Having access to WASH builds people’s resilience to climate change. This can and must be achieved by enabling improved water security, limiting exposure to water-related risks, and building the capacity to manage the impacts of climate change.
The declaration, supported by 25+ global businesses and 15 WASH expert organisations, demonstrates the alignment, leadership and commitment of the corporate water stewardship community to create the pathways for systemic change, in partnership with water, sanitation and hygiene experts and stakeholders.
The purpose of the “COP27 Business Declaration on Climate Resilient Water, Sanitation & Hygiene (WASH)” is to contribute to the advancement of sustainable development goals SDG6 (access to water and sanitation) and SDG13 (action against climate change and its impacts) by 2030, with the goal of enabling millions of people to become more water secure and climate resilient.
Read the declaration below.
Water is the primary medium through which climate change influences the Earth’s ecosystem and thus all economic, social and environmental functions that water supports.
Water-related climate risks arise from too much water, too little water and polluted water. Climate change directly affects the quality and quantity of water supplies, and impacts on the sustainability of sanitation and hygiene behaviors, especially for the most vulnerable.
Unsafe and unreliable drinking water, sanitation and hygiene services at home or at work impacts people’s heath, well-being and livelihoods. Water security and climate resilience helps to enable healthy people and communities, business continuity and growth, across operations, supply chains and in the sourcing of raw materials.
In order to be resilient to the challenges that climate change brings, people along corporate value chains and in the communities where they live, need to be water secure.
Water security includes reliable access to sufficient quantities of good quality water, limited exposure and reduced vulnerability to water-related risks, and the capacity to manage the impacts from climate change at home and at work.
Safely managed sanitation, hygiene and water supply reduce exposure to harmful diseases and underpin public health enabling people to better cope with climate change impacts.
Efficient and effective water supply services increase the amount of clean water people have access to in times of scarcity. For example, during extreme climate events. Increased water storage, in harmony with the environment, provides a critical buffer, delivering water when and where it is needed.
Sources: WASH4Work, UNICEF, WaterAid, Water.org and Pacific Institute
The framework for action will include the following considerations:
The purpose of this Declaration is to contribute to the advancement of SDG6 & SDG13 by 2030, with the goal of enabling millions of people to become more water secure and climate resilient.
It demonstrates the leadership and commitment of the corporate water stewardship community to create the pathways for systemic change, in partnership with water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) experts and stakeholders.
WASH4Work members and supporters of the Declaration:
APP SINAR MAS
THE COCA-COLA COMPANY
ALLIANCE FOR WATER STEWARDSHIP
CEO WATER MANDATE
GLOBAL WATER CHALLENGE
INTERNATIONAL LABOR ORGANIZATION
SANITATION & WATER FOR ALL
TOILET BOARD COALITION
WATER RESILIENCE COALITION
Top image: climate resilient toilet facility, higher than ground level to protect from flooding, in Chattogram, Bangladesh
Most residents in Kenya’s densely packed informal communities lack access to decent sanitation, and the practical and financial challenges of addressing this crisis are well documented. However, new evidence shows that simplified sewer networks, which are much shallower and more flexible than traditional sewer systems, can form part of the solution. This opens up new possibilities for better sanitation which could benefit millions of Kenyans.
Simplified sewers are widely used in South America. They use smaller and more flexible pipes, laid at a shallower depth, making them quicker, easier, and cheaper to lay. They work best in cities which have an existing sewer network of trunk sewers, as is the case in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, allowing for the waste from the new network to travel into the main sewer system – and from there to treatment facilities.
In addition to trunk sewers, there are some other conditions required for simplified sewers to work, such as adequate water supply to support pour-flush toilets and strong community engagement to support operations and maintenance, including solid waste management and disposal.
These conditions were in place during the pilot project, which was a partnership between Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP), Nairobi City Water & Sewerage Company (NCWSC), Nairobi Metropolitan Services (NMS), Akiba Mashinani Trust (AMT), and the community in Mukuru. With the financial support of The One Foundation, WSUP laid over 1000m of pipes, constructed 72 inspection chambers and connected 94 households to the sewer system, benefitting over 4,000 individual residents who now have pour-flush toilets. Prior to the intervention, most Mukuru residents relied either on shared pit latrines or pour-flush toilets which channelled waste through open drains to the nearby river.
Customer satisfaction with the improved facilities was found to be high, and many also benefit from reduced prices: residents of Mukuru pay between KES 5-10 for a single use of public latrines (amounting to KES 900 a month for a family of three), compared to KES 20 per month for simplified sewer services, assuming a plot of ten households.
“There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to the sanitation challenge in urban slums”, explains WSUP’s Country Manager in Kenya, Eng. Eden Mati. “However, we now have strong evidence that simplified sewers are one of the answers. The prevalence of trunk sewer networks around many of our informal settlements in Kenya provides abundant untapped potential for scale-up of this solution. Further challenges lie ahead, not least in securing the finance for extending the connections and developing appropriate infrastructure for sewage treatment, but I am hopeful these can be overcome.”
Top image: the informal settlement of Mukuru, in Nairobi, Kenya
Recently we participated in the WASH Debate on 9 November 2022, organised by IRC WASH. The WASH Debate discussed the theme ‘Levering Household investments, Experiences in scaling market-based approached in water and sanitation.
As part of the Debate, Kerstin Danert presented on the outcomes of the recent assessment of the SMART Approach by IRC WASH (click here for the report).
The full recording of the session is available on youtube.
The panel discussion starts from 55:22
The “All Systems go Africa” conference took place in Accra from 19 to 21 October, 2022 (https://www.ircwash.org/all-systems-go-africa).
Over 260 people almost all from African countries discussed challenges and promising initiatives to reach SDG6.
For the MetaMeta SMART Centre Group Henk Holtslag presented on the topic “Service delivery models” with a presentation; Subsidized Self-supply/ farm wells, A promising service model to reach SDG6.1 in rural Africa. The example of Zambia.
His proposition: “To reach SDG6.1 in rural Sub Saharan Africa it is more cost-effective to subsidize farm wells that serve 50 people than subsidize communal wells that serve of 250 people” created much discussion and even the observation that we should not go back to family wells but go forward to piped systems.
Jacana action Haanen
IRC regularly organises ‘WASH Debates’ as an event to provide an informal platform for Dutch organisations and professionals working in the international water sector to connect and to discuss the latest developments and trends in the sector.
The next WASH Debate will take place on November 9th and will focus on ‘Leveraging household investments: Experiences in scaling market-based approaches in water and sanitation’.
The upcoming WASH Debate will look at the role of Market-Based solutions in increasing the coverage with Sanitation and why this is less accepted in relation to water-supply.
As part of the event, the recent assessment of the SMART Approach will be discussed.
More info is available on the website of IRC.
The details of the event are:
Date: Wednesday 9 November
Time: 17:00-18:30 CET, followed by drinks
Location: Dudok, The Hague
Format: In-person event with possibility to follow online*
Safe drinking Water
At the Stockholm Water Week a small group including dr. John Cherry, recipient of the 2020 Stockholm prize, and the SMART Centre Group proposed an idea for safe drinking with the title Bold idea ‘2 with 8’.
2 billion people safe drinking water at point of use with a grant of $8 billion.
This seems possible with actions like
Interested? Check the pamphlet here.
The SMART Centre Group is present at the Stockholm World Water Week, which takes place from 23 August – 1 September. The first few days were online and from Sunday 28 August – Thursday 1 September there are on-site session in Stockholm.
One of the highlights so far was the keynote by Dr. John Cherry on ‘solving rural water poverty’ during which he strongly argued to include Self-supply as one of the models to reach the rural populations. More information.
This year we do not have a physical booth, which means we are flexible to meet with you.
Feel free to reach out to us through firstname.lastname@example.org or +31642559870 (Henk) if you want to meet up.
Having run between June 2017 and June 2022, WADA addressed many challenges in water distribution, sanitation services, and hygiene practices faced by low-income communities in Madagascar’s capital, Antananarivo, and in the cities of Mahajanga, in the north, and Toliara, in the south. From the installation of WASH facilities near homes to increasing capacity of staff within JIRAMA, the national utility, WADA has dealt with urgent problems of the past, alleviated conditions of the present, and set the ground for further improvements in the future.
The five-year programme has been funded by The Coca Cola Foundation (TCCF), the US Agency for International Development (USAID), and several other members of this unique public-private partnership. Together, they have invested USD 8.5 million. Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) has implemented the programme, in partnership with the Global Environment & Technology Foundation (GETF) and JIRAMA.
One of the main missions of WADA was to create better conditions for the local population to access clean water. For many, the main obstacle for easier access has always been the distance, so hundreds of WASH facilities have been installed nearer the homes of residents.
“The kiosk is near us, we have clean water every day”, says Mbola Rasamimanana, resident of Soalandy, in Antananarivo, about the new facility installed as part of WADA. The fact that fetching water is no longer an activity taking too much of her time means she can now dedicate herself to other commitments, including paid work. “We have more time for income-generating activities, as we no longer go far to fetch water and wash our clothes.”
Easier access to clean water has improved an aspect of life even more important than economic activities: health. “Before the provision of potable water by the WADA project, we were often in poor health”, says Ms Rasamimanana. “Children were often sick.” That reality is, thankfully, now behind her and her family. “Now we are in good health.” According to Yves Arsène Rakotondranaivo, Deputy Mayor of the Soalandy Commune, the new structures installed by WADA benefit 65% of the residents in the commune of Soalandy Ankadivoribe.
In its five years, WADA built a total of 361 WASH facilities in Antananarivo, Mahajanga and Toliara. While the water kiosks have been the main highlight, with a total 248 brand new ones built, schools have also benefited significantly, receiving 22 either new or refurbished toilet blocks, which have improved the overall hygiene conditions of children.
Communities have also been enjoying the facilities and social interactions provided by the 16 new communal laundry blocks, where the task of washing clothes also works as an engaging gathering of neighbours. Another important intervention was the connection of six water tanks to the water supply network and 60 new connections shared by different households, benefiting over 600 families.
The five years of the WADA programme brought improvements in water, sanitation and hygiene to more than 500,000 people in Antananarivo, Mahajanga and Toliara. It was a much-needed support for Madagascar’s population, especially considering the size of the challenges in the country in the WASH sector. According to the World Bank, around 80% of Madagascar’s population live in poverty, which means that a significant share of the residents in big cities lack access to basic water services. In Antananarivo, around 12% of the 3.2 million people do not access clean water. In Mahajanga and Toliara, that share is estimated at 11% and 16%, respectively. In sanitation, those numbers are even more dramatic: 70% in the capital, 75% in Mahjanga, and 78% in Toliara.
Changing the country’s reality more significantly will require time and sustained efforts in the future, for which WADA has also provided foundations. “We have benefited from WASH facilities, such as laundry blocks and water kiosks, and also capacity building for the management of these infrastructures”, says Mr Rakotondranaivo.
The management of those facilities was handed to autonomous associations, under the supervision of the communes. This arrangement has guaranteed that local capacity was gradually built, and knowledge consistently transferred, ensuring the smooth operation of facilities and services after the formal ending of the WADA programme.
“We monitor the operation of the WASH facilities and the activities of the water kiosk agents”, explains Viviane Harilalao, President of Mirindra Association. “We also monitor the revenue and its transfer from the fund manager to the Water User Association Treasurer.”
The focus on the future is also clear in the investment WADA has made in children’s hygiene. The construction of new WASH facilities in schools and the hygiene education programmes mean that very young Malagasy people will incorporate healthier lifestyles and a better understanding of public health, things they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.
“We have sensitised and trained teachers and students”, says Ravaka Tefisoa Rakotobe, Director of the Belanitra Public School, in Antanannarivo. Amongst many other newly adopted tasks embraced by both school staff and pupils, was the establishment of a “School Garden”, which works as a learning place for the children and has generated cabbage and parsley that have been sold or consumed in the school’s canteen.
What makes Ms Rakotobe particularly proud, however, is the overall recognition of the transformation that has taken place – and which included new toilets, showers, drinking water station and rubbish facility. Her school obtained the WASH Friendly School Certification Level 3, a status awarded by the Ministry of Education, after evaluation done in collaboration with the ministries of WASH and Public Health.
The certification requires the school to have access to potable water; use of hygienic WASH facilities, including hygienic latrine; hygiene promotion as part of the curricula, with practice by the students; a school WASH Committee to ensure operation and maintenance. Level 3 is the best score of them all – and that is why Ms Rakotobe, her team and their students are adamant to keep it for good. “As a strategy to maintain WASH-Friendly Level 3, we have set up an organisation, by class, for the use, cleaning, and maintenance of WASH facilities.” If a school manages to maintain the Level 3 for several years, it receives the label of “WASH Friendly School”.
WADA’s initiatives to improve the operations of Madagascar’s national utility, JIRAMA, have also focused on the years ahead. From new equipment for laboratories responsible for water quality testing to training and technology aiming at reducing non-water revenue (both physical and commercial losses), the programme has prepared JIRAMA for a much more ambitious future, characterised by growth in water distribution and higher quality of its services.
“We have received several kits for the JIRAMA Laboratory from WADA, including molecular absorption and atomic absorption spectrophotometer, precision balance, PH meter, gamma ray measuring device, and the oven”, lists proudly Pascale Rakotomahanina, Manager at the Water Quality Management Department, in Antananarivo. Similar investment in JIRAMA’s testing facilities in Mahajanga gave the city even more valuable tools for its work: speed and autonomy.
“The acquisition of equipment from the WADA project now allows us to do many types of analysis on site in Mahajanga”, says Edward Randrianirina, Head of JIRAMA’s Water Quality Section. Amongst the tasks his team can now perform independently from the capital are bacteriological analysis and detection of toxic elements.
WADA has achieved all the above, and much more, while establishing strong ties with the communities involved, from the very beginning. This has particularly been the case with the female population, which has been directly involved in the changes and benefited from economic opportunities they have created.
“The project ensured the involvement of all local stakeholders and took care of the most vulnerable people, notably women”, says Sylvie Ramanantsoa, WSUP’s Country Manager in Madagascar.
WADA comes to a close having transformed the water, sanitation, and hygiene reality of hundreds of thousands of residents in three major cities of Madagascar. After five years, based on the many accomplishments of the project, the seeds for a much better future in the country’s WASH system are now planted. Embraced by local authorities, utility, and communities, the journey towards continuous and constant improvement has only just begun.
Top image: residents using laundry block built as part of the WADA programme, in the commune of Soalandy
The WADA Madagascar project was also funded by UK aid from the Government of the United Kingdom, Dubai Cares, Cartier Philanthropy, OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), The Halcrow Foundation, and JIRAMA.
Whilst WSUP’s vital work on the ground continues in Africa and South Asia, we have decided that in recognition of the national and international periods of mourning for HM Queen Elizabeth ll, we will pause our external website and social media communications.
The Queen was a constant and steadfast presence both in the UK and internationally during her remarkable reign, and her loss will be felt deeply by many.
WSUP will resume its external communications following the Queen’s funeral.