On 20 June the SWA Steering Committee met in Berlin for their first face-to-face meeting of 2019. The agenda included items such as the new SWA Strategy 2020-2030, the private sector’s engagement with the partnership and preparations for the 2020 Finance Ministers’ Meeting.
The group also held elections for the positions of Steering Committee Chair and Vice-Chair. Patrick Moriarty, CEO of IRC-WASH was elected Chair, and Sareen Malik, Coordinator and Secretary to the Board at African Civil Society Network on Water and Sanitation (ANEW) was elected Vice-Chair. They have been elected for a three-year period.
The post Elections of the new Steering Committee Chair and Vice-Chair appeared first on SWA.
In the “Global Water and Development Report of Water and Sanitation Activities FY 2017,” USAID charts its progress toward achieving the goal of providing 15 million people with sustainable access to safe drinking water services and 8 million people with sustainable sanitation by 2022.
In FY 2017, USAID provided $449.6 million to support water, sanitation, and hygiene activities in 41 countries. As a result, 3.6 million people gained access to improved water while 3.2 million gained access to improved sanitation.
The annual report also explores USAID’s support for partner countries on their journeys to self-reliance through many voices:
Guide to menstrual hygiene materials. UNICEF, May 2019. The guide is meant to familiarize UNICEF staff members with the key characteristics and requirements for the most common menstrual hygiene materials: menstrual cloths, reusable pads, disposable pads, menstrual cups and tampons. For each menstrual material, the environmental, health, and financial aspects are highlighted in individual tables – along with considerations of availability, user experience, and standards and regulations. Technical specifications are provided for each material. The guide concludes with a summary table of these key attributes.
Guidance on Menstrual Health and Hygiene. UNICEF, March 2019. This guidance was developed for UNICEF WASH, Education, Health, and Gender specialists or focal points in country offices who are working with their partners to develop programs related to menstrual health and hygiene (MHH).
Composting and Dry Desiccating Toilets (Latrines). Global Water Pathogen Project, June 2019. Scientists involved with the Global Water Pathogen Project (GWPP) have compiled the most up to date information on Composting and Dry Desiccating Toilets (Latrines) for the purpose of providing a key reference point in the development of quantitative guidance for sanitation practices worldwide.
Mainstreaming Energy Efficiency Investments in Urban Water and Wastewater Utilities. World Bank, June 2019. This guidance note presents an overview of the benefits of improving energy efficiency in urban water and wastewater utilities.
The WASH Benefits and SHINE Trials. Interpretation of Findings on Linear Growth and Diarrhoea and Implications for Policy: Perspective of the Investigative Teams (P10-136-19). Current Developments in Nutrition, June 2019. We recently completed 3 efficacy trials (Bangladesh, Kenya, Zimbabwe) testing the independent and combined effects of improved complementary feeding (CF) and intensive household water quality, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) on child diarrhea and length-for-age-Z-score (LAZ) at 18 to 24 mo. Intervention uptake was high. In all three trials: CF increased LAZ but WASH had no effect on LAZ. WASH reduced diarrhea in Bangladesh but not in Kenya or Zimbabwe. We present a synthesis of trial findings and their implications.
Design of a parallel cluster-randomized trial assessing the impact of a demand-side sanitation and hygiene intervention on sustained behavior change and mental well-being in rural and peri-urban Amhara, Ethiopia: Andilaye study protocol. BMC Public Health, June 21, 2019. The purpose of this protocol is to detail the rationale and design of a cluster-randomized trial evaluating the impact of a demand-side sanitation and hygiene intervention on sustained behavior change and mental well-being in rural and peri-urban Amhara, Ethiopia.
Solutions for Resilience and Peace Building Across the World. Engineering for Change, May 30, 2019. About 90 percent of USAID’s water priority countries are conflict-affected or fragile. In 2018, over 60 million people around the world were affected by more than 280 natural disasters. Effective water resource management is complex even in times of peace and prosperity. In a time of crisis, whether war or natural disaster or drought, it means the difference between building resilience or compounding tragedy.
Have you heard of impact bonds? Sustainable Cities, June 2019. Impact bonds are a form of public-private partnership that rewards investors for successfully delivering impact. Investors are rewarded if providers meet agreed-upon outcomes but lose their investment if the providers underachieve or fail.
Déclaration des collectifs africains du secteur eau et assainissement pour accélérer la mobilisation pour l'atteinte de l'ODD6.
Dans le cadre de la dynamique amorcée en 2008, nos collectifs se sont réunis à Mbour-Saly Portudal du 18 au 22 juin 2019, pour le 8ème atelier sous-régional d'échange d'expériences et de renforcement des capacités. Organisé avec le soutien de la Coalition Eau et de partenaires internationaux (ACF, IRC, SWA, WIN, WSSCC, Niyel), et articulé avec ANEW (réseau des ONG africaines), cet atelier avait pour thème « En route pour Dakar 2021 : la mobilisation des ONG/OSC Eau et Assainissement de la Sous-région pour l'atteinte de l'ODD 6 ».
L'Alliance d'Afrique Francophone pour l'Eau et l'Assainissement (AAEFA) rassemble les collectifs de la société civile du secteur Eau et Assainissement de 10 pays d'Afrique de l'Ouest et du Centre (Bénin, Burkina Faso, Cameroun, Guinée, Mali, Mauritanie, Niger, Sénégal, Tchad, Togo). Son objectif : renforcer les capacités et l'expertise de la société civile du secteur, échanger les pratiques et mener des plaidoyers nationaux et internationaux, en vue de l'atteinte des Objectifs de Développement Durable (ODD), et plus particulièrement de l'ODD 6 sur l'eau et l'assainissement.
En effet, les défis de l'accès à l'eau et l'assainissement en Afrique de l'Ouest et du Centre sont encore énormes en dépit des efforts engagés par les Etats. Seuls 27% de la population d'Afrique subsaharienne a accès à des services d'alimentation domestique en eau potable gérés en toute sécurité et 18% pour l'assainissement (JMP, 2019). Les ODD constituent un engagement fort de la communauté internationale vers l'accès universel à l'eau potable et à l'assainissement et la bonne gestion des ressources en eau d'ici 2030. Consciente de son rôle et de ses responsabilités dans l'atteinte des ODD, la société civile joue un rôle clé pour que les engagements soient respectés, que des politiques publiques efficaces et équitables soient mises en œuvre et que les droits humains à l'eau et à l'assainissement soient effectifs. Elle se mobilise ainsi à travers un plaidoyer actif, des programmes opérationnels et apporte son expertise.
A cet égard, 2021 sera un temps fort, avec des ODD à mi-parcours, la tenue du 9ème Forum Mondial de l'Eau à Dakar, et la tenue de la réunion intergouvernementale onusienne sur l'eau et l'assainissement. Face à ces enjeux, cet atelier a été l'occasion, pour nos collectifs, de se rassembler pour construire des messages et une stratégie de plaidoyer en vue d'accélérer la mobilisation pour l'atteinte de l'ODD6, dans la perspective du 9ème Forum Mondial de l'Eau et au-delà.
Premier Forum Mondial de l'Eau organisé en Afrique subsaharienne, le 9ème Forum Mondial de l'Eau « Dakar 2021 » va attirer l'attention de la communauté de l'eau sur les enjeux de la Sous-région. Afin de garantir le succès de cet événement, nos organisations portent les recommandations suivantes :
CONGAD (Conseil des ONG et Associations de Développement) / POSCEAS (Plateforme des OSC Eau et Assainissement au Sénégal) – Sénégal ; Partenariat National de l'Eau – Sénégal ; CANEA (Cadre des Acteurs Non Etatiques pour l'Eau et l'Assainissement) – Bénin ; SPONG (Secrétariat Permanent des ONG) – Burkina Faso ; Réseau AME (Alliance pour la Maitrise de l'Eau) – Cameroun ; CN-CIEPA (Coalition Nationale de la Campagne Internationale pour l'Eau Potable et l'Assainissement) – Mali ; Association Tenmiya – Mauritanie ; CCOAD (Chambre de Concertation des ONG et Associations de Développement) – Niger ; CCEABT (Conseil de Concertation pour l'Eau et l'Assainissement de Base au Togo) – Togo ; Coalition Nationale Action et Plaidoyer pour l'Eau – Guinée ; Association pour la Défense des Droits des Consommateurs (ADC) – Tchad.
What can civil society do to achieve the SDGs?
For achieving the SDGs, the global focus is currently on financing and the role of governments, private corporations and donors. In the process, the capacity of the cutting edge players, viz., the citizens, households, communities, religions, NGOs, local governments are often sidelined or relegated to the background. They are more seen as ‘agents’ and not as co-achievers or co-producers.
SDG achievements can be fast tracked only when the households and civil society at large are brought to the central stage and encouraged to drive a more proactive and co-creative change. Simple citizen interventions like adoption of handwashing and improved hygiene practices at critical occasions could save millions of lives. Women self-help groups, micro-livelihoods, community schools, responsible consumption and reduced water /energy footprint, environmental sanitation, post-harvest technologies, and knowledge and use of Oral Rehydration Therapy for childhood diarrhoea, are all SDG solutions where civil society can lead for results. Well-designed strategic civil society engagement at grassroots level can also reduce transaction costs, inequity, improve access and quality of service delivery.
The base of the pyramid, however, is a risky terrain and can make you win or fail. Traversing the landscape requires locally designed tools and instruments facilitated by well meaning and committed catalysts having a nuanced understanding of the grassroots.
A large segment of the vulnerable at the base are in poor health, illiterate, hungry, lacking water and sanitation and there is no demand for their skills in the market. They are generally voiceless, faceless and hidden. The real challenge is to empower them to achieve extraordinary results, as leaders, decision makers, co-producers, consumers and value creators.
It is easier said than done. Not that the public expenditure is too little, but the services are failing the poor. In Nepal, 46 percent of education spending accrues to the richest fifth, only 11 percent to the poorest, and this is the case in many developing countries. The process demands careful handholding and change management going beyond the conventional mandate, driven by a deeper understanding of the motives, processes and bottlenecks. When we see communities as co-producers, they make the micro-economy vibrant, inclusive and generate multipliers by way of income, employment and growth.
The change agents, be it government, private companies or NGOs, need to continuously redefine their scope, innovate instruments and de-clog channels to nurture conducive ecosystems. Potential change at individual and community levels can happen only when private and public values are simultaneously created in a circular micro-economy creating win-wins to answer, ‘why should I change’?
What can civil society do to achieve the SDGs? Inter alia, as part of a holistic strategy, the following mix of tools and instruments at household and community levels can accelerate SDG achievements:
These interventions have been used intermittently in development, but are mostly disregarded or sidelined during the implementation phase in the ‘honey trap of hardware’. At the bottom of the pyramid, there is scale, ownership, and sustainability. What is needed is contextual and strategic acceleration at the cutting edge, by citizens as co-producers and co-achievers.
Yet in Livingstone, southern Zambia, that’s exactly the situation.
Despite its proximity to Victoria Falls it has, like most cities in Africa, many communities which lack basic services such as water and sanitation.
But what it doesn’t lack, is a utility determined to tackle this issue – Southern Water & Sewerage Company (SWASCO). The utility has recognised the need to extend services into the city’s underserved communities and with the support of WSUP, and funding from enabling partner Wasser fuer Wasser (WfW), is now embarking on a plan to tackle this issue.
Against what the MD of SWASCO describes as a “backdrop of serious challenges in the availability of water resource as a result of the severe drought in the country, especially the southern half of the country”, a stronger utility is vital if all urban residents in Livingstone are to benefit from clean water.
What will SWASCO, which is responsible for water provision in Livingstone, need to do to extend services to the poorest communities?
WSUP’s and WfW’s work with SWASCO commenced last year with an infrastructure project in the peri-urban area of Burton.
Burton has a population of approximately 8,000 people and until a few months ago, most of the residents would have to buy water from the few households that had water connections. The areas was served by dilapidated infrastructure which resulted in high levels of leaks, erratic water supply and poor water quality. The poor relations between SWASCO and the community often led to unpaid water bills, and further deterioration of the service.
With support from WSUP and WfW, SWASCO was able to introduce a new water network, using high quality pipes which are expected to dramatically reduce leakage. The utility in Lusaka, Lusaka Water & Sewerage Company, provided advice on how best to install the pipes to make the most of the advanced polyethylene material.
Residents such as Matilda Mumba Bwalya are now able to get a household connection, guaranteeing a regular supply of water right within their property.
“With the water connected to my house directly, I now start my business early because I do not spend most of my morning fetching water,” says Matilda. “And because of this, I am able to cash more money from my sales which has helped my family.” Matilda used to have to walk 3 kilometres every day to get water for her family’s needs.
To date, well over half the households in the community have connected to the network, taking advantage of a subsidised rate for new connections. Subsidising the connection fee is one of the first steps taken by SWASCO towards assuring the community that as a utility, they are committed to providing improved services to low income areas as well as ensuring that effective channels of communication between the community and service provider are established.
But the project in Burton is just the start. Building infrastructure is important, and a visible way to build momentum, but its only one piece of the puzzle. In order to deliver effective services, other challenges need to be addressed. How can the utility best engage with low-income customers? Does it need to adapt its approach billing when working in marginalised communities? How can it increase the number of hours that water is available for? What’s its approach to leak detection and repair? All these issues are vital.
SWASCO and WSUP are therefore now conducting a utility capacity assessment to help develop a road map towards universal coverage in Livingstone. This assessment will be based on WSUP’s Utility Strengthening Framework, which provides a structured approach to improving how a utility can function, across the entirety of its operations. The assessment will set out short, medium and long term objectives for enabling SWASCO to move towards ensuring universal water coverage.
The Utility Strengthening Framework has grown out of WSUP’s Sector Functionality Framework, which helps map out the changes that need to happen in urban areas to create universal water access.
At the official launch of the Burton network, the District Commissioner of Livingstone, Madam Kawina, recognised the importance of the initiative.
“The project could not have come at a better time than now, when the need for water supply and sanitation services by the people of Livingstone is on the increase,” she said.
Progress on household drinking water, sanitation and hygiene 2000-2017:
Special focus on inequalities. WHO; UNICEF, June 2019.
The Joint Monitoring Programme report, Progress on drinking water, sanitation and hygiene: 2000-2017: Special focus on inequalities finds that, while significant progress has been made toward achieving universal access to basic water, sanitation and hygiene, there are huge gaps in the quality of services provided.
The report reveals that 1.8 billion people have gained access to basic drinking water services since 2000, but there are vast inequalities in the accessibility, availability and quality of these services. It is estimated that 1 in 10 people (785 million) still lack basic services, including the 144 million who drink untreated surface water.
The data shows that 8 in 10 people living in rural areas lacked access to these services and in one in four countries with estimates for different wealth groups, coverage of basic services among the richest was at least twice as high as among the poorest.
This report presents updated national, regional and global estimates for WASH in households for the period 2000-2017. This report assesses progress in reducing inequalities in household WASH services and identifies the populations most at risk of being ‘left behind’.
Le Ministère de l’Eau et de l’Assainissement (MEA) a initié des formations en approche fondée sur les droits humains (AFDH) et le genre à l’endroit de 201 élus locaux de douze régions du Burkina Faso.
Elles s’inscrivent dans le cadre du projet de renforcement des capacités des acteurs de l’eau 2018-2022. IRC Burkina a été mandaté, au regard de son expertise sur l’AFDH, par le Centre des Métiers de l’Eau (CEMEAU), pour exécuter ces formation grâce à l’appui financier de l’Union Européenne.
Le Burkina Faso s’est engagé dans les Objectifs de Développement Durable dont le sixième objectif est l’accès universel à l’eau potable et à l’assainissement à l’horizon 2030. Pour ce faire le gouvernement a adopté plusieurs programmes dont le programme gouvernance du secteur eau et assainissement 2016-2030. La réussite de ce programme est fortement tributaire d’une ressource humaine qualifiée et d’une approche adéquate telle l’AFDH pour mettre l’accent sur les droits et obligations des parties prenantes engagées dans la fourniture des services d’eau. C’ est ainsi que le MEA en adoptant l’ AFDH s’est engagé à la promouvoir en formant autant les détenteurs de droits que les débiteurs d’obligations afin de forger au sein des parties, les notions d’obligation de résultats, de responsabilité et de recevabilité. Il s’agit d’ une part de s’assurer de la fourniture quotidienne des services par les autorités publiques qui en ont la charge et les opérateurs mandatés par les autorités publiques. D’autre part est question de vulgariser la nécessité que les citoyens et consommateurs, tout en exerçant leurs droits que sont l’utilisation des services, s’acquittent de leurs obligations tels le paiement des factures, le respect des règles de citoyenneté et l’exercice du contrôle citoyen.
De mars à mai 2019, IRC a mené ces formations de trois jours à l’endroit des communes de douze régions (Boucle du Mouhoun, Cascades, Hauts-Bassins, Centre, Centre- Nord, Plateau Central, Centre-Est, Centre-Ouest, Centre-Sud, Sud-Ouest, Est et Nord).
Chaque session de formation a été animée autour de sept (07) modules pour améliorer les performances des acteurs en vue d’une mise en œuvre efficace et efficiente de la stratégie nationale de l’eau et des programmes opérationnels y relatifs. Il s’est agi de familiariser les élus locaux avec les droits humains qui se résument à « l’ensemble des besoins fondamentaux nécessaires à chaque être humain pour son plein épanouissement ». Le module portant sur « les principes des droits humains à l’eau et à l’assainissement » développé par Julie P. Nigna, une des formatrices, a permis aux élus locaux de comprendre que l’approche fondée sur les droits de l’homme repose sur la volonté de réduire les inégalités. Elle met par conséquent un point d’honneur sur la prise en compte des groupes marginalisés. A cet effet, l’AFDH s’appuie sur cinq principes fondamentaux que sont la non-discrimination et l’équité, l’autonomisation à travers l’accès à l’information et la transparence, la participation et l’inclusion, la responsabilité des autorités publiques à travers la redevabilité et le principe de la durabilité et de la non-régression.
Plusieurs cas de violation du droit de l’eau et de l’assainissement ont été discutés afin de permettre aux apprenants de mieux fixer ces nouvelles connaissances. Ainsi le maire de Koupéla s’est rendu compte que : « l’eau ne coule des robinets que pendant quelques heures par jours à partir du mois de mars. Ceci est dû à l’assèchement du barrage et donc à l’incapacité de l’ONEA (Office National de l’Eau et de l’Assainissement) de fournir de l’eau potable. Il s’agit là d’une atteinte au principe de durabilité ». « Une pénurie d’eau a révolté les femmes du secteur 11 de Ouahigouya en mars 2018, chose qui illustre la mise en œuvre du principe de la redevabilité. En effet la véritable cause de la colère des femmes était le silence de l’ONEA et des autorités municipales » commenta un des formateurs. Il ajouta que : « Les coupures prolongées d’eau à Houndé en saison sèche poussent les populations à repartir vers les pompes à motricité humaine ou les sources d’eau non protégées mettant de ce fait à rude épreuve le principe de la non-régression ».
Au sortir des différentes sessions les acteurs se disent prêts à réorienter leurs actions pour l’accès de tous les membres de leurs communautés, à l’eau potable et à l’assainissement. En témoigne, Issouf Sangare, deuxième adjoint au maire de la commune de Ouarkoye qui « s’engage à respecter les principes et les normes des droits humains à l’eau et à l’assainissement et à veiller à ce que la participation de toutes les couches soit effective à tous les niveaux ». Au sujet de la planification, suivi-évaluation de la réalisation des droits humains à l’eau et à l’assainissement le maire de Péni, Abdoulaye Ouattara confie : « Je vais faire la restitution de la formation à tous les conseillers lors du prochain conseil municipal. Nous ferons des programmations pour chaque village et voir si chaque acteur joue pleinement son rôle ».
« Je voudrais rassurer les formateurs que sur le terrain, nous mettrons en pratique ce que nous avons appris ici, maintenant que nous savons par quel bout démarrer la mise en œuvre de cette approche fondée sur les droits humains qui révolutionnera nos résultats » ajoute, le maire de Zorgho, Jacques Kabore.
Idrissa Bamogo, Directeur Régional de l'Eau et de l'Assainissement de la région du Centre- Sud, appui: « Mes remerciements vont à l'endroit des organiseurs et des formateurs. Félicitations aux participants pour leur présence et leur participation active. Je souhaite que de telles sessions de formation fussent répétées au profit de ceux qui n'ont pas pu participer à celles-là. Je suis ravi de constater que le maire de Béré qui accomplit un travail extraordinaire sur le terrain, est présent et veuille bien partager son expérience avec ses pairs ».
A l'issue des formations sur l'AFDH, il reste à observer le changement progressif des comportements, attitudes et des pratiques des détenteurs de droits et des débiteurs d'obligations dans l'animation de la gouvernance du secteur afin d'accélérer les progrès vers l'accès universel et durable à l'horizon 2030.
The majority of 'last mile" households still practising open defecation were those that were defiant', socially isolated or geographically isolated.
Since 2017, SNV and the Government of Tanzania have been implementing the Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for All (SSH4A) programme in eight Tanzanian districts. To date, the number of households that use toilets has increased to 90%. In the period March–April 2019, SNV Tanzania undertook a household survey in the eight project districts to identify the 10% of households still practising open defecation or sharing toilets despite the concerted government and SNV sanitation interventions. The findings show the majority of the households still practising open defecation and sharing latrines in the rural districts of Tanzania are not those commonly cited by the literature and sanitation programming – the people in poverty, the elderly people, people with disabilities, and those with other specific vulnerabilities. The majority in 'the last mile' are: 1) the 'defiant' households that have the socio-economic resources to build themselves latrines but prefer to practise open defecation or share toilets; 2) the socially isolated households that do not have a financially able family member who can support them; and 3) the geographically isolated households that are far from information centres. The SNV study also revealed a relatively high percentage of households headed by single mothers and those living in difficult terrains as part of the last mile. Furthermore, the study identified opportunities to increase access to sanitation among the last mile groups. These are: 1) introduction of behaviour change re-enforcement interventions tailored to different target groups; 2) promotion of context-specific sanitation technologies; and 3) introduction of community-led 'social exclusion' strategies. [author abstract]
Since 2017, SNV and the Government of Tanzania have been implementing the Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for All (SSH4A) programme in eight Tanzanian districts. To date, the number of households that use toilets has increased to 90%. In the period March–April 2019, SNV Tanzania undertook a household survey in the eight project districts to identify the 10% of households still practising open defecation or sharing toilets despite the concerted government and SNV sanitation interventions. The findings show the majority of the households still practising open defecation and sharing latrines in the rural districts of Tanzania are not those commonly cited by the literature and sanitation programming – the people in poverty, the elderly people, people with disabilities, and those with other specific vulnerabilities. The majority in ‘the last mile’ are: 1) the ‘defiant’ households that have the socio-economic resources to build themselves latrines but prefer to practise open defecation or share toilets; 2) the socially isolated households that do not have a financially able family member who can support them; and 3) the geographically isolated households that are far from information centres. The SNV study also revealed a relatively high percentage of households headed by single mothers and those living in difficult terrains as part of the last mile. Furthermore, the study identified opportunities to increase access to sanitation among the last mile groups. These are: 1) introduction of behaviour change re-enforcement interventions tailored to different target groups; 2) promotion of context-specific sanitation technologies; and 3) introduction of community-led ‘social exclusion’ strategies.
Read the full report. SNV, 2019. Identifying the last 10% of households practising open defecation in rural Tanzania. Dar es Salaam, Tanzania: SNV Tanzania. 14 p.
Prize ceremony will showcase innovations in liquid waste management (LWM) 24 July 2019.
The Sanitation Challenge for Ghana launched 19 November 2015 to stimulate transformational changes to city-wide sanitation service delivery. The theme of the competition "Rewarding Excellence in Liquid Waste Management" calls on the participation of Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) and private sector partners to submit innovation strategies, as part of the Ideas for Impact (i2i) programme.
This final award event will bring together government ministries, departments and agencies, competing MMDAs and private sector partners, development partners, sector practitioners, the media and representatives of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Local Government to:
The government of Ghana represented by its Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources is leading the Sanitation Challenge for Ghana. IMC Worldwide, an international development consultancy based in London, is the acting agent, IRC Ghana and MAPLE Consult are providing implementation support and the UK Department of International Development (DFID) is managing the prize implementation.
In 2015, the government of Ghana announced the launch of the Sanitation Challenge for Ghana. The competition was an exciting new challenge for Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in Ghana. The aim is to promote competition among MMDAs, and motivate them to team up with their citizens, innovators and solvers to design and implement liquid waste management strategies, to bring about transformational change to poor households in urban centres with a population of more than 15,000 people.
Ideas for Impact (i2i) is an action-research programme funded by UK Department of International Development (DFID) aimed at designing, implementing and testing innovation prizes, as a means of inducing innovative solutions to critical development challenges in Climate Change Adaptation, Energy Access and WASH.
La mairie de Banfora a organisé les 14, 15 et 16 mai 2019 un atelier de consultation pour la définition d’un nouveau projet cofinancé par One Drop, Hilton et leurs partenaires locaux.
Tenu à Ouagadougou avec la participation de plusieurs partenaires, cet atelier avait pour objet de valider les perspectives d’appui de la Fondation One Drop. Etaient présents à cet atelier One Drop, Danida, Water 4, WaterAid, Catholic Relief Servicse (CRS), Access Development, IRC-Burkina, l’Association MUNYU, l’Espace Gambidi, la Direction Régionale de la Santé (DRS), la Direction Régionale de l’Eau et de l’Assainissement et la Direction Provinciale de l’Education Post-Primaire et Non Formelle (DPEPPNF).
Pendant trois jours, la mairie et ses partenaires ont fait le bilan des appuis antérieurs de la Fondation One Drop, échanger sur les perspectives d’appui de la Fondation et ses partenaires d’exécution à partir de 2019 et analyser la cohérence des actions menées ou prévues avec la vision du plan stratégique de Banfora. Il s’est également agi d’identifier les acteurs clés concernées par l’exécution des actions potentielles à financer par One Drop et la Fondation Hilton et leurs partenaires d’exécution à partir de 2019 tout en définissant leurs rôles, leurs responsabilités et les modalités de leur participation. Enfin il a été question de préciser les modalités de formalisation des relations entre les différents partenaires et mairie pour la mise en œuvre de nouvelles actions. Les grandes lignes de l’atelier sont présentées dans le rapport élaboré par la commune.
La Fondation One Drop envisage de poursuivre son appui à la commune de Banfora. A cet effet, la mairie de Banfora a convoqué un atelier avec toutes les parties concernées pour partager le bilan des interventions de One Drop et ses partenaires et discuter leurs perspectives d’appui à la mise en œuvre du plan stratégique communal eau et assainissement.
Le présent rapport élaboré par la Mairie de Banfora présente le déroulement, les résultats et les conclusions de cet atelier.
Avec l'appui technique et financier de: IRC, One Drop, Conrad. N. Hilton Foundation, Catholic Relief Services
Me: “Why is collecting water a woman’s job?”
Male villager: Says with a grin, “Because it has always been! In our tradition men and women have been assigned specific (household) duties”
In the village of Kapau, Zambia, fetching water has always been the task of women (and children). This is a deeply ingrained cultural institution or norm. Institutions –not to be confused with ‘organisations’ – are understood as ‘rules in use’ in a place. It is these institutions that affect how interventions are made to improve water access. Water access in this context is defined as people’s ability to derive benefits from water, according to a definition of access by Ribot & Peluso (2003).
World Bank’s The Rising Tide report (2017) says that water-related norms “serve to assert status and power and reinforce established hierarchies”. Norms therefore have to be carefully taken into account, especially in terms of gender, in the design and implementation of any intervention to improve water access.
Generally, new water infrastructure such as a borewell, pump, pipes, taps etc. is installed to reduce the burden of the water fetcher, but local norms can counter-intuitively affect that purpose, as we illustrate with the example of Kapau, which also shows us that water access has as much to do with governance as it has to do with infrastructure.
This blog is a summary of seven months of research conducted both in Zambia and the Netherlands as a part of a post-graduate programme with IHE Delft funded by the Coca Cola foundation and the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme.
Through this research, it can be asserted that the socio-cultural norms of a place greatly influence the pillars of integrity: transparency, accountability, participation:
a) by affecting what people wish to or are allowed to say;
b) by affecting which complaints are acceptable and;
c) by affecting who is allowed to speak or take.
Kapau is a remote village in the Western Province, Zambia, with a population of almost 1300 people. The people here are so poor that they barter maize for everyday products within the village, and not many use currency notes unless required. The village has no formal electricity or telephone connection. People who live here are from the Lozi tribe and have distinct cultural practices. The region is known for its periodic rivers and shallow water pans amidst the extended Kalahari sand dunes. The water table is shallow and water is relatively easy to reach but water access is still an issue.
The Ministry of Local Government and Housing’s Department of Infrastructure and Support Services (DISS) has been subsidising the construction of borewells under the National Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Programme (NRWSS), funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB). The NRWSS Program is being implemented by involving stakeholders to increase the water supply network and reduce walking distance for women and children. The village in need of the wells must apply in writing to the authority concerned. The local authority validates the application, checking during a field visit whether the situation is dire enough for the construction of a subsidised borewell. Once the situation has been confirmed and the application fee is paid, the construction order is sanctioned and the borewell gets constructed for the villagers.
When the water point used to be relatively far, both men and women would fetch water with an ox-cart. When Kapau received its borewell, and the water point became closer, the water fetching activity became ‘trivial’, and was fully delegated to women and children.
This activity, though ‘trivialised’, still takes five hours in the day of many women (and children), and requires significant effort: lifting 20 litre buckets and walking in the hot, sometimes thorny, Kalahari sand.
Religion can play a role in how these norms are set in stone. In an interview, the pastor in Kapau pronounced that their faith instituted delegation of chores. He said, “man is the head of the house. And our faith has assigned certain roles for my wife and for me”.
Other cultural practices and traditions also influence water-related norms. For example, the payment of a bride-price. Many in Kapau have come to understand that once money is paid to a woman’s parents before getting married, the woman will do all the house chores. At kitchen parties, which are like bachelorette parties hosted for the bride, older women teach the bride-to-be how to perform household chores gracefully. Complaints about the chores or body pain can lead to divorce. Many are therefore afraid of voicing pain and sometimes also accept it as it their ‘duty’.
How norms are perceived and experienced, differs greatly. Older women, new mothers, young men, and children will sense the distance to the water point differently. At the village borewell, many interviewed children claimed to detest water fetching, saying it is a painful ordeal. But some children, especially girls, love their job. They feel the act is satisfying as they feel good helping their mothers. Some of them leave early from school just so that they can fetch the required number of buckets.
Norms affect participation in village meetings convened by the village chief also known as the Induna. Both men and women attend these meetings, although mothers caring for small children are often held back by their household duties and find it difficult to attend. There are instances where older children share domestic tasks and make it easier for women to attend. There are also exceptions. A few individuals have deviated from gender norms. Well-educated English speaking women, older women, the wife of an influential man, were all more vocal in the meetings.
This attendance by both men and women does not mean, however, that issues are given equal representation. What constitutes a valid issue to be voiced, and who voices it, is deeply impacted by local norms.
During interviews carried out in the village, body ‘pain’ or ‘distance’ were acknowledged as issues mostly by women and few men, but were not considered worthy enough to be voiced at meetings. Most people interviewed (including women) echoed this statement: “it’s a woman’s job, and it is part and parcel of life”. Some women complained that the men did not allow them to speak. A few elder women said “younger women do not have ideas, hence they choose to remain quiet”. These patronizing regulations affect meaningful participation.
The research highlights that new infrastructure alone does not necessarily reduce the burden of fetching water on women and children. Cultural norms are important, they reinstate people’s sense of belonging to the place, and they are valued and respected. In terms of gender, their impact on how water sector interventions are carried out and their results is considerable.
An important take-away is that support programs such as the NRWSS should not only inform themselves well on cultural norms that affect women and marginalised communities, but also stock-take on how water access creates a shift in power dynamics within the accepted hierarchies.
In this situation, it is imperative as a first step, to foster more inter and intra village interaction. Researchers from LSE, Fujiwara et al. (2014) have published a report which states that when people engage in sports, the likelihood of volunteering rises by 3% while through arts it is 7%. With more platforms to engage discussion increases among different groups of people.
In Kapau for example, although not all women spoke in formal village meetings, later the same group would congregate and discuss in someone’s private courtyard. Enabling such intermediaries and informal spaces to facilitate exchange, allows the ‘issues’ (which were otherwise considered trivial) to get acknowledged, and thereby be voiced in public forums later.
Interactive cultural events, local sports competitions, especially during the festivals, provide an opportunity to navigate through the cultural norms in place and voice out the issues in regards to access to water. These activities therefore support the promotion of integrity pillars, transparency, accountability and participation (TAP).
Neha Mungekar is a water manager, urban designer and a documentary photographer from India. This blog is based on her MSc research “Whose job is it to fetch water?” – Understanding the role of gender in access to water for domestic use in Kapau, Zambia at IHE Delft, Netherlands. This research was conducted in connection with the project “Women and Water for Change in Communities”. The project aims to promote the inclusion of women in water-related decision making and strengthen the role of women as sustainability change agents in rural African communities. Action Research activities conducted at three sites in Zambia, Tanzania and Uganda aim to improve our understanding of what ‘empowerment’ truly means, and how it can be meaningfully supported by development partners. All activities were made possible by support from The Coca-Cola Foundation (Community Grant IG-2016-1764) and the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme (Grant No. 689744).
Photo Credits: Neha Mungekar
Ribot, J.C. and Peluso, N.L., A theory of access. Rural Sociology, 2003