In 2008, 59% of the population in Africa lacked access to improved sanitation facilities.Who are these people and why are they left out, not reached or not served? This synthesis paper, presented at AfricaSan 3, will highlight some of the challenges but also gives examples and a framwork how to reach more inclusive sanitation and hygiene in Africa.
There are two facets to the sanitation problem in Africa, both of which are unacceptable.
The first is a problem of scale. Hundreds of millions of people in Africa have historically practiced open defecation, especially in rural areas: a veritable sanitation crisis that impairs progress in the region. African countries are most off-track to reach the Millennium Development Goals for sanitation
The second and in many ways more pernicious problem is one of exclusion, where different categories of people are not able to access and use safe sanitation facilities. These categories of people include those who are socially and economically marginalised or excluded, and those who cannot use standard designs. For example, women, children, older people, pregnant women, people with disabilities or living with HIV/Aids or other chronic illnesses, and geographically marginalised populations in remote areas. The ‖excluded‖, are not only people who suffer from ‖asset poverty, but also those who are shut out for social reasons.
This synthesis study was presented during the WaterAid and WSSCC hosted equity session at AfricaSan III. It lays out the problem around equity in Africa, but also offers case studies of successful projects which adresses the gaps. The paper szrongly encourages new ideas, better programming to achieve inclusive access to sanitation and hygiene for all.
The Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC) is an international organization that works to improve access to sustainable sanitation, hygiene and water for all people. It does so by enhancing collaboration among sector agencies and professionals who are working to provide sanitation to the 2.6 billion people without a clean, safe toilet, and the 884 million people without affordable, clean drinking water close at hand. WSSCC is part of the UN system and contributes to development through knowledge management, advocacy, communications, and the implementation of a sanitation financing facility. WSSCC supports coalitions in more than 30 countries, and has a broad membership base and a small Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland. www.wsscc.org
WaterAid is an international charity working in 26 countries in Africa, Asia and the Pacific region. WaterAid’s mission is to overcome poverty by enabling the world's poorest people to gain access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene education. www.wateraid.org
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