Posts tagged ‘amcow’

March 1, 2019

Sanitation Crisis In Africa: “No Data on Hygiene and 0.5% of GDP to Sanitation not met,” 2018 Progress Report on Ngor Commitments shows.

By Diana Coker (Capte Town, South Africa)

The first ever joint Africa Sanitation (AfricaSan5) and Feacal Sludge Management (FSM5) Conference held in Cape Town, South Africa from the 18th to 22nd February 2019, was an important gathering of all stakeholders that contribute to sanitation within the continent and was designed to positively impact the lives of people by ensuring that their sanitation and hygiene needs are adequately and sustainably addressed.

The event attracted government representatives, researchers, investors, innovators and other sector players across the continent who interfaced, formed partnerships in order to ensure that the ideas and knowledge gained from each other will be adequately utilized for the good of people in need of Sanitation services. South Africa was chosen as an ideal country for the event because of the innovative approach to sanitation related issues within the continent.

President of the Africa Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW), Emmanuel Tony Ondo in his address to participant affirmed that the conference was a significant milestone of a long journey that African countries have embarked on for almost 20yrs ago in a bid to prioritize sanitation and hygiene in both global and national development

He recalled that AfricaSan process can be traced back from 2002 when it was first held in South Africa and their biggest achievement was to successfully lobby the development community through UNEP and the United Nations to adopt a specific development target for sanitation which was captured in the Millennium Development Goals, adding that since then, the AfricaSan process has developed into a continental platform to generate political momentum to sanitation and hygiene. Sanitation, Hygiene and access to drinking water is a priority in all the African governments globally through the Sustainable Development Goals, but however inasmuch as they have agreed to the fact that it is a human rights  issue, they have still not been able to achieve it as many African countries are yet to provide sanitation for all their citizens. However, moving forward with the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals it is hoped that they will be able to achieve their set targets far more than they did with the Millennium Development Goals. Although it may be a complex challenge, as result of other related issues like climate change, migration to cities, but the bottom line is that they must find sustainable solutions regardless of the challenges they are experiencing. Sanitation is dignity and must be provided especially for women and girls. The African ministers Council on Water at AfricaSan4 in Dakar Senegal in 2015, held before the inception of the SDGs realized the need to develop and endorse the ten Ngor Commitments which all African governments are expected to meet in order to achieve universal access to sustainable sanitation and hygiene services and eliminate open defecation by 2030.

A member of the AMCOW Secretariat, Kitch Bawa in  presenting the outcomes of the monitoring of the Ngor Commitments on Sanitation and Hygiene which he described as the “center piece” of AfricaSan, informed the audience that the report was compiled and presented by the AfricaSan International task force, made up of key stakeholders, within the Africa Sanitation space.

The Africa-San International Task Force, he said, was restructured in 2017  to make it more effective to support sanitation across the continent and is consist of a sub-committee on monitoring, validation and reporting with a work plan that involves consultation with member states and ensure what is gathered is validated.

“We have 42 indicators in the Ngor Commitments divided into two stages and a clear-cut vision.

The first indicator – stage one, monitors the enabling environment, whilst the second indicator – stage two is different from one country to another and focuses on individual country’s set target. The vision indicator which tracks access to safely managed sanitation and hygiene and ending open defecation.

Giving a PowerPoint overview presentation of the performance on African countries through an analogy of traffic lights on the scoring of progress on the commitments, the red light showed very bad progress or no progress at all, yellow (Amber) showed some progress and green showed good progress. According to him, Africa has made very little progress from the chart as the yellow and red were visible everywhere, whilst the green was not that visible.

The result reached following the monitoring of the Ngor commitment provided the good news that the green light showed that there is very good progress that has been made on leadership and coordination which shows that increasingly across the continent more countries have identified ministries that leads Sanitation and Hygiene, and key stakeholders within the countries come together to share and learn from one another to move the sanitation sector forward.

However, the bad news is that they have done very poorly in the area of eliminating inequalities and access to sanitation services as governments are yet to look at how to provide access to sanitation services for the neglected poor, the downtrodden and people down the lowest quintile which happens to be the first commitments. He further disclosed that they have also done very badly on the issue of financing, as in 2008 when the Etiqwine Commitments were endorsed, there was a commitments made to allocate at least 0.5% to sanitation, but that up to the end of 2015 very little progress was made in that regard. This situation up to 2018 when the report was compiled has not changed as no progress has been recorded so far.

“It is even worse when it comes to the issue of safely managing sanitation and encouraging its productive re-use. It is really worse and it is for this reason we brought AfricaSan and FMS together so that by learning from each other, we can go back and see how we can encourage productive use of sanitation across the continent,”

Kitch Bawa said.

Adding, “We did very poorly in the area of creating enabling environment and therefore the country targets were not met. We expect that as we work towards improving the enabling environment we would begin to ensure that countries meet the target they set by themselves.”

The vision’ he furthered, is access to safely managed sanitation and hygiene for all and ending open defecation. The situation, he said, is very poor as less than half of the people in most African countries use at least basic sanitation facilities and open defecation remains very high as more than half of the people living predominantly in rural areas in 14 countries practice open defecation. “We are even far worse in the area of addressing the issue of hygiene as we discovered that many countries do not even have data,” he disclosed, adding that only 37 countries have data on hygiene.

In conclusion, Kitch Bawa stressed on the need to work hand in gloves, share and learn from one another and strengthen the multi-stakeholders partnership in order to ensure that everyone in Africa has access to safely managed sanitation and hygiene and eliminate open defecation.

May 26, 2015

From eThekwini to Ngor: a bumpy road for sanitation

By Raphael Mweninguwe in Daker, Senegal

The road from eThekwini in Durban, South Africa to Ngor, in Daker, Senegal has been a very rough and bumpy one in as far as improving access to billions of people in Africa is concerned, experts admit.

20150526_114219[1]eThekwin is where African Ministers and experts met in 2008 to commit themselves to improving the sanitation and hygiene in Africa. Since then little progress has been done.

The Snegalese Preaident Macky Sall said Tuesday when he opened the the 4th African Conference on Sanitation and Hygiene in Daker that the road from eThekwina has not been in vain. He said some achievements have been made but the road has been bumpy.

He said as Africa now changes its road map from eThekwini to Ngor “I dont think we will miss another opportunity to have our people fail to have access to improved sanitation.”

“As we come up with new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) after 2015 Africa can no longer afford to miss again on the SDGs by 2030,” he said.

The eThekwini Declaration included a number of commitments such as bringing the messages, outcomes and commitments made at AfricaSan 2008 to the attention of the African Union; and establishing, reviewing, updating and adopting national sanitation and hygiene policies within 12 months of AfricaSan 2008.

There were a number of further commitments made including financing and monitoring of progress of the commitments themaelves.

Unfortunately water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector is the least funded of all the sectors by a mojority of governments in Africa. This explains why the eThekwini Declaration has failed to meet the desired goals.

The Ngor Declaration which will officially come out on Wednesday after African Ministers’ meeting will likely to face the same funding challenges as the eThekwini Declaration mainly because political will is lacking within the WASH sector.

African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) Executive Secretary Bai-Mass Taal explained that the eThekwini Declaration has come to an end with the AfricanSan4 Conference in Daker. He said the name Ngor came in after the Senegalese Minister opted for the name instead of the original agreed name of Teranga Declaration.

Taal said the sanitation and hygiene remains a challange to one third of people in the continent whom he said are without proper toilet facilities.

He said access to safe sanition remains a challenge and he said there was need for political will to achieve sanitation for all by 2030.

Catarima de Albuquerque President of the Sanitation for All (SWA) although contries have been tracking and monitoring progress on the eThekwini Declaration there are still a lot of things that need to be done.

She said an estimated 1.1 billion people in Africa are without toilets and these she said are the people who help themselves openly.

She said monitoring and follow-up is important in sanitation and as a result putting in place proper sanitation monitoring systems are key.

It now remains to be seen whether the Ngor Declaration will be translated into actions. Otherwise the road after Daker will still remain bumpy.

June 2, 2014

Clôture de la Semaine africaine de l’eau: Le nouveau président de Amcow dévoile sa feuille de route

Idrissa SANE (Dakar)

Le ministre de l’Hydraulique et de l’Assainissement du Sénégal, Pape Diouf a été élu nouveau président du Conseil des ministres africains  en charge de l’eau (Amcow). C’était le samedi dernier. Il  s’est engagé à travailler pour la maîtrise de l’eau, l’exploitation du potentiel hydroélectrique et le renforcement de la coopération.

Remise de temoin au nouveau Pdt Pape Diouf

Remise de témoin au nouveau Pdt Pape Diouf










Le ministre de l’Hydraulique et de l’Assainissement du Sénégal, Pape Diouf est le nouveau président du Conseil des ministres africains  en charge de l’eau (Amcow). Il a été choisi par ses pairs  de 28  pays africains. Le ministre Pape Diouf qui  a transmis les encouragements du président de la République, Macky Sall,  aux autres ministres africains a promis de marcher sur les pas de son prédécesseur, la ministre nigériane, Sarah Reng Ochekpe. Sous ma présidence, affirme-t-il, notre Conseil va garder le cap en renforçant sa politique de gestion intégrée des ressources en eau, affiner ses stratégies et réaliser les actions nécessaires pour relever les défis auxquels l’Afrique fait face. Durant son mandat, Pape Diouf s’est engagé à faire évoluer des indicateurs aussi bien  pour les composantes accès à l’eau potable que pour l’assainissement. De plus, le bien de la nature sera exploité de manière rationnelle aux fins de soutenir le développement économique du continent.« L’accent sera mis sur la maîtrise de l’eau pour le développement de l’agriculture irriguée pour l’après 2015. A cet effet, nous travaillerons à un rapprochement avec le Conseil des Ministres africains en charge de l’Agriculture pour un plaidoyer et des actions communes pour l’atteinte de cet objectif », s’est-il exprimé.

Le ministre compte aussi donner une nouvelle impulsion à l’exploitation  hydroélectrique de l’Afrique qui n’a exploité que 7 % de son potentiel. L’exploitation de ce potentiel aurait aux yeux du ministre des effets positifs en termes de lutte contre la pauvreté, contre les maladies et contribuerait à la préservation de l’environnement. « Le deuxième facteur qui me semble essentiel est l’accès à l’énergie hydroélectrique. Il ne fait aucun doute qu’aujourd’hui, les ressources énergétiques ont un effet multiplicateur sur l’atteinte des objectifs relatifs à la réduction de la pauvreté, à l’éducation, à la santé et à l’environnement », fait-il remarquer.

La Gire

Le ministre de l’Hydraulique et de l’Assainissement du Sénégal a lancé un appel pour la consolidation de la coopération autour de la gestion intégrée de la ressource eau. La gestion intégrée est la voie pour assurer la durabilité de ce bien de la nature. L’Amcow est un instrument idéal pour promouvoir sa préservation. « Amcow n’est pas une panacée ni un remède miracle. Elle reflète la volonté politique collective des Etats membres ainsi que le souci de prendre en compte leur intérêt dans le renforcement de la coopération multilatérale de nos pays. Nous devons être ensemble, et gérer en commun ce qui nous est tous indispensable : l’eau », argumente-t-il.  Le ministre a félicité le secrétaire exécutif, Mbaï Mass Taal et son équipe ainsi que le comité d’organisation de la 5e édition de la Semaine africaine de l’eau. La prochaine édition aura lieu en Tanzanie.

Idrissa SANE

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May 27, 2014

Semaine africaine de l’eau : Les experts sonnent l’alerte pour la préservation de la ressource précieuse

Tata SANE et Idrissa SANE (Envoyés Spéciaux)

Le partage de l’eau est source de conflit dans plusieurs parties du globe et surtout sur le continent africain. La preuve, le Nil suscite toutes les inquiétudes sur la côte orientale de l’Afrique. Les différents intervenants ont fait des plaidoyers aux relents de plaidoirie pour la préservation de cette ressource qui se raréfie. Au jour d’aujourd’hui, le continent noir compte plus de 300 millions de personnes qui n’ont pas accès au liquide précieux. . C’est ce qui ressort hier de l’ouverture de la 5e Semaine africaine de l’eau.

La 5e Semaine africaine de l’eau est ouverte sur fond de plaidoyer pour la préservation de cette ressource. Aujourd’hui, il est accepté de tous que l’accès à cette ressource est un luxe pour des millions d’Africains. D’où tous les enjeux de sa sauvegarde. Le Haut commissariat pour l’Organisation pour la mise en valeur du fleuve Sénégal ( Omvs), Kabinet Komara, a largement abordé cette problématique. Pour ce dernier, la préservation de cette ressource appelle à des actions concertées. « L’eau est à la fois la base pour l’agriculture, la santé et l’énergie. C’est pourquoi qu’il faut se donner la main pour faire une gestion partagée. D’où l’intérêt de la semaine de l’eau qui doit mette l’accent sur la préservation de la ressource ; mais surtout sur la définition de nouveaux modes d’actions de façon à faire en sorte que cette gestion soit durable », estime Kabinet Komara.
En réalité, plusieurs scénarii concordent sur l’imminence d’une raréfaction de ce bien commun suite à une augmentation de l’évaporation, elle-même consécutive à une hausse des températures. « Il ne faut pas baisser les bras jusqu’à ce que ce produit devienne de plus en plus rare avec les changements climatiques. Les besoins deviennent conflictuels avec l’augmentation de la population, avec le développement industriel, l’augmentation des superficies cultivables et sa mobilisation pour la production de l’énergie. Longtemps considérée comme une denrée gratuite dans beaucoup de pays ; l’eau ne peut plus être gratuite », défend le Haut commissariat de l’OMVS.
La présidente de l’Amcow, Hon Sarah Reng Ochekpe a abondé dans le même sens. L’eau dit-elle est vitale pour garantir la sécurité alimentaire et l’énergie. Elle ajoute que son développement et sa gestion efficace et efficience est un instrument pour atténuer les impacts prévus du changement climatique.
Prenant la parole, le chef du gouvernement sénégalais estime que la rencontre de Dakar doit servir d’occasion pour donner une nouvelles orientations aux politiques de ce secteur.« C’est l’occasion de statuer sur nos performances, de les évaluer, de ressortir les difficultés rencontrées à la mise en œuvre de nos politiques publiques pour l’atteinte des OMD et d’en tirer toutes les leçons pour de meilleurs résultats dans la mise en œuvre de l’Agenda post 2015 », a souligné le premier Ministre, Aminata Touré, lors de l’ouverture de la 5e semaine africaine de l’eau organisée par le Comité exécutif et le Conseil des ministres africains de l’eau ( Amcow). Elle invite à bâtir des politiques de gestions favorisant un raffermissant des relations entre les différents Etats. « Ce bien commun doit être un facteur de paix, d’union, d’intégration et de coopération économiques entre nos Etats », a laissé entendre le premier Ministre du Sénégal. Pour le chef du gouvernent, le moment est venu pour les pays d’élaborer une politique plus efficace tournée vers une exploitation judicieuse de ce bien de la nature qui se raréfie. « Cette 5ème semaine africaine de l’eau offre une opportunité pour discuter de l’amélioration et de la performance de nos différents organismes de gestion des bassins transfrontaliers afin de tirer un meilleur profit économique de cette ressource », ajoute le chef du gouvernement.

Des actions concertées

Pour le secrétaire exécutif de l’Agence intergouvernementale panafricaine pour l’eau et l’assainissement en Afrique ( Eaa), Idrissa Doucouré, l’Afrique gagnerait à se projeter sur l’avenir avec plus d’ambitions. « C’est aujourd’hui, l’occasion ; pour le continent de jeter un regard critique dans le rétroviseur afin de faire le point des engagements pris depuis 2000 aux niveaux international et national. Nous devons poursuivre cette dynamique enclenchée et travailler de manière commune à adopter un programme beaucoup plus ciblé pour le secteur », recommande le secrétaire exécutif de l’Agence intergouvernementale panafricaine pour l’eau et l’assainissement en Afrique ( Eaa), Idrissa Doucouré.

April 15, 2013

Meeting Rural Water Supply and Sanitation MDG in Africa

                 By Babatope Babalobi,  who was in Tunis

Special Report

Mr Sering Jallow, Director Water and Sanitation Department, African Development Bank (AfDB), (left); Hon Christian Herbert, Deputy Minister for Rural Development and Community Services, Liberia and Mr Bai Mass Tall, Executive Secretary of African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW)

In the year 2012, the United Nations Children’s Fund and World Health Organization announced cheering news that the world has achieved the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of halving the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water, three years  in advance of the 2015 MDG deadline.

Titled: Progress on Drinking Water and Sanitation 2012, the report says 89% of the world’s population, or 6.1 billion people, used improved drinking water sources, at the end of 2010. This was one per cent more than the 88% MDG target.

The report was received with excitement globally, but people living in most parts of Africa, received it with mixed reactions as the report did not reflect the reality on the ground. The report itself admitted the fact that global coverage figures mask massive disparities between regions and countries, and within countries.

The truth is that Africa still has the lowest total water supply coverage of any region in the world. Currently about 300 million people in Africa do not have access to safe water and about 313 million have no access to sanitation. Only 61% of the people in sub-Saharan Africa have access to improved water supply sources compared with 90% or more in Latin America and the Caribbean, Northern Africa, and large parts of Asia. Over 40% of all people globally who lack access to drinking water live in sub-Saharan Africa.

According to figures provided by Sering Jallow, Director Water and Sanitation Department& African Water Facility, AfDB, as of 2010, 47.6% of Africans had access to water supply, and 27.9% had access to improved sanitation, but these figures are far below the MDG targets of 70% for water supply, and 62% for sanitation. Only about 16 countries in Africa are on target to meet the MDGs for water while less than 10 are likely to meet the sanitation targets necessitating the need to develop new initiatives to accelerate access.

At the current pace, an African Development Bank (AfDB) study calculated that most sub Saharan African countries will meet access-to-water target of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) only in 2040, and the access-to sanitation target in 2076.

Apart from massive disparities among continents and countries, there are also massive disparities within countries, with most rural areas having the lowest access figures compared to urban areas; yet, most African, about 62% live in rural areas. Access to services is estimated to be 47% for water supply and 44% for sanitation. In view of the low access to WSS services in rural areas, rural populations are burdened to a greater extent by preventable water and sanitation related diseases, suffer great deprivation of women and children from embarking on productive economic activities due to time and efforts used to fetch water. The deprivation also results in low enrolment rate in education. These problems contribute to accentuate poverty in the rural areas.

Challenges of Rural Water supply and Sanitation in Africa

The challenges facing Rural Water supply and Sanitation (RWSS) services in Africa include the following:

  1.  Inadequate investment for sustainable service delivery and access.
  2.   Poor policy and institutional framework to foster effective and efficient implementation and management of RWSS services.
  3.  Lack of human capacity to establish community-managed RWSS services as well as engineering and drilling/construction capacity to deliver WSS facilities.
  4.   Inefficient management of Operation and Management of water supply and sanitation services as many facilities have fallen into disrepair due to lack of spare parts and maintenance.
  5.  All these scenarios are worsened by water resources variability and scarcity (droughts, population pressure, and environmental degradation) in some countries.


Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative (RWSSI) 

The Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative (RWSSI) is one of the donor led efforts to accelerate access to water and sanitation in Africa and it aims at attaining 66% access to water supply and sanitation by the year 2010,  80% by 2015, and full access by 2025. The African Development Bank Group conceived the RWSSI in 2002 within the framework of the Bank Group’s strategic plan (2003 –2007) and in response to the Africa Water Vision and the UN Millennium Development Goals.

Launched in 2003 by AfDB, it was then adopted by African governments and international development partners as the common Framework for resource mobilization and investment at the First International Conference on Rural Water Supply and Sanitation in Africa, held in Paris in April 2005.

The Initiative has received backing from the international community including the G8 Summit at Evian, the World Panel on Financing Water Infrastructure and the African Ministerial Council on Water (AMCOW) as well as several bilateral donors.

Thus, RWSSI is a joint programme coordinated by the AFDB at the continental level, but financed by many donors, other partners and Regional Member Countries (RMCs)

The overall objective of the RWSSI is to provide access to sustainable water supply and sanitation services to 271 and 295 million people in rural Africa, respectively, to reach the target of 80 percent coverage by 2015.

By its estimates, a total of approximately 270 million rural people will need to be provided with access to improved water supply and about 300 million to sanitation in order to meet the 2015 RWSSI target of 80% access to water supply and sanitation.

This objective of achieving 80% access in 2015 and universal access by 2025 may become a pipe dream as there is a large gap between current financial flows and financial requirements to meet the goals for 2015 and 2025. Annual flows would need to be significantly increased by up to US$1.2 billion to meet the targets. An estimated USD 14.2 bn required to provide water to 271M people and sanitation facilities for 295M people; while the total financial resources required to achieve the 2015 RWSSI targets were estimated at USD14.8 billion.

Other challenges identified in the course of implementing the RWSSI programme include the following:

  1. Entrenching decentralisation: Though many African countries have embarked on the process of devolving responsibilities for water and sanitation services to local authorities, in most cases, decentralization has only been on paper with little practical manifestation. More importantly, there is a need to increase financial flows and transfer authority to local level structures.
  2. Improving supply chains: Existing supply chains managed by governments are weak and most RWSS programs have not incorporated the establishment of privately-driven supply chains. Communities are exposed to very weak supply chains and post-construction support.
  3. Low sanitation coverage: According to the JMP 2010 report, only 6 countries in Africa are likely to meet the sanitation MDG target. Without further political and financial commitment from Governments and development partners, the sanitation situation might actually retrogress on the continent. In most countries the management of sanitation is fragmented and there is no designated budget and institutional home for sanitation provision.
  4. Conflicting financing mechanisms for sanitation: The majority of the RWSS programs finance only community mobilization and training in hygiene education and construction of public sanitation facilities. There is a need for policy guidance on the financing of household sanitation facilities.
  5. Improving Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) frameworks: Despite financial support through a number of RWSS programs for the establishment of M&E systems, most countries are unable to provide reliable data for sector planning and information management.
  6. Weak knowledge dissemination: Best practices and experience from use of innovative technologies are not efficiently shared across the region due to lack of knowledge and information dissemination mechanisms, and thus the benefits of innovative approaches and experiences are often lost.

A study by the African Development Bank (AfDB) concludes on country experiences indicates that increased efficiency in the water and sanitation sector would only be achieved if the following elements are put in place:

  1. Improved sector coordination, with assignment of clear responsibility to one ministry accountable for progress in the achievement of water and sanitation targets;
  2.  Increased integration between policy making, planning, budgeting and monitoring and evaluation;
  3. Increased focus on capacity building, especially at the local level, and for all stages of water and sanitation projects – from planning to procurement, to execution, monitoring and maintenance;
  4. Promotion of linkages among stakeholders, including government bodies and donors, and civil society organizations.
  5.   Adoption of well-designed water utility reforms are substantially improving access to services and making progress in financial capacity to sustain and expand the services.

The RWSSI hopes to accelerate access to sustainable RWSS in Africa through:

  1. Awareness raising;
  2.  Beneficiary participation;
  3. Adoption of fast track mechanisms;
  4. Using demand driven programmatic approaches;
  5.  Raising the profile of sanitation;
  6.  Emphasis on capacity building; and
  7. Mobilization of more funds from governments, communities, NGOs and donors.

The RWSSI prides itself as the only continental  initiative focusing on RWSS services at such large scale; and as of Dec. 2012, the initiative had implemented  37 programmes in 26 countries, providing water supply and sanitation access to 45 million and 30 million people (2011 values), respectively.

Launch of RWSSI Coordinating Committee in Tunis

From the foregoing discussions two key factors are strategic for up scaling and sustaining the delivery of water and sanitation services in rural Africa- they are adequate financing and effective coordination.

  1. Financing: With an estimated additional USD 8.1 billion required, there is need to attract much improved levels of financing into the sector; and
  2.  Coordination at continental level: Is a need to develop more inclusive governance with greater involvement and effective participation of key stakeholders to jointly support and achieve the financing, implementation and reporting requirements of the initiative to deliver better results on the ground.

Group photographs of about African  150 Water and Sanitation experts that attended the meeting

The process of improving financing and coordination of RWWS activities at the continental level received a major boost, recently when major stakeholders gathered in Tunis, capital of Tunisia, March 26 and 27, 2013 to brainstorm the operational modalities of a Coordinating committee as a platform that will facilitate improved coordination and sector learning among partners and stakeholders towards the achievement of the RWSSI’s goals and targets.

The specific objectives of the meeting are:

  1. Appraise 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;
  2.  Share country and field experiences in co-ordination to inform the way forward for RWSSI;  
  3.  Obtain partner and stakeholder inputs towards identifying opportunities and addressing co-ordination challenges to achieve Africa’s rural water supply and sanitation targets
  4.  Define the process of establishing of a Coordinating Committee for RWSSI, review the draft terms of reference and membership of the RCC, and propose undertakings for the first year (including modalities for their achievement); and,
  5. Launch the Coordinating committee.


The meeting in Tunis was attended by officials from the AfDB, African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW), the World Bank, UNICEF, WaterAid as well as water and sanitation Journalists networks. It lasted for three days, divided into five sessions, during which participants discussed issues related to the establishment of the Coordinating committee for the RWSSI.

The opening session on ‘Progress and plans of the RWSSI’ was addressed by Mr. Gilbert Mbeshrubusa, AfDB Vice President, Operations III – Infrastructure; Mr. Francois Kruger, Executive Director, AfDB; Mr. Bai Mass Taal, AMCOW’S Executive Secretary; Hon. Christian G. Herbert, Deputy Minister for Rural Development and community Services, Liberia; and Mr. Sering Jallow, AfDB Director Water and Sanitation Department.

During the second session, Mr. Bai Mass Taal mounted the podium again to introduce the essence of the proposed RWSSI Coordinating committee.

The third session focused on how national coordination of RWSS could be strengthened at country levels. One of the speakers- Bethlehem Mengistu, Regional Advocacy Manager of WaterAid in East Africa, who shared experiences on ‘Sector Coordination and  Performance Monitoring’ in Malawi. According to Mengistu, the effects of poor coordination of RWSS at country levels include the following:

1.      Duplication of efforts and investments

2.      Un sustainability of WASH services

3.      Poor WASH sector accountability

4.      Lack of ownership of initiatives/investment

5.      Corruption in WASH Sector

6.      Marginalization (no participation, equity and inclusion in WASH service provision

7.      And consequently right to water and sanitation not realized!


Megistu explained how WaterAid in East Africa is promoting better sectoral coordination of RWSS at country levels using its interventions in Malawi as a case study:

“In Malawi, WaterAid is supporting decentralized structures, and so far a total of 10 local government areas have been supported to develop District Strategic Investment Plans (DSIPs) which provides direction to planning, implementation, and monitoring of water and sanitation programmes, while about 12 districts are currently being supported by UNICEF to do the same”.

She, however, admitted that this best practice is not without its challenges: “due to lack of devolution, DSIPs struggle to mobilize resources to implement plans, although the Local Development Fund was introduced as a mechanism for supporting projects, tiny amounts are available for water and sanitation on a competitive basis”, said Megistu.

Other initiatives supported by WaterAid to promote better sectoral coordination in Malawi include

1.      Establishment and strengthening of civil society Networks capable of influencing the design, implementation and evaluation of effective WASH policies at all levels

2.      Strengthening sector performance monitoring including data reconciliation/harmonization with international standards and Water Point Mapping

3.      Supporting budget advocacy and tracking

4.      Engagement with Parliamentarians to champion increased sector financing in WASH.

In the fourth session, participants were distributed to workgroups that extensively discussed the functions, structure, and 2013 work plan of the proposed Coordinating committee.


The first work group assessed how to effectively monitor, evaluate, and report RWSS programmes in Africa and the questions posed to them are: How could the Coordinating Committee support to improve Monitoring and Evaluation (M and E) at country and regional level? What should be the shortterm deliverables and workplan for the newly formed Coordination Committee in the area of RWSS monitoring and Evaluation, and Reporting? What are the major needs and barriers for effective country M and E and Reporting?

Presenting their report to the Plenary session of the Tunis meeting, participants in this group recommended that the new Coordinating Committee should assist in harmonizing and standardizing RWSS indicators for use in the AMCOW’s M and E; assist countries to develop capacity for RWSSM and E and reporting;  provide platform for linkages to existing instruments, AfDB, African Water Facility (AWF), and promote peer to peer learning and exchanges as well as scaling up good experiences.

Water Supply and Sanitation Engineer, African Development Bank

The second work group deliberated on ‘Financing and resource mobilization for rural water supply and sanitation services’ in Africa; and its report recommended the following:

1.      Development of Investment plan and financing strategy by all countries

2.      Identification of projects to be financed

3.      Need to place emphasis on infrastructure investment instead of support to soft wares such as workshops

4.      Need to improve water and sanitation governance to inspire visibility and confidence

5.      Implementation of sector reform policies to improve efficiency

6.      Development of absorption /implementation capacity by beneficiaries

7.      Use of  call for proposals with transparent and clear time frames; an

8.      Ownership/personal involvement of political leadership.


Other recommendations of the group include:

1.      Development of strategic approaches for post-conflict/fragile states, “aid orphans” such as Central African Republic, Sudan and Guinea Conakry.

2.      Identification of users as a stable source of finance: participation, and the need to balance tariffs and subsidies.

3.      Consideration of the private sector involvement in RWSS based on the examples of Burkina Faso, Kenya, and Senegal.

4.      Learning strategies from urban water supply and sanitation UWSS and scaling up where appropriate.

5.      Cross-sector collaboration: e.g. agriculture, and rural development.

6.      Promotion of government contribution for stability.

7.      Greater involvement in Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP) and mobilising communities.

8.      Campaigning more on the role of Water supply and sanitation  in health and food security

9.      Identification of champions to promote innovative financing.

Another work group considered the structure of the proposed coordinating committee of the RWSSI; and the questions it considered include:

  1. Based on your knowledge of existing Africa wide institutions and ongoing activities, what should the membership of the proposed Coordinating Committee be and why?
  2. How should it be structured? What are your views on the proposed structure?
  3. What should be its short‐term work plan?
  4. What are the resources implications for the Coordinating Committee?

In its report, the group recommended a name change from Regional Coordinating Committee of the RWSSSI to Coordinating Committee of the RWSS, arguing that the word ‘regional’  is confusing. Participants also decided that the RWSSI Coordination Committee will comprise of eighteen (18) members drawn from AMCOW, Donor community, AfDB, Civil society, and Water and Sanitation Journalists network.

Specifically, the group recommended that the Coordinating committee should be co chaired by the AfDB and‐ AMCOW Secretariat; and its memberships should include regional representatives AMCOW’s Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) Countries: (Chad, Kenya, Libya, Angola and Nigeria); representatives from Ministries of Finance/Planning  in AMCOW’s TAC countries: (Chad, Kenya, Libya, Angola and Nigeria); a donor representative; a representative from RWSSI‐Trust Fund; one representative from United Nations (UN-Water); Non governmental organizations to be represented by the African Network for Water and Sanitation; the media to be represented by Water and Sanitation Journalists Network; and the civil society to be represented by a well known group.

Samuel Ome, Director, Water quality control and Sanitation/Chairman National Task Group on Sanitation, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Nigeria discussing with Mr Sering Jallow, Director Water and Sanitation, AFDB

The group also recommended that the structure of the Coordinating committee should be finalized within three months and the inaugural meeting of the body should be convened within the next six months.

One major achievement of the Tunis meeting was the approval of the understated terms of reference for the proposed Coordinating Committee of the RWSSI. It was agreed that the Coordinating committee will embark on:

1.      Regional and international awareness of RWSSI for broader ownership and greater impact.

2.      Advocacy and promotion of resource mobilization for national RWSS programs;

3.      Inter-governmental coordination facilitating sharing;

4.      Regional sector monitoring and reporting;

5.      Promote Transparency and accountability; and,

6.      Promote Knowledge sharing and peer support in: National RWSSI strategies and policy development, Donor harmonization and coordination, Capacity Building, and Monitoring and evaluation for advocacy.

The meeting was rounded up, with the launch of the Coordinating committee of the RWSSI by Christian G. Herbert, Deputy Minister for Rural Development and community Services, Liberia who represented the Liberian President-  Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.

For more information on the RWSSI, contact: Nalubega Maimuna-

April 1, 2013

Coordinating committee for rural WASH in Africa launched

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:

Mr Sering Jallow, Director Water and Sanitation Department, African Development Bank (AfDB), (left); Hon Christian Herbert, Deputy Minister for Rural Development and Community Services, Liberia and Mr Bai Mass Tall, Executive Secretary of African Ministers

Mr Sering Jallow, Director Water and Sanitation Department, African Development Bank (AfDB), (left); Hon Christian Herbert, Deputy Minister for Rural Development and Community Services, Liberia and Mr Bai Mass Tall, Executive Secretary of African Ministers


Dr Maimuna Nalubega, Principal Water and Sanitation Engineer, AfDB and Samuel Ome, Director, Water quality control and Sanitation/Chairman National Task Group on Sanitation, Federal Ministry of Water Resources, Nigeria


Representative of the AfDB Vice President,, (left); Hon Christian Herbert, Deputy Minister for Rural Development and Community Services, Liberia and Mr Bai Mass Tall, Executive Secretary of African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW)


Participants at the meeting


Participants at the meeting