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In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, WSSCC has provided the country’s partners with guidance about reprogramming, allowing funds to be directed to preventing, delaying and containing COVID-19 in line with government and advice from the World Health Organization (WHO). More detailed country information can be found here.
Programme Coordinating Mechanism:
Designated Committee, Chaired by the Ministry of Health
Wilhelmina Malima, hosted by the Sanitation and Water Action
At the National Sanitation Conference in December 2019, UMATA was recognized as the best example of sector coordination at the subnational level. Over the years, the program has expanded across Dodoma and now works in all 8 Local Government Authorities (LGAs) of the region. Dodoma is considered the best performing region in terms of the number of Open Defecation Free (ODF) Councils and even progress across LGAs; LGAs are showing a high level of inter-coordination and comparable improvements in basic and improved latrine coverage. Accordingly, the Office of the President of the Regional Administration and Local Government (PORALG) and the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children (MoHCDGEC) advised Regional Health Officers across the country to adopt Dodoma’s Regional Coordination Model.
UMATA’s key contributions in 2019 included encouraging government leadership in sanitation and hygiene development as well as strengthening sector policies. Since April, the GSF-funded programme is implemented by government partners (LGAs, Dodoma Regional Secretariat, PORALG, MoHCDGEC) rather than NGOs. This change in delivery modality has kindled the motivation of government stakeholders and has helped integrate programme interventions with National Sanitation Campaign activities. At the same time, UMATA participated actively in national meetings to strengthen sector policies. For example, while facilitating the Technical Working Group meetings for the Water Sector Development Programme II, UMATA helped create major discussions around Menstrual Health and Hygiene (MHH) and its key demand-creation approaches (e.g. Follow-up MANDONA, institutional triggering). The program was also actively involved in the development of the National Sanitation Strategy, which focuses on “reaching the last mile” and integrating Equality and Non-Discrimination (EQND) and Leave No One Behind (LNOB) principles.
Throughout the year, UMATA helped promote MHH at both national at subnational levels. Not only did it push the MHH agenda at national events (e.g. National Sanitation Conference) but the program also conducted capacity building sessions by collaborating with other stakeholders. For example, in May, trainees from diverse institutions and communities—including the University of Dodoma, Prime Ministers’ Office Youth Development Department, Chamwino Community, and Buigiri Primary School for the Blind—were trained on MHH for children with disabilities.
Challenges and future direction
Extreme weather events have slowed ODF progress in certain communities; floods have destroyed homes and latrines, and drought has negatively impacted people’s ability to invest in sanitation and hygiene facilities by causing poverty. As well, low prioritization of sanitation by some local leaders is a challenge.
To address these issues, in 2020, UMATA will further align itself to the National Sanitation Campaign and continue to foster government leadership in sanitation and hygiene development. By encouraging a sense of ownership, the program will sustain government interest (particularly that of LGAs and Dodoma RS) in promoting the construction of improved latrines that are more resilient. Mobilizing senior district officials will also push community leaders to action. In so doing, UMATA will help all eight LGAs of Dodoma attain ODF status.
In addition, UMATA will continue to build on its successes in LNOB/EQND and MHH advocacy and programming by participating in policy development processes and national events, as well as facilitating workshops and capacity building sessions at both national and local levels.