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This week, Plan Tanzania officially joined the Global Sanitation Fund family after signing a contract to serve as the lead implementing partner, known as an Executing Agency (EA), in the country. The three-year contract will enable the Tanzania programme – launched officially in June 2012 and known as the Usafi wa Mazingira Tanzani (UMATA) in Kiswahili – to move forward rapidly.
With the EA in place, the inception phase of the Tanzania programme will be complete in early 2013 with the finalization of baseline research and initial Sub-Grantees – the partners who carry out field level work such as Community Led Total Sanitation, and sanitation marketing. The first set of Sub-Grantees will commence implementation of activities across three focus districts in Dodoma 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.
The Tanzania signing is the latest in a number of recent contractual developments (new signings or extensions) that will enable operational GSF programmes to continue seamlessly with their work. These include extensions based on verified and approved performance by the Executing Agencies in Nepal, India and Malawi, which have recently been extended or are in the process of being extended, and by Country Programme Monitors (CPMs) in the same countries. CPMs are the independently appointed agencies that verify and report on the work of Executing Agencies to WSSCC.
As a whole in 2012, the Global Sanitation Fund programme began to deliver on its initial promise. The work of implementing partners in the first seven countries that had signed grant agreements in 2011 as well as the mid-2012 progress report indicates a strong upturn in results on the ground. In the first six months of 2012 in GSF target areas, the number of people living in open defecation free (ODF) environments tripled and the number of people with access to improved toilets increased six-fold. The WSSCC Secretariat oversaw the signing of three new grants in 2012 – Ethiopia, Nigeria and Tanzania – and will sign two more in initial months of 2013. Donors, partners and stakeholders have responded favourably to these trends and in 2013, WSSCC plans to expand the GSF into new countries and deepen involvement in selected countries that are showing strong progress.
For more information on the GSF, including its component parts, systems and country programmes, visit http://www.wsscc.org/gsf.