Global declaration calls for WASH targets post-2015

Written by WSSCC and originally published in the Guardian Global Development Professionals Network

First Ladies and leading international women call for water, sanitation and hygiene to feature in the sustainable development goals

(Left to right) Geeta Rao Gupta, deputy executive director (programmes), Unicef; Alice Albright, CEO, Global Partnership for Education; Gertrude Maseko, First Lady of Malawi; Voahangy Rajaonarimampianina, First Lady of Madagascar; Dr Kamal Kar, chairman, CLTS Foundation; Junaid Ahmad, senior director, World Bank Group on Water Global Practice. Photograph: WSSCC

(Left to right) Geeta Rao Gupta, deputy executive director (programmes), Unicef; Alice Albright, CEO, Global Partnership for Education; Gertrude Maseko, First Lady of Malawi; Voahangy Rajaonarimampianina, First Lady of Madagascar; Dr Kamal Kar, chairman, CLTS Foundation; Junaid Ahmad, senior director, World Bank Group on Water Global Practice. Photograph: WSSCC

A declaration on sanitation and hygiene was launched for World Earth Day. Launched by the Global Poverty Project, an anti-poverty youth advocacy group, the declaration was signed by 44 influential women from global leadership, media, and powerful organisations around the world.

The declaration calls on politicians and decision-makers in the health sector to recognise the importance of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), and to commit to improving access for all those living without access to clean water and adequate sanitation.

Specifically, the declaration stipulates that the sustainable development goals must include targets and indicators aimed at:

  • Ensuring universal and sustainable access to improved water, sanitation and hygiene in every home, school and health facility.
  • Ending open defecation by 2030.
  • Reducing the amount of untreated faecal waste released into the environment
  • Linking water, sanitation and hygiene access to outcomes in related areas, such as universal health coverage, reduced child mortality and increased gender equality and women’s empowerment.

WSSCC was instrumental in securing commitments from many of these famous ladies, in order to advance the agenda of global development and secure commitments for the 2.5 billion people living without access to improved sanitation, the 1 billion people who currently defecate in the open each day, and the 748 million people who live without access to clean water.

Led by the First Lady of Malawi, Her Excellency Gertrude Maseko Mutharika, and the First Lady of Madagascar, Her Excellency Voahangy Rajaonarimampianina, the declaration outlines why water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) are so important for women all around the world.

Many notable policymakers and leaders attended the unveiling of the declaration at the National Geographic Society in Washington DC on 16 April, including the First Ladies of Malawi and Madagascar, Isha Sesay of CNN International, Chris Williams of WSSCC, Kamal Kar of the CLTS Foundation, and Alice Albright of the Global Partnership for Education.

How a clean toilet helped Madame Metty run a successful business

Written by WSSCC & originally published on Global Citizen

Madame Metty runs a food stall in Ampasimbe Manantsatrana in the east of Madagascar. She serves coffee, cakes and light meals to her customers in a seated area in the front. Out back, she has a brand new toilet of the best quality possible for use by her customers.

madame-metty-3

“I sell food and I was worried that the chickens would run into the basic latrine, which was in bad shape, and bring feces into the kitchen.” A community-led total sanitation triggering by the Global Sanitation Fund helped Madame Metty understand that the health hazards for her and her customers could only be reduced if she owned a clean and well-built toilet, breaking the bad cycle of fecal contamination. In December 2012, she decided to take matters in her own hands and built a latrine. A mason from this commune dug the pit and it cost her 400,000 Ariary (around $180) to build. Malagasy women are known to their friends by their first born child’s name, so Madame Metty is also called “Maman de Zina” and that’s also the name of her food stall. It’s a popular place in town, and now even more so with the improved facilities. The mayor of Ampasimbe, Mr. Jacob Honoré says the whole town has changed in recent times: “Before when you entered the village you smelt poop. That’s the sign, now there is no smell anymore.” Continue reading

A village in Malawi takes action to end open defecation

Written by WSSCC & originally published on Global Citizen

 

In this village close to Lake Malawi, a lack of decent toilets means that people have to do their business in the bush.

But, with the help of a trained health worker like Singo Katanga, communities can improve the sanitation in their own villages.

malawi-takes-action-1

The Global Sanitation Fund (GSF) in Malawi has enabled more than 153,000 people to access toilets. The GSF pays for Singo and other’s training, using a proven method to improve sanitation known as Community-led total sanitation (CLTS). CLTS changes behavior by shifting mindsets – to focus the desire for a sanitation system, and lead to action. CLTS emerged in Bangladesh in the early 2000s. Developed by Dr. Kamal Kar of the CLTS Foundation, it is a participatory answer to traditionally subsidized sanitation programs that have not succeeded in getting people to want, build, pay for, and use latrines.

Singo knows that behavior change starts with individuals, but that it works best when the entire community commits to ending open defecation. Here is how Singo transforms a village to take action – in 10 steps:

Step 1 – Drawing a Map of the Village

Singo (center) arrives in the village with the goal of raising good hygiene awareness in a process known as ‘triggering.’ She gets villagers to draw a map of the area, showing main features such as the road and the river.

malawi-takes-action-2 Continue reading

Top water and sanitation projects awarded at UN Headquarters

The Water for Life Award Winners 2015  From left: Jorge Miguel Samek, Director General Itaipu Brazil; Guy Laliberte, founder Cirque du Soleil; Catharine Bachand, CEO ONE DROP; Nelton Friedrich, Itaipu Environment Director; Deputy Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations Mahlatsi Mminele; James Spalding, Director general Itaipu Paraguay

The Water for Life Award Winners 2015. From left: Jorge Miguel Samek, Director General Itaipu Brazil; Guy Laliberte, founder Cirque du Soleil; Catharine Bachand, CEO ONE DROP; Nelton Friedrich, Itaipu Environment Director; Deputy Permanent Representative of South Africa to the United Nations Mahlatsi Mminele; James Spalding, Director general Itaipu Paraguay

The winners of the 2015 Water for Life Awards gathered at United Nations Headquarters to receive their awards on Monday 30 March.

The winner in the ‘Best Water Management Practices’ category was Cultivando Agua Boa. ONE DROP Project India and DWS/WESSA Eco-Schools South Africa shared the award for ‘Best Communications and Awareness Raising Projects’. Continue reading