The African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW) has launched the African Sanitation Policy Guidelines. The launch, came at the backdrop of a sanitation crisis in Africa and happened in an elaborate virtual event on June 10 2021.
The ASPG was developed in close consultation with the Member States of the African Union and critical stakeholders in the sanitation and hygiene sector. The Guidelines provides the process and content required to review, revise and develop existing and new sanitation policies. It recognizes that sanitation and hygiene policies differ across Africa and have outlined recommendations that would be applied to all countries irrespective of their context.
The launch aimed at increasing awareness about the ASPG among the member states and to seek endorsement from high-level officials. It also provided an opportunity to unveil the approaches involved in the adoption of the Guidelines. For governments at national or subnational interested in using the ASPG, kindly click on the link to complete the ASPG demand form.
“Business as usual” is not delivering safe sanitation to Africa with sub-Saharan Africa alone, having more than half of the population using unhygienic toilets. Sanitation services are not keeping up with population growth. In fact, the number of people using inadequate sanitation services is increasing. Between 2000 to 2017, the number of people without toilets or using unhygienic sanitation facilities has increased by 125 million, and those whose excreta is not safely managed has risen by 285 million.
The African Sanitation Policy Guidelines (ASPG) are designed to guide African governments on the review, revision, and development of sanitation policy, as well as its implementation strategy. They consist of background information, advice on the policy development process, and suggested contents for a sanitation policy.
Delivering safely managed sanitation is not only determined by the extent and the state of infrastructure and services, but also by the policy, institutional, and regulatory environment (also referred to as the enabling environment). It is this enabling environment that is often weak in many African countries. The ASPG provide guidance for developing effective sanitation policies that provides the basis for the necessary enabling environment.
The Guidelines were officially launched by the AMCOW President, who is the Minister for Agriculture, Water and Land Reform of the Republic of Namibia Hon. Carl Hermann Gustav Schlettwein. Other ministers in charge of water and sanitation, Chief Executive Officers of organizations related to sanitation and sustainable development attended. Overall, the launch assemble stakeholders from within and outside Africa, including AU member states, Ministers, AMCOW donors, partners and stakeholders in the water, sanitation, hygiene and health sectors.
The Secretariat of AMCOW is putting together mechanisms in collaboration with its partners to support African governments in the review and revision of their sanitation policies and in developing the implementation strategy. The Secretariat will reach out to various countries and governments, and who can also reach out to the secretariat for consultation and necessary support.
To see a timelapse video and virtual notes of the launch see here