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Mr. Francis Mtitu, GSF Programme Manager at Plan Tanzania, is interviewed by media representatives on 23 January 2013 at the inception workshop for the GSF in Dodoma.
Today, some 65 representatives of Local Government agencies and civil society organisations in Tanzania participated in a meeting in the capital city Dodoma to learn more about the national Global Sanitation Fund (GSF) programme and their own potential involvement in it.
Known as the Usafi wa Mazingira Tanzani (UMATA) in Kiswahili, the five-year UMATA programme is funded with US$ 5,000,000 from WSSCC and aims to increase access and use of improved sanitation facilities in the country. It also seeks to positively change behaviours related to sanitation and hygiene on a wide scale for communities. With an initial focus on three districts near Dodoma, namely Bahi, Chamwino and Kongwa, the programme builds upon the National Sanitation Campaign and existing country strategies.
The Tanzania programme was formally announced in June 2012, and Plan Tanzania signed a contract to serve as the lead implementing partner, known as an Executing Agency (EA), in December 2012. With the EA in place, the inception phase of the programme is now underway.
Today’s meeting was chaired by Dodoma’s Regional Medical Officers, Dr. Ezekiel Mpuya, in the presence of Elias Chinamo, Assistant Director, Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, and chair of the GSF Programme Coordinating Mechanism. The meeting aimed to introduce the GSF to representatives of the Regional Secretariat and Local Government Authorities, including District Medical Officers, District Health Officers, District Education Officers and District Administration Officers. It also allowed 35 representatives from community based organisations, and national and international non governmental organisations, to hear how GSF Sub-Grantees will work as partners at the community level to carry out sanitation and hygiene demand creation through Community Led Total Sanitation and sanitation marketing.
The first set of Sub-Grantees will be identified through a Request for Proposals due to be announced before the end of February. It is expected that implementation activities will during the first half of 2013. These activities will build on the capacity development and sector support activities that the GSF supported UNICEF to initiate during 2012, and which will be continued until mid-2013. This UNICEF-led work is designed to support the Government of Tanzania to develop a national database and monitoring system for sanitation and hygiene.