OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso, 23 September 2021 -/African Media Agency(AMA)/- In a worrying resurgence of cholera coupled with COVID-19 pandemic, access to drinking water and decent sanitation in Africa is becoming a matter of life and death. These diseases have amplified the need and urgency for African countries to strengthen sanitation policies that ensure the well-being of their populations.
With their mission to monitor government actions, African elected officials through REPHA-Africa, held a public webinar on the 22nd of September, to discuss the African Sanitation Policy Guidelines and define a roadmap for better sanitation.
Honourable Jacqueline Amongin participated in the webinar and highlighted that the role of parliament cannot be downplayed. « African parliamentarians must stand to be counted in championing WASH agenda and ensuring that the WASH related legislations and policies are domesticated including addressing the policy gaps where necessary.”
The REPHA-Africa is the Network of Parliamentarians for Drinking Water, Hygiene and Sanitation of Africa. A year after its creation in 2020, their first action was to set milestones to move the needle on these guidelines launched by AMCOW.
The African Sanitation Policy Guidelines were launched by the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) on June 11 2021 to help governments ensure access to adequate and inclusive sanitation for all. These guidelines represent an asset for parliamentarians to move the lines.
Kitchinme BAWA, Sanitation Project Manager at AMCOW said “…parliamentarians have a key role to ensure the necessary laws are in place and that the needed financing is appropriated and made available by governments, to ensure we have large scale sanitation programs capable of providing access to safely managed sanitation to improve the livelihoods of our people.”
Rich in content, the webinar focused on the presentation of the African Sanitation Policy Guidelines (ASPG) implemented by AMCOW; the development of a mechanism to use the ASPG as a tool; the impetus for a synergy of actions from the actors of sanitation.
Laetitia DELAUNAY, Senior Advocacy Officer at NIYEL and partner of this initiative, also gave her opinion on the issue: “We are at a turning point in the future of sanitation in Africa. These guidelines are a tool to strengthen our policies so that they are more inclusive and accountable.”This webinar has been particularly important as it comes upstream to the first United Nations conference on water and sanitation in nearly 50 years to be held in 2023 and will bring together all the countries of the world.
Panelists of the webinar were African parliamentarians and experts such as Halidou SANFO President of REPHA-Africa from Burkina Faso, Jacqueline AMONGIN Chairperson African parliamentarians WASH Alliance, Kitchinme BAWA from African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) et Laetitia DELAUNAY from NIYEL. CSOs, NGOs, social movements, individual companies, etc. working on water and sanitation, were also present.
According to the Honourable Halidou SANFO, President of REPHA-Africa: “Access to water and sanitation is a luxury for African people, a situation that is a major challenge for parliamentarians”.With 8 member countries today, REPHA-Africa, through this webinar, wanted to expand its network to 15 member countries in the coming months, and can count on Niyel’s collaboration to achieve its goal.
Distributed by African Media Agency on behalf of NIYEL.
REPHA-Africa is the Network of Parliamentarians for Drinking Water, Hygiene and Sanitation of Africa. It was created in 2020 with the support of Niyel, and is intended to be a framework for influencing decision-making and the effective implementation of public policies for a better political and social commitment for the promotion of equitable access to drinking water, hygiene and sanitation in Africa.
Founded in 2008, Niyel is an international advocacy and campaigns firm based in Dakar, Senegal. Niyel works to promote public policies conducive to the development of all, and to influence practices to ensure that as citizens, individuals and communities, we understand the social, political and cultural issues related to our daily lives.