Posts tagged ‘babatope babalobi’

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 10, 2012

Report: FAME 2012 and the World Water Forum 2012

           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:

March 22, 2012

Photo competition for water and sanitation journalists

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. 

read more »

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

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 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) 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.

December 9, 2011

Corruption in the water sector

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!

October 28, 2011

A cause d’un mauvais assainissement: Le Bénin perd 52 milliards de FCFA par an



La facture est salée et les résultats de l’étude documentaire faite par le Programme eau et assainissement(WSC), un partenariat multi-bailleurs administré par la Banque Mondiale pour aider les pauvres à obtenir un accès sûr et durable aux services d’eau et d’assainissement, sont accablants. Il y a urgence.


Ce n’est pas une imagination. C’est bien une réalité. Le Bénin perd 52 milliards de francs CFA chaque année à cause d’un mauvais assainissement.  Ce qui équivaut  à 1,5% du PIB national. La raison, même si elle est surprenante est toute simple. A ce jour, 2,5 millions de Béninois utilisent des latrines insalubres ou partagées et  5,2 millions  de Béninois n’ont pas de latrines du tout et font leurs besoins en plein air. Des chiffres qui paraissent irréalistes à première vue mais qui sont bien vrais.


Parce que selon les statistiques nationales notamment, les chiffres de la revue 2010 des secteurs de l’eau et de l’assainissement, seulement 44,4% des ménages ont accès à un assainissement adéquat au plan national. Ainsi, plus de la moitié des Béninois pratiquent la défécation à l’air ou partagent des latrines avec les autres.

read more »

October 28, 2011

Forum mondial sur l’hygiène et l’assainissement de Mumbai

By Alain TOSSOUNON (Envoyé spécial)



C’est une première dans le monde. Un forum exclusivement consacré aux questions d’hygiène et d’assainissement. Mais, pour les organisateurs comme pour le participants à ce rendez-vous inhabituel, mieux vaut tard que jamais.


 Entre renouvèlement d’engagement, partage d’énergie et d’expériences innovantes, le forum de Mumbai sonne comme un appel pressant aux gouvernants de nos Etats pour mettre les questions d’hygiène et d’assainissement au cœur des politiques de développement.


Comment doter les 2,6 milliards de personnes qui vivent sans toilettes et sauver les 1,2 milliard d’êtres humains qui boivent chaque jour de l’eau insalubre ? Il était temps pour les militants de cette cause de sonner la cloche de la mobilisation pour mettre en commun leurs expériences et surtout se donner un nouveau souffle à leur  combat citoyen.


Ouvert par une cérémonie à la taille de l’événement dans cette ville de Mumbai confrontée au défi de l’assainissement dans les bidonvilles, le forum a démarré sur une note d’espoir et d’espérances d’un monde nouveau. Oui, le changement est possible !

read more »

October 28, 2011

L’assainissement doit occuper une place de choix dans les politiques de développement

By Propos recueillis par Alain TOSSOUNON


Membre du Conseil de concertation pour l’approvisionnement en eau potable, l’hygiène et l’assainissement (WSSCC), Cheik Tandja qui a été élu pour représenter la partie francophone au sein du comité directeur  de cette organisation  depuis 2009, a pris une part active aux travaux du forum. Au terme de ce rendez-vous de partage de savoirs et de savoir-faire, il revient sur les grandes résolutions du forum et se prononce sur les grands défis et les petits pas enregistrés dans certains de nos Etats en Afrique de l’ouest.


C’est la première fois qu’un forum est exclusivement consacré à l’hygiène et l’assainissement. Comment en est-on arrivé là?

Nous sommes arrivés là à la suite d’un travail intense qui a été fait parce que l’assainissement n’occupait pas tellement de place dans l’agenda du développement économique de nos pays. Je dirais qu’il ne l’est pas  encore.

read more »

July 22, 2011

Leo Atakpu leads ANEW


The African Civil Society Network for Water and Sanitation (ANEW), has appointed new set of officers with Nigerian Leo Atakpu emerging as the Chair of the Board.

Read more:


July 22, 2011

Africasan3: Governments fail to make commitments

The Africa Sanitation and Hygiene Conference (Africasan3) ended yesterday in Kigali, Rwanda, with Africa national governments reaffirming their commitments to implementing the eThekwini Declaration (2008).

The 42 African Ministers of water, health, environment and education that participated in Africasan3, also agreed on detailed action plans to address key blockages to progress in the sanitation sector, but failed to make financial commitments on allocating 0.5% of their national GDP to sanitation.

Read More:


July 20, 2011

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation awards $42 million for sanitation

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has announced $42 million in new sanitation grants that aim to spur innovations in the capture and storage of waste, as well as its processing into reusable energy, fertilizer, and fresh water. In addition, the foundation will support work with local communities to end open defecation and increase access to affordable, long-term sanitation solutions that people will want to use.

During a speech at the 2011 AfricaSan Conference in Kigali, Rwanda, “Sylvia Mathews Burwell, president of the foundation’s Global Development Program, called on donors, governments, the private sector, and NGOs to address the urgent challenge, which affects nearly 40 percent of the world’s population

“The grants announced Tuesday include $3 million toward a university challenge to develop a toilet that costs less than five cents a day without piped-in water, sewer connection or outside electricity.

With these new grants, the foundation’s commitment to Water, Sanitation & Hygiene efforts total more than $265 million.

July 20, 2011

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation reinvent the toilet

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation today announced the launch of a strategy called ‘Reinventing the Toilet’ to help bring safe, clean sanitation services to millions of poor people in the developing world.

Through this approach  the foundation and its partners are working to develop new tools and technologies that address every aspect of sanitation—from the development of waterless, hygienic toilets that do not rely on sewer connections to pit emptying to waste processing and recycling. Many of the solutions being developed by the Foundation involve cutting-edge technology that could turn human waste into fuel to power local communities, fertilizer to improve crops, or even safe drinking water.

In a keynote address at the 2011 AfricaSan Conference in Kigali, Sylvia Mathews Burwell, president of the foundation’s Global Development Program, called on donors, governments, the private sector, and NGOs to address the urgent challenge, which affects nearly 40 percent of the world’s population. Flush toilets are unavailable to the vast majority in the developing world, and billions of people lack a safe, reliable toilet or latrine.

“No innovation in the past 200 years has done more to save lives and improve health than the sanitation revolution triggered by invention of the toilet,” Burwell said in her speech at AfricaSan, the third African Conference on Sanitation and Hygiene, organized by the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW).

“But it did not go far enough. It only reached one-third of the world. What we need are new approaches. New ideas. In short, we need to reinvent the toilet.”



July 20, 2011

Audio Interview: Why $5m Global Sanitation Fund for Nigeria lies idle

Kigali July 20, 2011

In this audio interview, Barry Jackson, the Programme Manager of the Global Sanitation Fund explains why Nigeria has been unable  to access a $5m grant earmarked for the  implementation of  sanitation and hygiene promotion programmes in Cross River and Benue states.

Barry Jackson lamented that though Nigeria has access to huge local and foreign resources, it  does not always have a clear programme on how to implement sanitation and hygiene projects.

Jackson spoke to Babatope Babalobi during a Global Sanitation Fund ‘Sharing and Learning Event’ during the on going Africa Sanitation and Hygiene Conference 3 (Africasan3)

Listen to the interview here:

July 20, 2011

Africasan 3 photos

Nigeria's stand at Africasan 3, Kigali, Rwanda


July 20, 2011

Africasan 3, Kigali, Rwanda photos

WASH Journalists from West Africa and Rwanda in a group photograph during the Africasan3

July 20, 2011

Africasan 3 pictures


Faces of Nigerians at the Africasan3, Kigali, Rwanda

July 20, 2011

WSSCC launches new WASH campaign

The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) will launch a new  WASH Campaign today at the Africa Sanitation and Hygiene Conference 3 (Africasan3)

Speaking on  the campaign titled :  ‘GDP for GDP – Good Dignity Practices for Gross Domestic Product’, an official of the WSSSCC, Saskia Castelein, said the new advocacy will ‘empower WSSCC members and WASH advocates to communicate with governments to spread the message that there is an economic gain to be made from investing in sanitation and hygiene; and create a movement that champions the real value of safe sanitation across communities and constituencies – change mindset: sanitation challenge is not just a set of problems it offers many possibilities to improve to economic and social reality’


July 20, 2011

Sanitation And Water Management Toolbox

Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA)  has launched an integrative tool for capacity development at the local level in the sanitation sector.

Presenting the toolbox during the Africa Sanitation and Hygiene Conference 3 (Africasan3) Kigali, Rwanda,  an official  Dorothee Spuhler said the tool box links up Sustainable Sanitation, Water Management & Agriculture issues.