The 3rd annual general meeting of the West Africa Water and Sanitation Journalists (WASH-JN) holds in Senegal, April 8-10, 2013.
About twenty eight Journalists reporting water supply and sanitation issues for Radio, Television, Newspapers and online media in 14 West Africa Countries will be attending the meeting organized with the support of WaterAid in West Africa and the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC)
The meeting will deliberate on in country activities of Institutional members of the WASH-JN- the national Water and Sanitation Media Networks, progress reports on grant projects implemented by the member countries, as well as election of new officers for the regional WASH media network.
Participating Journalists will also use the opportunity to some slum communities in Senegal to report on state of access to water supply and sanitation services.
The Coordinating Committee of the Rural Water and Sanitation Initiative (RWSSI) in Africa was launched in Tunis, Tunisia last week.
RWSSI is a continental framework for resource mobilisation, investment, and development of rural water supply and sanitation in Africa; while the Coordinating Committee for the RWSSI is expected to facilitate improved coordination and sector learning among partners and stakeholders towards the achievement of RWSSI’s goals and targets.
Below are photos from the launch:
The African Development Bank (AFDB) will launch a new initiative to facilitate improved coordination and sector learning among partners and Stakeholders towards the achievement of the Bank’s Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative (RWSSI), next week in Tunisia.
Known as the ‘Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative’s Regional Coordination Committee (RCC)’, the event will hold on March 26 and 27 at the Tunis head quarters of the Bank and will be attended by 150 – 200 experts representing all countries in Africa, as well as RWSSI stakeholders.
The Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative (RWSSI), a joint programme coordinated by the AfDB but financed by many donors, other partners and Regional Member Countries (RMCs), was first launched in 2003 by the African Development Bank with an overall goal of achieving universal access to water supply and sanitation services for the rural populations by 2025 with an intermediate target of 80% coverage by 2015 in a sustainable way.
The Initiative seeks to help mobilize as well as facilitate the flow of available and potential resources to accelerate investment in Rural Water Supply and Sanitation (RWSS) in Africa, with goal to reach 80 percent coverage by the year 2015. The Initiative supports the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the reduction of poverty.
RWSSI was adopted in 2005 by AfDB’s main international development partners and African governments as a common framework, at the first International Conference on the RWSSI held in Paris April 1st, 2005.
The focus areas of the RWSSI include water supply, sanitation, hygiene, sector policy and strategy, capacity building and funds mobilization for Rural Water Supply and Sanitation sub-sector; and the Initiative targets about 280 million people living in rural Africa with access to new and rehabilitated water supply and sanitation (WSS) facilities.
According to an Internal Assessment of the AfDB’s water supply and sanitation initiative, “28 RWSS programs in 22 African countries have been approved, of which 16 have started to deliver water and provide sanitation services. The additional people served with access to water supply through the RWSS program rose from 1.15 million people at the end of 2007, to 32.63 million people at the end of 2010, while for sanitation it increased from 0.58 million to 20.09 million people, over the same period”
The overall objective of next week’s meeting in Tunis is to launch the platform that will facilitate improved coordination and sector learning among Partners and Stakeholders towards the achievement of RWSSI’s goals and targets.
The specific objectives of the meeting are: appraising stakeholders on RWSSI progress, achievements, challenges and plans leading to 2015. This will also include a discussion on some of the key issues affecting sector progress (sector monitoring and performance reporting; sub-sector financing; sustainability; sector coordination) and how Africa should address them; sharing country and field experiences in co-ordination to inform the way forward for RWSSI; obtaining partner and stakeholder inputs towards identifying opportunities and addressing co-ordination challenges to achieve Africa’s rural water supply and sanitation targets; reviewing the draft terms of reference and membership of the RCC, and proposing undertakings for the first year (including modalities for their achievement); and, launching the RCC.
The meeting is expected to result in an enhanced understanding of the role, impact and contribution of RWSSI towards the achievement of Africa’s water and sanitation targets in rural and small town communities; greater awareness of key issues affecting sector progress and that are central to the mandate of the RCC.
These include sector performance monitoring and reporting, resource mobilization and sustainability of rural water supply and sanitation services, national level coordination, etc. climate change and adaptation, and how the RWSSI and the region is/should be addressing them; and a better understanding of the need for co-ordination and a commitment to enhance this at regional and national levels.
The recent floods that ravaged some States in Nigeria have since receded but the pains and sorrow they left in their trail may remain with the people for some time.
However, the engineer agrees that human beings need iron in the body system but it must not be in excess. “This is why we need to filter the water after drawing it out from the bore hole so we don’t take in too much of iron which is abundant in our soil”, he added.
Plateau State, in Northern Nigeria is a cosmopolitan society said to accommodate over three million people, is highly endowed with immense natural resources needed for human existence.
Amongst the natural resources is water. Though available, many communities in the State are yet to access portable water, sanitation and hygiene.
In this report, our correspondent examines the availability of this essential commodity in Gangare, Jos North Local Government Area of the State. Listen
The story is published under the pro poor WASH stories project implemented by the Water and Sanitation Media Network Nigeria, with the support of West Africa WASH Media Network, WaterAid, and Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council.
How could sanitation services be provided for residents of coastal communities where the high water table impedes construction of pit latrines?
In the same vein, how do we provide safe toilet facilities to residents of rocky or mountainous areas where excavation of top or sub soil (rock) is difficult or almost impossible?
These and similar posers are being discussed at the 4th International Dry Toilet Conference http://drytoilet.org/dt2012/
Read full story: http://assemblyonline.info/?p=16214
Two members of the West Africa WASH Media Network are among six winners of the 2012 “WASH Media Awards” competition for their excellence in reporting on water, sanitation and hygiene-related (WASH) issues.
They are Alain Tossounon who is the National Coordinator of the Reseau Des Journalistes Du Benin Pour Leau et L’assainnisement (RJBEA) and Francis Umendu Odupute from the Edo Chapter of the Water and Sanitation Media Network, Nigeria
The Journalists will receive their awards during a ceremony, on 31 August 2012 at the World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden.
During the World Water Week, the journalists will share their experiences on reporting WASH issues with leading water, sanitation, environment and development experts reporting during different session throughout the week.
The six journalists and their winning entries are:
- Alain Tossounon (Benin): “Access to safe water in the town of Ava-Sô, A perilous conquest for survival.” (Accès à l’eau potable dans la commune de Sô-Ava, Une conquête périlleuse pour la survie.)
- Ngala Killian Chimtom (Cameroon): “The Taps Have Run Dry
- Berta Tilmantaite (Lithuania): “The River Runs Back”
- Francis Odupute (Nigeria): “The Strategists”
- Francesca de Châtel (Belgium): “Water Around the Mediterranean”
- Ketan Trivedi (India): “Alchemy of Earning Money through Wastes and Making a Village Clean, Hygienic and Lovely”
- The bi-annual WASH Media Awards competition is sponsored by the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) and the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI).
More than 150 entries from 40 countries were evaluated by a jury chaired by: Mr. Mark Tran, a notable international correspondent for The Guardian, UK. The jury included Mrs. Faz da Hall, Executive Producer Channel Africa, SABC, South Africa, Mr. Jon Sawyer, Executive Director, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, USA. Mr. Olivier Nyirubugara, Senior Trainer Voices of Africa Media Foundation, Rwanda/Netherlands and Ms. Vinaya Deshpande, The Hindu, India.
The jury praised this year’s entries for their journalistic excellence, investigative ability, and originality.
Avec l’IRC, soutenez le développement d’une presse indépendante et au service de l’eau et de l’assainissement pour tous en Afrique de l’Ouest. A travers le site le Crowdfunding l’IRC aide des journalistes à obtenir les financements nécessaires à la réalisation d’un reportage de manière indépendante.
Bread of Life Development Foundation through its eWASH blog is today starting a media advocacy project to draw local and international attention to the deplorable living conditions, particularly poor access to safe water and sanitation services in Makoko (coordinates: Latitude : 6.496. Longitude : 3.388.), a slum in Lagos state, Nigeria.
By Babatope Babalobi who was in Marseilles
France’s second largest city- Marseilles, coordinates 43° 17′ 47.04″ N, 5° 22′ 12, last month hosted two week long global meetings to discuss the challenges in the water and sanitation sector; specifically to identify management options that breeds inequity and crisis in water resource allocation and sanitation service delivery, and proffer solutions to prevent water related issues from causing a prophetic third world war.
Officially, what was supposed to be held in Marseille between March 11th and 17th 2012, was the World Water Forum (WWF), the sixth. Previous WWFs were held in Morocco 1997, Netherlands 2000, Japan 2003, Mexico 2006, and Turkey 2009.
The WWF is organised every three years by the World Water Council (WWC) which describes itself as a an international multi-stakeholder platform, established in 1996 “to promote awareness, build political commitment and trigger action on critical water issues at all levels, including the highest decision-making level, to facilitate the efficient conservation, protection, development, planning, management and use of water in all its dimensions on an environmentally sustainable basis for the benefit of all life on earth”.
Read more: http://assemblyonline.info/?p=16025
3rd Water Integrity photo competition-Integrity in water for food and food security
Water and food are key to human life and both encourage good health, economic growth and social development. However, both water and food faced scarcity and access to either is becoming more difficult and problematic. Corruption can arise throughout many instances of the food production chain, even more so for water for food production as this adds to the complexities and different types of stakeholders involved.
Photography is a great way to raise awareness on crucial issues that affect everyone. It allows for a different manner to approach and understand the topic.
This photo competition seeks to explore the relationship between water and food, with a specific focus on integrity or corruption risks. We ask contestants to send us photographs that represent or conceptualise the damaging effect of corruption in water for food or that highlights transparency, integrity, participation and/or accountability to avoid corruption in water for food. All submitted photos must be associated to the issue of water for food or water and food security linked to integrity, which must be explained through the caption or a short description.
By Babatope Babalobi, in Monrovia
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
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”
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”
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.”
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.
“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.”
Njideka Onwunyi from Nigeria, Fellow in the Engage in Conservation project at the Dekeyser & Friends Academy, Germany shares her hopes for the future!
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.
International Anti-Corruption Day 9 December 2011 Statement by Teun Bastemeijer, Director of the Water Intergrity Network (WIN)
Corruption in the water sector happens every day, anywhere
Corruption is in many places of the world part of daily life. The first time I experienced corruption was whilst working in Madagascar in 1983. I also experienced extortion by traffic police in Nicaragua and elsewhere. During my stay in Tanzania around 1993 I experienced firsthand how corruption in the water sector works in practice. Service providers took out pipes and cut off our poorly functioning house connection because they were bribed to ensure high pressure and enough water for spraying gardens in the same neighbourhood.
We had to pay to get some cut off water and also telephone services back. It can also be a professional issue. No matter what organisation or institution, anyone working in the water sector has most likely witnessed suspected corruption or wilful malpractice, or at least heard about it. There are many cases where wrong investments are made or where the same infrastructure is paid for several times from different sources.
I realised that the issue can be addressed in a constructive and professional way by working with multiple stakeholders when I participated in a one day workshop in 2007. I joined WIN in 2008. WIN was only in its early stage of establishing itself as an international NGO, after having been founded
In 2006. Since then I have witnessed a growing interest in the issue, from across society. Talking about corruption has become less of a taboo than before. We at WIN are particularly happy that our collective voice has been heard and that the water sector is now engaging more seriously in
Enhancing good governance through transparency, integrity, accountability and anti-corruption identification.
Without enhancing water integrity and good governance with a clear anti-corruption perspective, success will not be achieved despite good concepts and technological innovations. It is of great importance for WIN and its partners to find solutions to reduce the detrimental effects of corruption in the future through corruption prevention and a pro-poor approach.
WIN therefore stands for strong partnerships and alliances throughout the water sector and beyond. It is these partnerships and alliances which allows speaking with a collective strong voice against corruption and for change in the water sector. However, real changes need to happen at local level but this also requires change in national institutions, policies and in attitudes and behaviour.
We are gradually seeing a certain momentum towards these changes in countries where WIN works with other stakeholders.
Future opportunities and challenges ahead in the coming year, we would like to build capacities of
People and organisations to use water integrity and anticorruption tools in a professional and solution oriented way through partnerships with other organisations and networks. We see however upcoming challenges in conditions of water, energy and food scarcities. The future
Will see an ever more increasing competing demand on our scarce natural resources. Those who currently control the access to resources may not be keen on initiatives which improve governance and address corruption.
Make change happen
My final message is short and concise: stay clean!
By Babatope Babalobi
The challenges facing people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) are numerous; lack of safe drinking water, appropriate sanitation and hygiene education are just a few. In countries where antiretroviral drug therapy is keeping PLHIV well enough to resist most other life-threatening opportunistic infections, they are still dying from diarrhea.
- Every year over 2.8 million people die from AIDS. Over 33 million people live with HIV, most in low- and middle-income countries including West Africa.
- Improved nutrition and food security reduces susceptibility to diseases, including HIV/AIDS.
- Proper nutrition is a key aspect to maintain the health of PLHIV taking antiretroviral drug therapy.
- Diarrhea blocks nutrient absorption creating a cycle of poor nutrition among PLHIV.
- People living with HIV/AIDS and others with compromised immune systems, are more prone to common illnesses and diseases such as diarrhea. As such, access to improved sanitation and water supply is essential to the overall health of people living with HIV/AIDS.
- Opportunistic infections, resulting from water and sanitation related diseases and immune suppression in people living with HIV can accelerate the progression of HIV to AIDS. The frequency of those infections is closely tied to the level of water and sanitation services available to households affected by HIV/AIDS as well as the hygiene practices of household members.
- Diarrheal disease and various types of skin diseases are common secondary (or ‘opportunistic’) infections.[
- Households caring for PLHIV with advanced illness may also require a greater quantity of water than other households for medicines, bathing and laundry. This adds to the existing burden on caregivers to collect water
Solutions that work
- Improved water supply and sanitation reduces susceptibility to and severity of HIV/AIDS and other major diseases.
- Providing access to a safe, reliable and sufficient water supply and basic sanitation is essential for both the people living with HIV/AIDS and their caretakers who are often relatives, friends and neighbors.
- Improved access to a sustainable water supply lessens the risk of sexual violence, a risk factor for HIV, experienced during water collection.
- One study of people living with HIV/AIDS in Uganda found that the presence of a latrine reduced the risk of diarrheal disease by 31%.
- Water and sanitation services which are located in close proximity to HIV-affected households can have important labor saving effects, reducing the burden of caregiving and allowing more time for other activities, including school and income generation.
- Potable drinking water is often used to soften foods, making them more palatable for the chronically ill