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By Lidia Kleshchenko
WSSCC has appointed Mr Alex Manyasi as National Coordinator for Kenya. He assumes a pivotal role representing WSSCC and will oversee activities with partners and coordination of the Council’s engagement and interventions in the country.
Mr Manyasi works for a Nairobi-based sanitation and waste management company known as Sanergy, and succeeds previous National Coordinator, Mr Tobias Omufwoko.
Known for his work on targeting some of Kenya’s most vulnerable populations and on engaging non-traditional partners outside the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) sector, including media, Mr Manyasi sees his appointment as an opportunity to focus on stakeholder engagement and collaboration, and to further enhance WSSCC’s involvement in the sector.
“The government of Kenya is actively promoting the Big Four agenda projects — food security, manufacturing, affordable housing and affordable healthcare. It must be clear that sanitation is one of the fundamental issues in Kenya,” says Mr Manyasi. “We won’t be able to achieve universal healthcare, unless we fix sanitation issues. We won’t be able to resolve education problems on the national level, unless we fix sanitation issues. Lack of access to basic sanitation and hygiene affects security, affects child development, [and] affects people with disabilities.”
As the director of government affairs at Sanergy for the past seven years, Mr Manyasi has been working with state and non-state actors to increase visibility and collaboration around water, sanitation and hygiene, and to develop national policies in the sector. He contributed heavily to the Kenya Hygiene and Sanitation (KESH) Policy and Bill and other sector regulations such as the Revised Water Act, Waste Management Policy and Bill, and the Water Sector Regulations.
Sue Coates, Executive Director ad interim at WSSCC, says that the newly appointed National Coordinator will strengthen the Council’s role in engaging with a wider range of actors in Kenya beyond traditional networks and partners.
“Alex is a respected dynamic WASH professional in Kenya with impressive experience and insight in the private sector, government, and civil society spheres. His expertise in urban sanitation brings new perspectives and expertise. He will be great anchor for WSSCC’s engagement in Kenya. Welcome Alex!" she says.
Mr Manyasi expressed his strong motivation to expand WSSCC’s sanitation and hygiene agenda into an “everybody” agenda.
“I will be working to create a stronger voice for the WASH sector and will make sanitation and hygiene issues more visible nationally. And, at the end of the day, my role as a National Coordinator is about ensuring that everybody from the NGOs, to the private sector, to the most vulnerable communities has a voice in this discussion and can contribute to the national WASH agenda.”
Learn more about the work of Sanergy in Kenya from this Reuters article: From poo to food: Kenyan toilet waste key for new animal feed.