‘From Kigali to Dakar: Still a long way ahead for sanitation’
Statement published by the Africa Civil Society Network on Water and Sanitation (ANEW) at AfricaSan 4, Dakar, Senegal, May 25-27, 2015
We, members of civil society participating in the AfricaSan 4, join our development partners to appreciate the Africa Ministerial Council for Water (AMCOW), the Government and People of Senegal for organising and hosting this important event. In our consideration this is a significant effort towards tackling a major issue of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facing the Africa continent in particular, as a part of the global world.
As civil society, and flowing from our commitments in AfricaSan 3 in Kigali, we have continued to mobilize and ensure our presence and contribute to key sector debates. We have maintained CSOs' space in most global and national forums and ensured its added value in the WASH sector. This has been done by supporting and participating in strategic activities such as in organising committees of key events which are the real places to voice out and influence the sector on the continent and the UN processes.
We followed up on the 2014 Sanitation and Water for all (SWA) High-Level Meeting (HLM) country commitments by compiling them per country and disseminated them at country level through the right channels (including governments and CSOs forums) to influence planning for them and commence tracking.
In September, the UN will launch its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We are also happy that CSOs developed advocacy tools to push for the dedicated WASH goal at country level and that effort, with other actions from partners across the world, gave us hope for more effort to be channeled to realise our collective aspiration of sanitation for all by the end of 2030.
AfricaSan 4 had several sessions and some clear messages resonated in most sessions regarding sanitation. We are glad to note that Africa is doing well when it comes to making commitments and putting policies in place to advance the cause of WASH. However, we note that implementation and financing are still lagging behind and compromising universal access.
We call on duty bearers as represented by our governments to match commitments and policies with implementation and provide the much needed finance for sanitation. The private sector equally needs to increase investments in sanitation projects.
We recommend a 0.5% annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contribution be set aside for sanitation budgets. We equally recommend monitoring and oversight to ensure that revenue generation and disbursement at local government level is effective and equitable.
Inequality was also a topic common to most presentations, with several organisations making the point that data currently used often doesn’t tell the full story. We urge harmonisation of data at country level, in order for it to be more credible and acceptable to development partners.
As civil society, we will continue to play our watchdog role and holding duty bearers accountable to right holders. We will continue to amplify the local voices on sanitation in all fora, so that together we can achieve the common goal of providing sanitation for all.
Signed: Leo Atakpu, Chairman, Africa Civil Society Network on Water and Sanitation, May 2015