The newest National WASH Coalition was officially launched in Cameroon on 5 May by His Excellency the Head of Government Inoni Ephraim at a ceremony that was also attended by WSSCC Executive Director Jon Lane.
The coalition was born out of an initiative by the Ministry of Energy and Water and key sector organizations such as UNICEF and CREPA Cameroon. However, membership of the coalition is wide ranging and includes many individual WSSCC members in the country who had been promoting the idea of establishing a National WASH Coalition. This is in line with WSSCC’s member-targeted approach, where the impulse for the creation of new coalitions comes from within a given country, and not from the Secretariat.
“The main goal of the coalition is to contribute to the achievement of the MDGs in Cameroon by advocating jointly for sustainable access to drinking water, sanitation and hygiene,” said Carolien van der Voorden, WSSCC’s Networking and Knowledge Management Officer. “Since 75% of the rural population still defecates in the open, and about 70% lack access to safe drinking water, the need for action in the country’s water and sanitation sector is crucial.”
The coalition has four specific objectives. First, it aims to strengthen institutional support, including a further definition of a national sanitation policy. Second, it will contribute to scale up capacity building by, for instance, supporting the decentralization process and promoting hygiene in schools by enhancing the knowledge of teachers. Third, the coalition wishes to develop advocacy tools to raise funds for the benefit of the water supply and sanitation sectors, with an emphasis on improved sanitation. And finally, the coalition aims to develop the awareness and education of different target audiences, in particular by making promotion efforts on hygiene and sanitation in rural areas.
WSSCC welcomes the Cameroon WASH Coalition, which brings the total number of coalition countries to 36, and looks forward to working together.
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