The African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW) is launching the African Sanitation Policy Guidelines. The launch, taking place on June 20, 2021, is coming at the backdrop of a sanitation crisis in Africa.
“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 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.