Lively discussions in Tanzania help shape new WSSCC strategy


By Matteus Van der Velden & Randa El Tahawy

The Tanzania WSSCC National Consultation Strategy Workshop to discuss future plans of the organisation was successfully concluded in Dar es Salaam on July 14 2016.

[masterslider id="28"]

The discussions focused on the many challenges the sanitation sub-sector faces, the need to get new leadership more involved as well as water supply issues. Attendance was nearly of 50 persons, mainly members from the different corners of the country, but also from line ministries, sector partners and journalists. The six propositions, or proposed areas of work for informing the new direction of the strategy were discussed and eventually ranked.

WSSCC Executive director Chris Williams gave an opening speech explaining the purpose of country-level discussions (National Consultations in 16 countries in less than 2 months) while also saying that the success of sanitation interventions depended on a strong implementation by the government and designing of a roadmap towards an ODF Tanzania in 2025.

Key issues that were raised during his speech were:

  • Improving sanitation causes new challenges, e.g. safe waste disposal (we don’t want to solve this problem and cause another)
  • Addressing decentralization is critical (it has been addressed in Kenya through the 2010 Constitution which empowered LGAs, but it has not been this way in Tanzania yet)

From a Governmental Side

Among the discussions, the first session was held with an intervention from Stephen Kiberit, from the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children (MOHCDGEC), who highlighted some of the Ministry of Health’s involvement on raising the profile of sanitation.

Some of the key expectations of the government from WSSCC were summarized as follows:

  • There was a suggestion to focus on fewer targets, since the priorities looked quite ambitious
  • Through discussion it was concluded that there is little government buy-in for the National Sanitation and Hygiene Policy in Tanzania (which has not been passed for the past 10 years) as a separate document from the Public Health Act.
  • The National Water Policy is the main document for WASH in the sectorThere was a suggestion from the floor to encourage private sector participation in School WASH component
  • There was a suggestion to harness on WSSCC experience for microfinancing schemes for sanitation for the poorest households

The following sessions held were Background on WSSCC Strategic Planning Process, Mapping of Sanitation and Hygiene Stakeholders and Recommendations and Roll-out of National Sanitation Management Information System (NSMIS).

WSSCC’s propositions

WSSCC National Coordinator for Tanzania, the tireless Wilhelmina Malima, pulled together an energizing event with active participation, interesting discussions and valuable inputs into the WSSCC strategy development process.

She thoroughly co-presented the last session on The WSSCC Tanzania Strategic Country Engagement Plan 2014-2016 which identified sanitation and hygiene challenges in-country.

They include limited impact of national level coordination on the local level, limited capacity/engagement/knowledge of civil society in its engagement in the sector, limited knowledge networking, learning and advocacy processes and a stagnant S&H policy.   Questions raised were also how legislation and regulatory framework were unsupportive for the most disadvantaged and how there was a lack of monitoring framework and a weak institutional capacity at the local levels.

Ms. Malima also presented WSSCC’s Strategy Propositions which were ranked by importance and priority.

It was of the highest importance to address the proposition that WSSCC should promote principles and practices of equity, universal access and non-discrimination in the WASH sector. Comments to this proposition were that it should also be in capacity development including ICT, M&E, project management and not only focus on Menstrual Hygiene Management.

The second priority for WSSCC should be to strengthen WASH governance in the countries where it works, ensuring accountability, participation (of the poorest, most excluded) and contributing to system strengthening.

The third most important proposition was that WSSCC works in peri-urban environments but with more clarifications like sharpening the definition of peri-urban, include "institutions" in the proposed scope section of the proposition (household sanitation and institutions in poor areas or informal settlements, including schools).  Moreover, it was noted that town centres are not the only place where unserved communities are. Rural and unserved urban communities could be a better scope than peri-urban.

The six propositions were presented as follows:

  1. WSSCC should work in peri-urban environments
  2. The GSF should expand its work within, but not beyond, the existing countries where it works
  3. WSSCC should be a platform for grassroots movement for sanitation & hygiene
  4. WSSCC should become a learning hub for the whole sector, nationally and globally
  5. WSSCC should strengthen WASH governance in the countries where it works, ensuring accountability, participation (of the poorest, most excluded) and contributing to system strengthening
  6. WSSCC should promote principles and practices of equity, universal access and non-discrimination in the WASH sector

Massembe Tambwe, WSSCC member who couldn't make it to the workshops, has published a story in Daily News based on the presentations of the consultations.

Link to the story: