Views from the East Africa CSO Forum 16th-18th April 2013.

The 1st ever WASH civil society East Africa CSO Forum took place on 16th-18th April 2013 at the Lake Victoria Serena Resort in Kampala. The forum that brought together over 47 Civil Society representatives from Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Malawi, Ghana, South Sudan, Tanzania, UK and Switzerland was aimed at tracking progress made during the High Level Meeting (HLM) to ensure Water and Sanitation for all in the region. The 3 day meeting was organised by the Africa Civil Society Network on Water and Sanitation, Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, Sanitation and Water for All, WaterAid, End Water Poverty and hosted by Uganda Water and Sanitation NGO Network (UWASNET). some opinions at the forum have been captured below

Dominic Kavutse- Commissioner Urban Water and Sanitation-Uganda.

Commissioner Kavutse Dominic- Commissioner Urban Water At the opening of the forum, Eng Kavutse Dominic, the Commissioner for Urban Water and Sanitation in Uganda’s Ministry of Water and Environment appealed for increased partnership, transparency and NGO’s investment in rain water harvesting. The Commissioner said Water service delivery in rural Uganda has stagnated in the last 3 years as a result of increased population, which has not matched service delivery. “Water services to the rural population in Uganda has stagnated at 65% for the last three years while the urban areas increased from 66%-69% only, yet over 1.3 million people are born in Uganda annually”, he said. The commissioner noted that the sector receives only 3.1% of the national budget for implementation, leaving rain water harvesting as the most viable option that can be the driving force for the sector.

Eng. Sam Mutono- Chairperson National Sanitation working Group Uganda

Eng Sam Mutono, Chairperson National Sanitation Working Group UgandaEng Sam Mutono, the Chairperson of the National Sanitation Working Group in Uganda said at the current rate, most countries like Uganda with access to sanitation at 0.4% per year, will only reach MDG targets by 2050 ,yet only 1.0 accelerated trend will enable the country gain 100% coverage by 2070. He noted that accelerated growth of 3.0 % and 2.0% per year will ensure over 60% of the population have access to improved sanitation in the rural areas by 2020 and 2025 respectively.

 Amanda Marlin, Programme Manager Advocacy and Communications WSSCC

Amanda Marlin, Programme Manager Advocacy and Communications at the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaboration Council (WSSCC) stressed the economic and health benefits of sanitation, citing the need to give valid and localized information to stakeholders. She pointed out the benefits of pairing sanitation with other more prominent issues such as nutrition for recognition and propelling of action. Zelda Yanovich, the Programme Officer-Networking and Knowledge Management  and Zelda Yanovich, the Programme Officer-Networking and Knowledge Management at WSSCC focussed on ways in which Equity and inclusion issues can be projected, unpacking how WASH statistical data on inequalities can be linked to access to WASH. She also reminded participants of the role they play in amplifying all voices including the disadvantaged like people with disability.

 Catharine Mwango-ANEW Vice ChairpersonCatharine Mwango- Vice Chairperson- Africa Civil Society Network on Water and Sanitation,derived her discussion from a case study drawn from her home country Kenya, she pointed out that legal frameworks, institutional arrangements, information sharing and sensitization about the roles of duty bearers and rights holders are fundamental in achieving the right to water on the 2nd day of the forum. “As CSOs, we have to focus on capacity building ,education, grassroots participation, dialogues with stakeholders and mainstreaming of gender issues in our work” She said. "CSOs should be more  involved in the development of these commitments, and support the definition of the indicators. sanitation  should also be prioritized" she added



Updated on 20 May 2013

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