, et qui ou quoi se destinait-il à aider ? Comment a-t-il fonctionné ou a-t-il marché ?
Résultats, et/ou impact, leçons d’expérience: Les résultats et l’impact s’accrochent à l’histoire, et permettent au lecteur de comprendre comment la réponse au défi a satisfait à l’opportunité décrite au commencement.

Faites attention:

Assurez-vous que votre histoire porte principalement sur des personnes plutôt que des organisations. Il ne s’agit pas pour vous de faire de la publicité pour votre ONG.
Gardez-vous des affirmations irréalistes – Tout était terrible avant que nous ayons fait ceci, et tout est merveilleux après que nous l’ayons fait. Nous recherchons des leçons, pas des miracles!
Gardez-vous d’impliquer des gens qui n’en savaient rien avant l’intervention – si les gens n’agissaient pas de la meilleure manière, ils avaient probablement leurs raisons. Il y a beaucoup d’obstacles au changement.

Nous espérons avoir bientôt de vos nouvelles !

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February 22, 2012

Drissa Traoré, WASH Media Network Burkina Faso, speaks during the General Assembly 2012 in Monrovia, Liberia, on the importance of water for life and his perspective on the WASH situation in Burkina Faso and Liberia and the need for behaviour change (in French)

February 22, 2012

Babalobi Babatope, Secretary General WASH-JN, speaks during the General Assembly 2012 in Monrovia, Liberia, on the role of the network and individual journalists to bring about change in WASH services delivery and access

February 22, 2012

Mustapha Sesay, WASH Media Network Sierra Leone, speaks during the General Assembly 2012 of the WASH-JN in Monrovia, Liberia, on his perspective on the WASH situation in Sierra Leone and Liberia and the role of the journalists

February 22, 2012

Mining activities destroy water bodies, endanger Dumase, Twigyaa communities

By Edmund Smith-Asante
One of the easiest and fastest ways to cut short the life of any living creature or being, is to deny it of water – potable water.

Apart from being the magical fluid that keeps humans of all races alive and indeed makes up 55 to 60% of the human body, 70% of the brain, as well as the skin, 82% of blood, and nearly 90% of the lungs, water has so many uses, without which life itself would become impossible.

But this is the dire straits two Ghanaian communities find themselves in, because six rivers they have depended on over time, have either been polluted or destroyed through mining activities.

The two communities located in the Western Region of Ghana, Dumase and Twigyaa near Bogoso, made up of over 5,000 people, now face severe water crisis, which they say, is because of the operations of a mining company – Golden Star Resources (GRS), which has led to the pollution and or destruction of rivers in the communities.

According to the indigenes and indeed incontrovertible information available, before the commencement of surface mining operations in the area, the Dumase community had six rivers, namely; Aprepre, Wurawura, Akyesua, Benya, Pram and Nana Nyabuo but mining operations have polluted and destroyed them all.

Pollution:

For instance on October 24, 2004 and June 17, 2006, the operations of GRS polluted River Aprepre through two cyanide spillages.

That notwithstanding, water from boreholes constructed by the company for the Dumase community turns purplish-blue immediately it comes into contact with plantain and cassava, suggesting the presence of heavy metals, thereby rendering it unwholesome and unusable by the community.

Unsustainable water supply:

To resolve the water crisis, the company has resorted to supplying water in tankers to Dumase and other communities like Twigyaa and Brakwaline that are faced with similar water problems resulting from their operations.

However, that step has hit a snag, with the communities reeling under the inconsistent, unsustainable and unreliable nature of the supply of water.

According to the people of Dumase and Twigyaa, the company sometimes denies them access to potable water for days when the tanker that supplies water fails to supply water.

The major concern of the communities, nonetheless, is that the water supply system by the company would cease after the mine closes and that would lead to the death of their communities.

Demonstration:

It is not surprising therefore, that the water crisis has become a constant source of conflict between the communities and the Golden Star Resources company.

Consequently, after going without water for four days, the communities could not take it anymore and on December 12, 2011, about 200 women in Dumase led by the Assemblywoman for Dumase, Honourable Joana Manu, embarked on a three-hour peaceful demonstration against Golden Star Resources, to protest against the unreliability of the alternative water supply system.

Petition:

The Dumase community women also presented a petition signed on their behalf by Madam Mary Kisi, Women’s Leader in the community, to the management of Golden Star Resources.

The women in Dumase stated in the petition, the unreliability and unsustenability of the alternative water supply system provided by the company and requested Golden Star Resources to develop a sustainable and reliable potable water system for the Dumase community by February 2012.

Wacam’s reaction:

In its reaction to the plight of Dumase, Twigyaa and other communities, Wacam, a non-governmental organisation that assists communities affected by mining, said it supports the genuine struggle of the Dumase and Twigyaa people for the provision of sustainable and reliable potable water supply system to the people by Golden Star Resources.

“This support stems from the fact that a research by the Centre for Environmental Impact Assessment (CEIA) on the risk and health impacts of exposure to polluted rivers in the Tarkwa-Nsuaem Municipality indicated that all the six rivers in the Dumase and Twigyaa communities and the boreholes that the company provides are polluted heavily with heavy metals.

“When the Dumase and Twigyaa communities do not have access to potable water, they would be compelled to use the polluted rivers and thus ingest the heavy metals. This would have serious health implications,” Wacam stressed in a statement issued January 4, 2012.

Signed by Mr. Daniel Owusu-Koranteng, Executive Director, the statement said Wacam is deeply worried about the water crisis of the Dumase and Twigyaa people, which would worsen when the company ends its mining operations.

“The mining communities in Kenyase, Obuasi, Tarkwa and Prestea areas are facing similar serious water stress due to mining activities and this requires urgent actions by the regulatory agencies such as Environmental Protection Agency and the Water Resources Commission in protecting the country’s water resources. Mining activities are contributing to the destruction of the country’s freshwater resources at a very fast rate because of the increasing high gold price,” he stated further.

Wacam has thus called on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to act with urgency in putting pressure on Golden Star Resources to provide sustainable and reliable potable water system to Dumase and Twigyaa communities.

Response from Golden Star Resources:

Responding to the agitation and concerns of the mining communities in a telephone interview with ghanabusinessnews.com January 9, 2012, Mrs. Ellen Kwami, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of GSR, disclosed that in early December 2011, there was a problem with the pumps, hence the inability of the company to supply water to the communities of Dumase and Twigyaa for a period.

“Two of the pumps got burnt simultaneously, so there was some interruption with the supply and that led to some agitation which has since been resolved,” she said.

Stating that it hadn’t come to her knowledge that there was still a problem with water supply to the communities, Mrs. Kwami intimated that the company has a consultative committee that works on such issues and it has not brought any existing problem to their notice.

Touching on the sustainability of the water supplied to the communities through the tanker services, she said “If they say it is not regular, that is not correct. I know that we are all looking at the possibility of getting a permanent solution, but that has not been determined yet.”

“But as I said, this is something that all the members of the consultative committee are aware of; we have a consultative committee for Twigyaa and for Dumase we have the resettlement committee – all these issues are discussed there,” the PRO said further.

Commenting on the unsuccessful sinking of some boreholes for the community, she stated that boreholes in mining areas are determined by the nature of the soil. “Sometimes it can be difficult. Sometimes the iron content is so high. So that’s why I am saying that all this is under discussion,” Mrs. Kwami added, assuring that neither side has relented in its efforts to find a permanent solution to the water problem in the communities.

However, in her response to the assertion by the mining communities that their operations were responsible for the pollution and destruction of their rivers and water bodies, the GRS PRO stated;“If you put the shortage of water at the doorstep of one company, that is a bit difficult to swallow.”

February 20, 2012

MONROVIA: A WEST POINT, L’EAU QUI TUE.

Quelques années après la guerre civile, les conséquences d’un assainissement relatif et du manque d’eau sont nombreuses sur la santé de tous et en particulier des femmes et des enfants. 11/20 est la note attribuée par l’UNICEF ET WATERAID en 2011 en matière d’assainissement.

Les organismes précisent également que 2900 enfants meurent chaque année des suites de diarrhées. Au delà d’une note, l’assainissement est une réalité qui invite à un questionnement multiple. En cette douce matinée de mercredi 15 février 2012, les journalistes spécialisés aux questions d’accès à l’eau, l’hygiène et l’assainissement de 14 pays d’Afrique s’intéressent à la situation du Liberia. Leur descente sur le terrain les conduits entre autre à West Point et Clara Town. L’occasion de
West Point qui est une zone de grandes endémies ne bénéficie que d’une Case de santé d’une capacité réelle de dix lits. Les maladies qui y sont enregistrées fréquemment sont liées à la consommation des aliments souillés. Mais la cause directe reste l’utilisation de l’eau de la rivière très polluées. L’eau qui sert à tous les usages quotidiens à West Point, tue.

Il est 16H 15 minutes quand nous arrivons dans la salle d’enregistrement du case de santé de West Point. C’est un petit centre construit il y a une dizaine d’année pour servir une communauté de 10.000 membres, et pourtant multiplié par quatre aujourd’hui. Trois jeunes femmes attendent dans la toute petite salle. Une autre ressort immédiatement tenant la main d’un plus jeune. Selon Martha la mère, Karim son fils a quatre ans et demi et aurait de la fièvre. La case de santé ne reçoit la visite du médecin qu’occasionnellement.

C’est donc l’infirmière major qui assure la relève. Elle hésite à nous accorder quelques minutes, et finalement répondra à trois de nos préoccupations. Selon Mme Constancia, « l’enfant qui vient de sortir est toujours maladif. Comme lui, les enfants sont réguliers à la case pour les mêmes causes. »
West Point et Clara Town, deux bidons villes de bidons vides.
Un enfant libérien sur neuf meurt avant son cinquième anniversaire, soit 110 sur 1.000 naissances vivantes, selon l’Enquête démographique de santé au Libéria en 2007. Environ 39 pour cent des enfants sont chétifs ou trop petits pour leur âge. Les principales causes de décès sont le paludisme, la diarrhée et les maladies respiratoires.

Plusieurs bidon-villes de Monrovia sont situées le long des rives marécageuses polluées du fleuve Mensurado, près du centre-ville de Monrovia. Les populations de West Point, de Clara Town ou de Slipway un peu plus loin utilisent l’eau qu’elles jugent clair et donc potable ou alors se servent de l’eau de la rivière. Les fosses septiques quant à elles sont en général construites en matériau provisoire et gérées par des privées. Les fosses débordent régulièrement, et des ordures brûlantes s’entassent entre les égouts entourant les latrines boueuses.
Notre emploi de temps ne nous aura pas permis de rencontrer le responsable de « Liberia Water and Sewer », la Société d’eau et d’assainissement du Libéria. Mais des habitants de West Point affirment que la société s’atèle depuis des années à reconnecter les tuyaux détruits pendant des décennies de guerre civile.

Les coupures d’eau sont fréquentes et peuvent mettre des jours voire des semaines. Les habitants dont le revenu est très modeste ne peuvent donc pas se permettre l’alternative de l’eau minérale qui est un luxe.

Au delà de la décision politique de soins de santé publique gratuits à travers le pays pour les enfants de moins de cinq ans, des efforts restent à fournir par les autorités pour l’accès universel aux soins de sante et à l’eau à tous les Libériens.

La majorité des populations n’a pas d’autre choix que de déféquer en plein air. De plus, la capacité des centres de santé ne parvient pas à s’occuper des cas graves d’enfants qui arrivent malnutris, souffrant de diarrhée et de déshydratation critiques. Ils sont renvoyés vers les hôpitaux publics tels que JFK Hospital et Redemption.

Eddy Patrick DONKENG
donkengeddy@gmail.com
CAMERWASH

February 17, 2012

Challenges Reporting on WASH, by Dauda

February 17, 2012

Residents of Clara town cry for help

“We are dying of diarrhea and cholera. We are also dysentery and malaria. We appeal to government agencies, charities and civil society organizations to come to our aid”.

Clara town located on Bushrod Island, a suburb of Monrovia, Liberia became famous for being the birthplace of Liberian football star George Oppong Weah Clara town. In recent years, the community is attracting global attention for its poor, inadequate and over stretched sanitation facilities, unsafe drinking water supply, decrepit drainages, and poor hygiene practices.

Clara Town has a population of 48,000 with 967 fully built up houses (and another 967 unfinished houses) inhabited by 12,335 women and 11,730 men, people, according to a community census exercise.
Access to water, sanitation, and hygiene services is generally poor in Liberia including its capital city Monrovia.
Facilities have generally old and deteriorated no thanks to a 14 year old civil war.

Statistics are also unreliable, but a 2009 story by Allwestafrica.com http://www.allwestafrica.com/241120092550.html reports that “just one-third of Monrovia’s 1.5 million residents have access to clean toilets, and 20 to 30 cholera cases are reported weekly; in 2008 there were 888 suspected cases, 98 percent of them in Monrovia’s overcrowded shantytowns such as West Point, Buzzi Quarter, Clara Town, and Sawmill”

February 16, 2012

“We are dying of Cholera”: residents of Clara town cry for help

                                                                        By Babatope Babalobi, in Monrovia

Clara town located on Bushrod Island, a suburb of Monrovia, Liberia became famous for being the birthplace of Liberian football star George Oppong Weah.

Clara town, founded by a Methodist missionary 40 years ago, is attracting global attention in recent years, as its inhabitants are burdened by the  effects of poor, inadequate and over stretched sanitation facilities, unsafe drinking water supply, decrepit drainages, and poor hygiene practices.

The Clara community  has a population of 48,000 with 967 fully built up houses (and another 67 unfinished houses) inhabited by 12,335 women and 11,730 men, people, according to a community census exercise. Its residents face huge challenges in accessing improved water supply, safe sanitation and hygiene services.

Access to water, sanitation, and hygiene services is generally poor in Liberia including its capital city Monrovia. Facilities have generally old and deteriorated no thanks to a 14 year old civil war.

Statistics are also unreliable, but a 2009 story by Allwestafrica.com reports that “just one-third of Monrovia’s 1.5 million residents

Non functional Water supply facility

have access to clean toilets, and 20 to 30 cholera cases are reported weekly; in 2008 there were 888 suspected cases, 98 percent of them in Monrovia’s overcrowded shantytowns such as West Point, Buzzi Quarter, Clara Town, and Sawmill”

Open defecation

Raymond is a 45 year old male resident in Clara town, who admits to practicing open defecation because basic sanitation facilities are inadequate, unaffordable, and over stretched. He narrates his experience,

When you go to the toilet, you stay in line, sometimes 100 people can be outside, and sometimes 50 people can be on the queue waiting to use the toilet.  You may pou-pou (defecate) on yourself if you have running stomach”

Veronica: I 'toilet' in the open

Another resident, Veronica a 9th grade female  student of Saint Mary’s Catholic School in Clara Town, says some of her colleagues often contact water borne diseases due to the poor WASH services.  “One of my friends had got cholera after drinking “.  As a way out the school pupils resort to buying packaged water in plastic bags: “In the school, we buy us spent $5 Liberian dollars to buy Mineral water”

Though there is a toilet in her school, there are no soap and hand towels for her to ensure personal hygiene after using the toilet facilities. If lack of hand washing items is only her headache in the school, it would have been better. 15 year old Veronica faces challenges in maintaining personal menstrual hygiene due to lack of safe water and sanitation facilities in the school, saying some of her colleagues including at times excuse themselves from class work in order to cater for their mistral needs: “If the menses of any of the female students start in school, then you will tell the Teacher, and you will come home. We often miss classes and lessons because of this.”

Open drainages is a common sight

The situation is not better in her residence. There are virtually no household’s toilet facilities in Clara Town and residents depend wholly on the public toilets built 18 years ago. The toilets are not only inadequate but also expensive.  According to Veronica: “there is no toilet in my house, and you have to spend $5 Liberian dollars each time you use the public toilets. If you use the toilets three times, you pay $15.”  What happens when she does not have this fee? “Sometimes I toilet in the open, Sometimes, If you don’t have money, when you beg them, they will allow you to use the toilet”.

Lamenting on the poor and inadequate WASH facilities in the town, David Jacobs, Chair of Clara Town Community Council said: “We want our government to come to our aid”, with hands raised to the sky in helplessness.

“There is only one dump site in this town and only eleven public toilets which were built in 1984”, now grossly inadequate to meet the needs of  members of the community  to use. As a result, several residents still defecate in the open by the beach. “People toilet in the plastics and throw it into the oceans”, said Jacobs.

David Jacobs : “We are dying"

We are dying of diarrhea and cholera. We are also dying of dysentery and malaria. We appeal to government agencies, charities and civil society organizations to come to our aid”.

When asked of efforts made by the community to address these challenges through self help projects,  C. Donyeroreh, the Vice Chairman of the Clara Town Community Council: “ it is difficult getting individual households to construct toilets because “ people are almost living below poverty level. They do not have not have money to construct toilets or boreholes.  They cannot afford it.

Most of the houses are also congested, so there is no space” The construction of wells is also not encouraged because the groundwater is salty as a result of the nearness of the community to the Atlantic Ocean.

This position is however, countered by a resident Raymond who said that it is possible for households to construct toilets. “Some houses have toilets and every landlord  should be encouraged to construct toilets”, said Raymond.

Omarley Yeabah, a former adviser to the Ministry of health environmental planning unit, in Liberia, who is in charge of ensuring water quality and promoting public hygiene awareness, said government resources were thin. “The challenges are enormous – our lack of capacity, a lack of vehicles, just a few people working on this in each county.” Nevertheless, “The situation is not terrible, considering the war we just had.”

 

February 15, 2012

Updates on Global Sanitation Fund in Nigeria

Audio Interview  

February 15, 2012

I have a dream to improve WASH services delivery in Makoko slum

Njideka Onwunyi from Nigeria, Fellow in the Engage in Conservation project at the Dekeyser & Friends Academy, Germany shares her hopes for the future!

February 15, 2012

Deuxième Assemblée Générale Du Wash-Jn A Monrovia

Depuis Mins De Ce Lundi 13 Févier 2012 Ce Tien Dans La Salle De Conférence De Mamba Point Hotel De Monrovia Capitale Du Liberia, La Deuxième Assemblée Générale Du Réseau De Journalistes Ouest-Africains Pour L’eau Potable L’hygiène Et L’assainissement.

 

Plus De 13 Pays Y Sont Présentés Dont La Côte D’ivoire En La Personne De Kanzli Mideh Coordinatrice De Wash-Jnci.

Les Objectifs De Cette Ag Sont :
-Bilan Des Activités 2012
-Perspectives
-Présentation De D’activités, Projets Et Besoins De Chaque Réseau National
-Réflexion Sur Le Budget Qui Sera Alloue A Chaque Réseau National Pour Mener A Bien Cette Mission

February 15, 2012

AG WASH-JN A MONROVIA « C’EST TRES BON »

L’assemblée générale du WASH-JN se déroule à Monrovia au Liberia du 12 au 17 Février 2012. Les journalistes délégués qui y participent ont célébré la St Valentin en séance de travail. L’agenda de la journée à l’Hôtel Mamba-Point l’un des hôtels requis par les partenaires prévoyait la suite des présentations des rapports nationaux et les questions de gouvernance au sein du Conseil de Coordination. Un autre point à l’agenda non officiel aura été la célébration de la St Valentin.
La journée a commencée avec de très intéressantes présentations des expériences et exploits des différents pays à la suite de la vague dont les présentations ont eu cours, le jour

1. La seconde phase de la journée prévoyait les questions de gouvernance et d’administration au sein du CC.

La séance a été présidée par le Coordinateur Régional.

Des échanges qui ont suivis son exposé, il a été manifeste les manquements du Bureau et les difficultés sur le plan fonctionnel et organisationnel. Il a été reconnu le travail impressionnant accompli par le SG durant cette année et suggéré que la rémunération lui soit accordée d’après ses propositions faites a Mumbai en Inde.

Les membres du CC reconnaissant l’absence des résultats ont par ailleurs émis à l’AG des propositions. Elles sont allées du remplacement de la Secrétaire a la Communication et a l’Information (poste revenant au Mali et vaquant du fait de la démission verbale de la tenante) en passant par le recrutement d’un administrateur ou d’un secrétaire rémunéré et la démission proposé expressément par le Coordinateur en poste.

Les réactions des délégués et du CC n’ont pas permis de trouver une position commune tel que prévu par les Statuts, cependant il a été décidé qu’avant la fin de la session des résolutions seraient prises.
Le climat a été un peu tendu pendant les travaux du fait de ces débats sur la gouvernance et sur l’administration. Une séance de projection photos proposée spontanément par la déléguée de la Cote d’Ivoire a permis de détendre l’atmosphère. Donnant ainsi l’occasion de célébrer la fête des amoureux de différentes manières.

Par groupes de deux ou trois les uns ont fait une brève visite dans les rues, d’autres ont fait quelques pas sur le sable de la plage longeant l’hôtel. D’autres par contre se sont offerts une sortie galante ou encore un shopping de formalité. La troisième journée se voudra tout aussi intéressante que pratique.

Elle permettra la descente sur le terrain et la visite de quelques sites, puis une session de formation sur quelques techniques de collectes d’information et de diffusion a l’aide des nouveaux medias. L’on se plaira d’entendre dire a la fin, « C’est très bon »
Eddy Patrick DONKENG.
donkengeddy@gmail.com
CAMERWASH

February 15, 2012

Afrique de l’Ouest de l’eau et l’assainissement des journalistes se réunissent à Monrovia

Delegates in a group picture

                                                                                                                   By Babatope Babalobi

L’assemblée générale annuelle (AGA) de l’eau et l’assainissement Afrique de l’Ouest journalistes Réseau(WASH-JN) www.wash-jn.net a débuté à Monrovia, au Libéria, hier.


La réunion rassemble 17 représentants des plates-formes nationales de journalistes qui l’eau etl’assainissement dans 14 pays d’Afrique occidentale et le Nigeria, le Sénégal, le Mali, le Bénin, le Togo, le Ghana, le Niger, la Côte d’Ivoire, le Libéria, la Guinée, le Cameroun, la Sierra Leone et la Guinée Bissau.
Haut de l’ordre du jour de l’Assemblée Générale qui dure une semaine est un examen des progrès réalisés jusqu’à présent par l’organisme régional depuis sa création en 2010, discussion sur le plan de travail 2012, et les mains sur la formation sur la façon dont la participation des journalistes peuvent utiliser la nouvellemédias à rendre compte du secteur de mieux.
Se félicitant des délégués à la réunion, chef d’équipe de WaterAid au Libéria, M. Apollos Nwafor a souligné la nécessité “pour les médias pour influencer positivement les gouvernements nationaux pour relever les défisdans le secteur grâce à l’action politique, le soutien financier et une meilleure gestion du programme.”
Prenant également la parole aux délégués, Mohammed Abdul-Nashiru, Directeur Régional de l’Advocacy,WaterAid Afrique de l’Ouest a dit: “la valeur du réseau va être déterminée par la qualité des histoires que ses membres sur les questions WASH publié, en particulier les histoires que se concentrer sur les défisauxquels sont confrontés les pauvres à accéder aux services d’eau et d’assainissement “.
«Nous devons amener les médias à prôner que le gouvernement devrait consacrer davantage de ressourcesdans le secteur et aussi la priorité au secteur”, a déclaré Abdul-Nashiru.

February 15, 2012

AU CAMEROUN DES FEMMES SE DECHIRENT ENCORE POUR L’ACCES A L’EAU…

La scène semble au départ très comique. Deux jeunes fillettes s’efforcent de séparer une bagarre rude entre deux femmes qui se déchirent les vêtements sous les regards très amusés des passants (des hommes en général). L’une d’entre elle serait enceinte d’environ six mois. Nous sommes à Batouri, dans l’Arrondissement de la Kadey Département du même nom, province de l’Est au Cameroun. Les rires vont s’estomper immédiatement quand la cause de la bagarre est révélée à tous : « elles se battent pour l’eau du puits».

Ceci n’est pourtant pas le propre de cette ville du Cameroun. Près de 3 milliards de personnes n’ont pas accès à l’eau potable dans le monde. Premières victimes comme le montrent les acteurs de la bagarre, les femmes et de plus en plus les jeunes filles. En plus des occupations ménagères classiques, il leur revient les taches liées à l’hygiène et à l’alimentation. Obligées, elles le sont en quelque sorte car c’est vers elle qu’il faudra se tourner en cas de maladie dans la famille. Ces corvées d’eau telle que le relèvent Action Contre la Faim (ONG), « les exposent à des risques en termes de santé (portage de charges lourdes dès leur plus jeune âge) et de sécurité (viol ou vol sur le chemin). » L’eau qui est la vie devient donc pour elles non seulement un calvaire, mais pire encore, une source de frustration et de stigmatisation. Et pourtant, la femme reste et demeure le nœud central de la bonne santé de toute la famille et du dispositif d’eau et d’assainissement.

Au registre des causes de mortalité infantile voire maternelle, dans ces zones rurales, la diarrhée, l’hépatite E, et quelques accidents physiques. Selon l’OMS et l’UNICEF en 2010, « l’Afrique Subsaharienne enregistre plus de 2 millions de décès chaque année des conséquences de diarrhées attribuées à la consommation d’eau non potable, au manque d’hygiène et d’accès à des structures d’assainissement, dont 1,2 millions d’enfants de moins de 5 ans ». Les maladies hydriques outre le fait qu’elles représentent une cause prépondérante de mortalité infantile (22% des causes de décès des moins de 5 ans, OMS 2010) sont également des facteurs aggravants de la sous-nutrition, notamment pour les populations les plus vulnérables, les femmes enceintes et allaitantes et les enfants de moins de 5 ans.

L’eau, oui mais à quel prix ?

Les interactions autour des points d’eau sont parfois rudes et les femmes qui le savent se préparent à l’ avance. Pour aller chercher de l’eau dans les pays en voie de développement, certaines femmes mettent en dessous des pagnes et autres boubous, des tenues de sport. En effet telle est la tenue de combat légitime. Les femmes se parent de plus en plus et veillent à ce que le message aille jusqu’à leurs jeunes progénitures. L’apprentissage par l’exemple… Non seulement la distance (avec ce que cela peut comporter comme surprises sur le chemin) est le premier obstacle, mais aussi la longue file et régulièrement ces accrochages qui surviennent lorsqu’une maligne souhaite sauter les étapes. Il existe une loi qui s’impose d’elle-même : « À chacun son tour, chacun a sa marmite à surveiller ». Et nul ne peut se dire au dessus de la loi. Même pas les femmes enceintes.

D’avantage de puits modernes et de toilettes pour relever ces défis.

Au niveau institutionnel, des efforts sont encore à fournir au niveau de la coopération et de la collaboration entre les différents acteurs. Il est relevé plusieurs actions en plans dispersés. Quant aux populations, généralement elles s’organisent pour faire face à ces défis. Mais seulement les efforts sont insignifiants devant la demande qui est toujours croissante. Elles concernent en général la gestion des points d’eaux aménagées, quelques toilettes publiques payantes mis en place par les communes rurales, pour ne citer que ceux-là. Cependant, mettre en œuvre des pratiques d’hygiène adaptées pour les soins aux nouveaux nés et aux enfants en bas âge nécessite d’avoir accès à l’eau en qualité et en quantité suffisante, à un environnement sanitaire acceptable et à des produits d’hygiène de base. Concernant les femmes et les fillettes, leurs besoins sont plus spécifiques. Ce qui exige d’être aujourd’hui plus créatif et innovant.

L’accès a l’emploi, et l’implication de la diaspora africaine

La résolution de ces difficultés exige une approche plurielle. Elle inclue indirectement l’accès à l’emploi des hommes, des campagnes accélérées d’information et d’éducation à l’hygiène corporelle et environnementale. Il serait également à envisager la mise en place des mutuelles coopératives pour la distribution d’eau, des poubelles hygiéniques. Dans les écoles, les organisations internationales et la diaspora seraient d’un grand appui par la mise à disposition des toilettes modernes adaptées pour les filles en particuliers. Les africains de la diaspora sont généralement des personnes qui sont très écoutées dans leurs communautés et qui exercent une grande influence auprès des leurs. Dans certains pays de l’Afrique, leur contribution est d’environ 75% sur le PIB. Diplômés des grandes universités occidentales, ils peuvent agir non seulement au niveau du plaidoyer pour la mobilisation des ressources, mais aussi de la formation et de la création des TIC appliquées a l’assainissement, l’accès a l’eau.

Eddy Patrick DONKENG, 237online.com

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