By María Florencia Rieiro, Independent WASH Consultant
The annual Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Multi-Stakeholder Forum (MSF) is the most important WASH sector event in Ethiopia with over 300 participants. The first WASH MSF was conducted in 2006 under the auspices of the European Union Water Initiative for WASH sector coordination. The Government Ethiopia’s WASH organisations (education, finance, health and water) took over the WASH sector coordination process later on and, since then, the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy has led the National WASH Steering Committee and the organisation of the MSF.
2019 marked the 10th MSF for WASH and the 2nd MSF for the Joint WASH-WRM. The event was held in Addis Ababa on 26th-27th November under the theme “Accelerating integrated, inclusive, sustainable and quality WASH services and water resources management for achieving the SDGs”. Among the WASH topics discuss, it is relevant to highlight equity, inclusion and accessibility in WASH, WASH marketing, WASH financing gaps and financing and equity, quality in WASH, sustainability in WASH, climate-resilient water safety planning and WASH sector institutional capacity building. The MSF 10 also comprised the launch of Ethiopia’s Open Defecation Free Campaign (2020-24).
The MSF 10 full proceedings present the main highlights of the two days event together with the 12 priority undertakings for the year 2020. From the WASH side, the priority undertakings for 2020 are the following ones:
- Improve the institutional capacity to deliver WASH services.
- Increase the WASH sector financing.
- Improve the business climate for the private sector and improve the private sector’s capacity to deliver WASH services.
- Develop robust functional planning, monitoring, and a management information system for WASH.
- Develop rollout national strategies and the ODF campaign 2024 to eliminate open defecation (and urination) in rural and urban areas, and to improve the access to safe sanitation with dignity.
A new report presents data on contributions from 29 civil society organisations (CSOs) to the Ethiopian WASH sector in 2017-2018. The CSOs reached over 8 million people through the implementation of 658 WASH programmes with a total financial allocation that exceeded 2 billion Ethiopian Birr (US$ 61.9 million).
It also provides key recommendations and ways forward which relate to a) fostering the geographic diversification of WASH programmes; b) encouraging CSOs’ involvement in emergency areas; c) revisiting the urban sanitation and hygiene situation; d) focusing further on approaches to WASH that address gender disparities; and e) strengthening the existing national WASH platforms to foster further collaborations in the WASH sector and plan for more targeted WASH interventions.
The report was published the Consortium of Christian Relief and Development Associations (CCRDA) with support from Dorcas Aid, Hilfswerk der Evangelischen Kirchen Schweiz, WaterAid and World Vision.
Read the full report.
What can actors in the WASH sector do to provide long-lasting and sustainable drinking water and sanitation services in the most fragile contexts? Should focus be on basic infrastructure delivery outside the state structures, knowing that conditions for ongoing service delivery would be weak? Should focus be on WASH systems strengthening, knowing that these systems are likely to remain weak? Should support go to the state, or rather to civil society organisations?
This edition of WASH Debates on “Sustainable WASH service delivery in fragile states” seeks to explore and discuss these questions on 20 November 2019 in The Hague, the Netherlands, from 17:00-18:30 CET.
Those unable to attend the WASH Debate in The Hague can follow the live stream on IRC’s Twitter page
- David De Armey, Director of International Partnerships at Water for Good, who supervises the organisation’s water sector partnerships in the Central African Republic
- Dr. Afou Chantal Bengaly, Programme Manager at Wetlands International and lead of the Watershed empowering citizens programme in Mali
- Ele Jan Saaf, founder and managing director of the Dutch consultancy company SaafConsult B.V and working for Wetlands International at the Watershed empowering citizens programme
- Annette Rozendaal-Morón, policy officer at World Waternet, where she manages a team responsible for the Blue Deal Dji Don project in Mali, focusing on improving urban wastewater treatment.
For more information on the WASH Debate go to the IRC WASH website.
The UN refugee Agency UNHCR and AFRIpads have just begun the largest rollout of reusable sanitary pad distribution and Menstrual Health Management (MHM) sensitization of refugees in Uganda. The project aims at benefiting some 150,000 women and girls in south-western Uganda. With this, UNHCR Uganda is putting critical spotlight on the challenges refugee women and girls face during their periods. In addition to providing the AFRIpads kit to refugee women and girls, they have been providing MHM capacity building since late September to equip hundreds of NGO field staff with the appropriate knowledge and tools dedicated to breaking taboo and stigma around the topic of menstruation.
The project is in response to a 2018 UNHCR and AFRIpads pilot study in South West Uganda, which found that:
- The number of girls that reported missing school during their period was cut in half when using AFRIpads reusable pads
- 84% of refugee schools girls indicating they would prefer to use AFRIpads over disposable pads
Read the full press release and the announcement (with photos) on the AFRIpads website.
Safely managed sanitation is a focus of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is central to stunting reduction and early childhood survival, both identified by the World Bank’s Human Capital Index as critical for humans to develop their full potential. It is widely known that 4.5 billion people lacked access to safely managed sanitation in 2015, according to the Joint Monitoring Programme. Less well understood is that hundreds of millions more people in densely populated rural areas are exposed to significant health risk due to unsafely managed sanitation.
In contrast to urban areas, fecal sludge management (FSM) is not yet recognized as a priority for the rural sanitation sector – it is assumed to be less of an issue because rural areas are more sparsely populated. However, some densely populated areas fall under rural administrations, notably in deltas and on the periphery of rapidly growing rural areas. In these areas there is also a need to safely manage fecal waste. Many sanitation systems that, for lack of scrutiny, are assumed to be improved and safe, but due to lack of scrutiny they fail to safely manage fecal sludge.
A new World Bank report-supported by the Global Water Security and Sanitation Program (GWSP) – and six case studies identified specific causes of health risks in locations in Bangladesh, Bolivia, Egypt, India, and Vietnam. They include compromised construction of on-site sanitation solutions, incorrect technology choices, poorly developed FSM markets, predominantly manual emptying practices and indiscriminate dumping of sludge in the immediate environment. They found that environmental regulations and building codes do not address FSM effectively, and enforcement is often weak. Rural administrations typically lack the mandate and institutional capacity to provide and manage FSM services.
Read the full blog by Joep Verhagen and Pippa Scott
“Verhagen, Joep; Scott, Pippa. 2019. Safely Managed Sanitation in High-Density Rural Areas : Turning Fecal Sludge into a Resource through Innovative Waste Management
. World Bank, Washington, DC. © World Bank. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/32385
License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.”
Join the CLTS Knowledge Hub for a free webinar from Dr. Jeremy Kohlitz and Professor Juliet Willett, authors of the forthcoming edition of Frontiers of CLTS: Support Mechanisms for Rural Sanitation Programmes.
Date: Thursday 27th June 2019
Time: 11:00 – 12:30 (BST)
The webinar will focus on:
- Different individual support mechanisms including financial, in-kind and non-material that go beyond conventional CLTS support processes.
- How these mechanisms can be designed to address the challenges faced by disadvantaged individuals and groups.
- The necessary monitoring systems and knowledge sharing needs
- Recommendations for practice moving forward
It will begin with a presentation by authors Dr. Jeremy Kohlitz and Professor Juliet Willetts followed by a Q&A.
A renewed focus on equity is being driven by the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation framework and Sustainable Development Goal 6, which emphasise the importance of adequate and equitable sanitation for all. Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) is based on the idea that sustained, collective improvements in sanitation work best when communities identify and drive their own sanitation solutions. However, there is evidence that CLTS processes to achieve community-wide outcomes are not always systematic, adequate, sustained, or sufficient to meet the needs of disadvantaged groups. To ensure equitable outcomes, there is increasing attention on additional support mechanisms that complement conventional processes of demand creation, behaviour change, community empowerment and community action.
The webinar is based on the forthcoming edition of Frontiers of CLTS: Support Mechanisms for Rural Sanitation Programmes, which will be available in print and online at the end of June/early July 2019. This is the second part of a two part series on the overarching theme of Equality and non-discrimination (EQND) in sanitation programmes at scale. Part one is available to download here.