Sunday, June 24, 2012

Africa: UN-Water survey shows improved government performance in water resource management

Posted on May 15, 2012 by dietvorst | 1 Comment A new study covering 40 African countries shows that they are making good progress with integrated approaches to water resources management. Over 75 per cent of the member countries of the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) are implementing national water laws and nearly half (44 per cent) are executing national plans for integrated water resources management in line with the Africa Water Vision for 2025 according to a new study [1]. The study is based on global survey co-ordinated by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) on behalf of UN-Water, which will be released at Rio+20. [2] The report found that 18 of the 40 countries polled have integrated water resource management (IWRM) plans under implementation. A similar study conducted in 2008 found that 5 countries, out of the 16 that responded to the survey, had IWRM plans or were in the process of developing them. While several countries reported that improved water resources management has direct social and economic benefits, the report asserts that better documentation and indicators could increase government commitment and financing for water. Improved coordination, institutional capacity and financing are needed to ensure food and energy security, as well as access to safe drinking water and sanitation to a growing population. The report warns that climate change will increase flooding, droughts and pollution, which are the greatest physical threats to Africa’s water resources. [1] McMullen, C. (ed.), 2012. 2012 Status report on the application of integrated approaches to water resources management in Africa. Abuja: African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW). viii, 88 p. : 20 boxes, 53 fig., 4 tab. Available at: . Accessed 15 May 2012 [2] UN-Water, 04 May 2012

Uganda: government setting up Hand Pump Mechanics Associations in all rural districts

Posted on May 25, 2012 by dietvorst | 1 Comment Forming associations for hand pump mechanics in Uganda has enhanced the services they provide and ultimately improved functionality, a new study [1] shows. One such association in Kabong district succeeded in improving functionality of water sources from 20% in 2006 to 96% in 2010. A 2011 study on the effectiveness of community-managed rural water systems revealed that just 53% were fully functional. With a coverage rate of 65% this implies that only about a third of the rural population of Uganda has reliable access to safe drinking water. Hand Pump Mechanics Associations (HPMAs) have been in existence in Uganda for several years but were under-performing, partly because they were not formalised. In 2007, SNV Netherlands Development Organisation developed guidelines to improve HPMA performance. Now the government, through the Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE), and its development partners have decided to set up HPMAs in all districts in Uganda. They have set a target to set up hand pump mechanics /scheme attendants associations in 80% of the districts in FY 2011/12, and operationalise them in at least 30% of districts by FY 2012/13 [2]. Members of the Lira District Hand Pump Mechanics Association undergo refresher training, January 2012. Photo: IRC/Triple-S While the Ministry and its partners are now rolling out awareness raising and capacity building programmes for HPMAs, several concerns have been raised. One is about their legal status. The Functionality Working Group, which was set up by the MWE, recommends that HPMAs first register as Community Based Organisations (CBOs) as required by the Ministry but that they would also need to allowed to undertake commercial activities to ensure their sustainability. IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre/Sustainable Services as Scale (Triple‐S) is supporting the secretariat of Functionality Working Group. [1] IRC and SNV, 2012. Hand Pump Mechanics Associations : improving rural water service delivery. (Triple-S briefing note). The Hague, The Netherlands: IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre/Sustainable Services as Scale (Triple‐S). Available at: [2] MWE, 2011. Water and environment sector : the third Joint Government of Uganda –Development Partners Sector Review 2011 : agreed minutes : 11th – 13th October 2011, Kampala. Kampala, Uganda: Ministry of Water and Environment. Available at: Related news: Uganda: associations of pump mechanics help improve functioning of handpumps, E-Source, 14 Dec 2010

Rwanda: Davis and Shirtliff Supports Water Treatment

22 June 2012 Davis & Shirtliff Group-Rwanda, on June 8th, 2012 donated water treatment sachets to 75 homes in Amizero village in Ramata, Kigali. The sachets were handed over to village officials by Joseph Wanene, the company's Managing Director, as a way of promoting communities to use modern technology in the access to clean and safe water. The sachets are aimed at enabling residents to have pure water for drinking and learn how to use such technology. He emphasized the need for locals to consume clean water in order to avoid water related diseases. He also noted that the 'small' contribution to this village will be increased in future since the company has been helping the community in the past. The company had already rehabilitated two water wells that serve the village and has further promised to partner with the village in making sure they have clean drinking water. The sachets will last the village a period of two months. Jean Paul Gatete, the village head said that with the sachets, the village will save much in terms of energy that they use in boiling water to make it fit for drinking. The beneficiaries thanked the company for the donation and said that unclean water is a danger to their health, and more so to their children. Davis & Shirtliff is located in Kigali, Rwanda, deals in sports, energy suppliers, solar energy, industrial equipment, Industrial services and water treatment business activities; among others. The company also has subsidiaries in, Tanzania,Ethiopia, SouthernSudan Uganda and Zambia. Ads by Google

Kenya: Campaign On Proper Sanitation Rolled Out

Stake holders in the public health department yesterday stepped up efforts in a campaign to make Kenya a defecating free zone by 2013. Various health stakeholders from civil society, health departments and international organizations converged at Isiolo hotel to come up with measures to ensure that the target is achieved within the limited time. National deputy chief public health and sanitation officer John Kariuki said more than six million Kenyans are currently defecating in the open, posing a threat to public health and hygiene. Mr Kariuki revealed that majority of Kenyans especially in the rural areas relieve themselves in the bush, behind lodges and their houses due to lack of toilets facilities in the area."We are concerned about this becuase the situation is getting worse with the increasing cost of medication due to upsurge of poor sanitation related ailments," he said. The officials said more than Sh 27 billion is spent on treating waterborne and communicable diseases by the government. The programme has been launched in 16 counties as the pilot project and will be rolled out countrywide soon. The communities are empowered through community led total sanitation approach. Not only are they sensitized and educated on health and sanitation issues , but the communiuties are asked to provide their own solutions on proper sewage disposal.

Mozambique: Only Six Per Cent of Rural Population Treat Water Before Drinking

Mozambique: Only Six Per Cent of Rural Population Treat Water Before Drinking 20 June 2012 Comment Maputo — Only 6.2 per cent of families in living in rural Mozambique are treating their water before drinking it, according to the national household survey conducted last year as part of the National Water and Rural Sanitation Programme (PRONASAR). The findings of the survey were discussed at a regional seminar on the treatment and safe storage of household water. In addition, according to Roberto De Bernardi of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), a study of water quality carried out by the Health Ministry, the Public Works Ministry and UNICEF in 18 districts in the provinces of Tete, Manica and Sofala found that 20 per cent of water sources were unfit for drinking. "This clearly demonstrates the need to strengthen the monitoring of water quality and to develop programmes to promote the treatment of household water", said the UNICEF official. Organised by UNICEF and the World Health Organisation alongside the Health Ministry and Public Works Ministry, the regional seminar has fifty participants from Mozambique, Malawi and Zambia. It aims to strengthen national policies, strategies and regulations on the treatment and safe storage of household water and to support the implementation of more efficient and integrated interventions for environmental health. In her opening speech, the head of the department of environmental health at the Health Ministry, Ana Paula Cardoso, said that the provision of clean drinking water to the population constitutes a big challenge to the national authorities. "Water is essential for human life. Water from wells, rivers, lakes and lagoons is not safe and is a source of illnesses such as diarrhoea, cholera and intestinal parasites. Therefore the treatment and safe storage of water is important at community level", said Cardoso. The percentage of people with access to clean water has recently increased to 60 per cent of the urban population and 54 per cent of people living in rural areas. "The Mozambican government is continuing to improve the coverage of the water supply in urban and rural zones. It is constructing the infrastructure for water and sanitation, and promoting safe hygiene practices. In addition, better water provision substantially reduces the time taken collecting water, leaving more time for income generation and food production", said Cardoso. The representative of the World Health Organisation, Daniel Kertesz, said that it is estimated that in developing countries the consumption of untreated water causes the death of 1.3 million children per year, about 12 per cent of the total deaths of children under the age of five. Kertesz welcomed Mozambique's decision to convene a meeting on the prevention of cholera and diarrhoea. He also pointed out that in Malawi the Health Ministry is working with partners to distribute hygiene kits, whilst Zambia is promoting the treatment of water and changes in behaviour.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

African Water Facility Call for Concept Notes on Sanitation Improvement for Urban Poor

Posted on September 9, 2011 by dietvorst| Leave a comment

The African Water Facility (AWF) has issued a Call for Concept Notes under the urban sanitation theme for the urban poor in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The AWF will fund up to ten projects that promise to address the needs and to sustainably improving the sanitation situation of a densely populated urban poor community, or of a small to medium size town relying mainly on latrines and septic tanks.

The funds allocated will vary from € 800 000 to € 1 200 000, for a duration of 24 to 36 months.

The submission deadline is September 30, 2011

Southern Africa: winning the race – sanitation in rapidly-growing towns

Posted on September 24, 2011 by dietvorst| Leave a comment

This is a call for participants and contributors to an in-depth learning and sharing session on sanitation in rapidly-growing towns.

IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre, together with UCLGA, WIN-SA and AusAid, are hosting a Learning and Sharing Workshop around this crucial topic in November 2011. The 2 day session, to be held near Johannesburg (in the week of 7 November), will explore proactive, tangible ways to deal with pressing sanitation issues in towns experiencing rapid growth in Southern Africa.

SADC participants (eligible countries in green here) are invited to apply to participate or contribute to the workshop – which discusses practical and pragmatic ways to seize the current ‘window of opportunity’ that exists in rapidly growing towns. The application deadline is 5 October 2011.

For more information and an application form go to: