ATC110902: Report on Third Africa Conference on Sanitation and Hygiene (AfricaSan 3)

Mineral Resources and Energy


Report of the Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements on Third Africa Conference on Sanitation and Hygiene (AfricaSan 3) dated 2 September 2011






The Third Africa Conference on Sanitation and Hygiene (AfricaSan 3) was a three-day event over the period 19 – 21 July 2011, co-organised by the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW) in collaboration with the Government of Rwanda through the Ministry of Infrastructure. This conference followed two earlier conferences, the first (AfricaSan 1) held in 2002 in Johannesburg and the second (AfricaSan 2) held in Durban in 2008. The 2008 Conference was notable for the 11 eThekwini Commitments [1] on sanitation and hygiene which were passed by the 32 African countries in attendance.


The AfricaSan 3 Conference, with the objectives of promoting sanitation and hygiene programmes in Africa and identifying actions to accelerate the achievement of national and Millennium Development Goal (MDG) targets on sanitation, was aimed at African governments, the private sector, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and multilateral development organisations involved in the sanitation sector.



The MDG on Sanitation


Goal 7 of the Millennium Development Goals is: Ensure environmental sustainability. Target 10 of this Goal requires that, by 2015, the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and sanitation should be halved.






The delegation consisted of Hon BN Dambuza (ANC) as leader of the delegation; Hon MR Mdakane (ANC) and Hon AC Steyn (DA). The delegation was accompanied by the following parliamentary officials: Ms K Pasiya (Committee Secretary) and Dr F Khan (Senior Researcher).





The AfricaSan 3 Conference was highly successful, attracting nearly 900 participants from 67 countries, 42 of which were African countries. The objectives of the Conference were to: [2]


1. Take stock of progress made by African countries since 2008 and the progress needed to meet the MDG on sanitation by 2015, AMCOW’s 2025 targets and national goals.

2. Review progress on implementing the eThekwini Declaration and, where needed, refine these commitments. The conference also challenged other stakeholders – including donors, civil society, utilities and local government – to make commitments for action.

3. Share advances in the evidence base on sanitation and hygiene in Africa and assist decision-makers to overcome key blockages in implementing large-scale sanitation and hygiene programmes.

4. Support the development of country sanitation and hygiene action plans, and improve their quality, realism and potential for impact through peer-to-peer exchange.

5. Raise the profile of sanitation and hygiene as a determinant of sustainable development and strengthen leadership and advocacy for sustained sanitation and behavior changes.



A number of presentations on hygiene and sanitation were held, including the following:


  • The state of sanitation and hygiene in Africa
  • Obstacles to sanitation service delivery
  • Equity and inclusiveness in sanitation service delivery
  • The economics and financing of sanitation programmes
  • Scaling up rural and urban sanitation
  • Monitoring sanitation and hygiene
  • The experience of CLTS in Africa
  • School sanitation and hygiene programmes
  • Sustainable sanitation and the role of eco-sanitation
  • Progress reports from regional forums and individual African countries.


4.1 Key Facts emerging from the Conference


  • Global Progress Report on Sanitation - it has been estimated that by 2010: [3]

o 2.6 billion people do not use improved sanitation [4] – 72% of these live in Africa .

o 1.3 billion people have gained access to improved sanitation since 1990.

o It is estimated that by 2015, 2.7 billion will still be without improved sanitation.

o 1.1 billion people still practise open defecation – most live in Southern Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa.

o 737 million people in Southern Asia still practise open defecation.

o 224 million people in Sub-Saharan Africa still practise open defecation.

  • Africa Progress Report:

o 584 million people in Africa do not have access to safe sanitation services and 231 million people still practise open defecation. The poorest twenty per cent are twenty times more likely to defecate in the open than the richest twenty per cent. [5]

o Based on current rates of delivery, it is estimated that the MDG target for sanitation will only be met by 2108 in Sub-Saharan Africa. [6]

  • Southern and South Africa Progress Report: [7]

o It was estimated that by 2008, 33 million people in Southern Africa still practiced open defecation.

o Southern Africa as a region is not on track to meet the MDG target in 2015.

o It was estimated that by 2008, 3.9 million people in South Africa still practised open defecation.

o The latest figures for South Africa were not submitted ahead of the Conference and were thus not available in the relevant publication. [8]


o However, the 2008 report on Sanitation and Hygiene in Africa at a Glance reflects that South Africa is on track to reach the MDG target on sanitation by 2015.

4.2 Key Themes emerging from the Conference


4.2.1 Innovations in non-piped, sustainable sanitation [9]


  • These innovations use low-cost, alternative or environmentally friendly/renewable technologies and are designed to be used by rural populations and the urban poor in order to end open defecation. These systems will assist countries to reach the MDG sanitation target.
  • Examples are: low-cost, waterless systems; micro-flush toilets using grey water; wind turbine-driven systems; communal toilet block systems with urine-diverting toilet pans; anaerobic digesters incorporated into toilets to decompose toilet waste; the incorporation of systems to process human waste into fertiliser; algae-based waste treatment that will produce two forms of renewable energy viz. fertiliser and bio-methane.


4.2.2 Eco-sanitation (EcoSan)


  • Ecosanitation systems safely recycle human excreta and other organic waste products to crop production in such a way that the use of non-renewable resources is minimised.
  • Ecosanitation, which recycles human excreta in a way which excludes pathogens and hazardous chemicals, can be an integral part of a sustainable sanitation system.
  • Ecosanitation creates a sustainable, closed loop system that treats human excreta as a resource; prevents water pollution, recycles nutrients by returning them to the soil; prevents diseases by destroying faecal pathogens; and is beneficial for rural areas and communities engaged in small-scale farming.


4.2.3 Sustainable sanitation [10]


A sustainable sanitation approach is especially critical in urban settlements, given the scale and complexity of most urban sanitation problems. Problems such as untreated wastewater; the fragmentation of responsibility for sanitation; transient populations; the nature of local politics and power dynamics; the diverse needs of different elements of the community (the poorest, the elderly, the disabled, women and girls) – all point to the need for an approach to sanitation which should be comprehensive, properly planned and sustainable. Thus, a sustainable sanitation system should include all the components required for the proper management of human waste, i.e. from the point of generation (the household), including all types of waste (wastewater, excreta), to the point of ultimate destination (re-use of waste for urban agriculture or energy/biogas production). The concept of sustainability thus requires a move away from a disposal-oriented system towards that of re-use of waste. Such a ‘closed loop’ approach requires a holistic view and a ‘bottom up’ approach which adopts a specific technological approach to each individual site. In summary, in order to be sustainable, a sanitation system needs to be economically viable, socially acceptable, technically and institutionally appropriate, and protect the environment and natural resources.

4.2.4 Community-led Total Sanitation (CLTS) [11]

CLTS is being promoted as the one of the best ways for African countries to attain the MDG target on sanitation. CLTS is an innovative methodology for mobilising communities to completely eliminate the practice of open defecation. Communities are facilitated to conduct their own appraisal and analysis of open defecation and take their own action to become open defecation free (ODF ). At the heart of CLTS lies the recognition that the mere provision of toilets does not guarantee their use, nor does it result in improved sanitation and hygiene. Earlier approaches to sanitation prescribed high initial standards and offered subsidies as an incentive. However, this often led to uneven adoption, problems with long-term sustainability and only partial use. It also created a culture of dependence on subsidies. Open defecation and the cycle of faecal–oral contamination thus continued to spread disease. In contrast, CLTS focuses on the behavioural change needed to ensure real and sustainable improvements.

The main elements of CLTS are the following: [12]


· CLTS is workable for rural sanitation.

· CLTS depends on political commitment and leadership on the part of the national government - that is, it needs to build upon national action plans.

· The process is entirely community-led and inclusive – it is the opposite of a top-down approach, hence it caters for the needs of everyone in the community (the disabled, the elderly, women and girls, the poorest sector of the community). As part of its inclusive approach, the issue of environmental sustainability forms an integral part of CLTS.

· The focus is on facilitating a change in people’s behavior through participatory techniques.

· CLTS depends to a great extent for its success on good community-level leadership and good quality facilitation in order to ascertain community needs.

· Communities conduct their own analyses, come to their own conclusions and take their own action.

· No subsidies are received from government – communities are entirely responsible for the construction of sanitation facilities. This is a way of preventing corruption.


4.2.5 The Kibera Communal Ablution Block Project, Nairobi , Kenya


This project was established by UN Habitat in Kibera Informal Settlement, one of the largest slum settlements in Africa . This area was chosen for a pilot community-managed sanitation service provision model as it has poor infrastructure, few services and is densely populated. The project required the following preparatory work:


· In-depth community consultation – this was necessary not only to come up with an agreed upon, suitable sanitation model, but also to address problems such as lack of space for site community facilities.

· The adoption of an integrated approach – there was little point in providing toilets if the lack of related services (solid waste removal, no clean water supply, lack of bathing facilities, no road access) was not addressed at the same time.

· The community had to agree on which households would be moved in order to accommodate the agreed upon facilities.


The completed project consisted of the following elements:


· A user pays, community-managed and staffed communal ablution block with toilet and bathing facilities.

· The provision of a solid waste removal service, clean water supply and road infrastructure.

· The construction of a community resource centre with services for the youth and the disabled.


This is a successful, sustainable project as the payments received for the use of the ablution block is more than sufficient to pay for staff, as well as cleaning and running costs. However, to achieve this level of success and sustainability, the following elements must be in place:


· Political will from all roleplayers at the various levels of government.

· Sufficient budgetary resources to provide the required services and infrastructure.

· Commitment to a lengthy period of community consultation.

· Project ownership at community level – this is essential in order to obtain community agreement on all elements of the project, such as the voluntary relocation of certain households.

· The correct handling of community dynamics – it is easy for projects to be derailed if local power dynamics are not properly handled.


4.2.6 The Rwandan Sanitation Success Story


Since 2008, when the previous AfricaSan Conference was held, the Rwandan Government has launched a number of responses and interventions, geared towards realising meaningful sanitation in the country. In the process, a number of the eThekwini Commitments have been realised. The elements of the country’s sanitation strategy and actions are as follows: [13]

· A single national strategic plan aimed at meeting the MDG target and raising the sanitation profile in the country’s National Economic Poverty Reduction Strategy, has been launched.

· This national plan has incorporated a number of different projects, such as the construction of hygienic latrines in poor communities, EcoSan latrines in public areas, schools and hospitals; sanitation awareness campaigns aimed at increasing access to hygienic sanitation at household level.

· A principal accountable and coordinating body, the Directorate of Energy Water and Sanitation, which is responsible for sanitation, has been established. This Directorate is responsible for policy implementation.

· The Ministry of Infrastructure hosts the Water and Sanitation Sector Working Group.

· The Ministry of Health is responsible for household level hygiene promotion and enforcement, with the support of local administration. This is carried out through a Community-based Environmental Health Promotion Programme driven by thousands of trained Community Health Workers.

· The Ministry of Education funds public education programmes on sanitation and hygiene aimed at behavioural change.

· The consideration of equity and gender issues is integral to the planning and implementation of sanitation projects, as well as in the provision of employment.

· The Water and Sanitation Services Policy which was passed by Cabinet in 2010, does not only focus on water resources management and environmental protection, but also integrates strategies to increase access to clean drinking water and hygienic sanitation. Equity, gender and the environment are cross-cutting issues which are included in the Policy – for example, when building public facilities such as schools and hospitals, there are facilities that are built especially for females and the disabled. With regard to the environment, environmentally friendly latrines have been built in public areas such as markets, bus stands and petrol filling stations

· Currently, more than 98% of Rwandans have access to sanitation and about 58% have access to clean, hygienic sanitation facilities.

· Rwanda is considered to be on track to meet the sanitation target by 2015 and in fact, the Ministry of Infrastructure has stated that the intention is to have 100% sanitation coverage by 2012. [14]




The South African sanitation sector needs to:


  • Consider how to better integrate the principles of sustainability into the delivery of sanitation services (see 4.2.3) – for example, provision should be made for adequate maintenance of sanitation infrastructure, whether this is basic Ventilated Improve Pit (VIP) or waterborne. In this regard, South Africa ’s Water Research Commission warned in 2009 that, in the next five years, the country would have at least a million VIP units that would need emptying. [15] Other aspects of sustainability relate to the issue of proper community consultation and the types of toilets provided. Proper community consultation is essential in order to arrive at a sanitation choice which is suitable for the community’s needs (see 4.2.1) – it will also assist in securing community support for health and hygiene education, essential for behavioural change.


  • Consider the Rwandan approach (see 2.2.6) to sanitation (i.e. an integrated approach to water supply and sanitation with cross-cutting strategies on gender and environment) and decide which elements are relevant to the South African context, and where and how these can be applied.


  • Consider the implementation of the CLTS approach (see 2.2.4) – how appropriate is this approach to the South African context? Which, if any, elements of this approach can be applied?


  • Consider the relevance of the Kibera Project (see 2.2.5) to high-density urban areas – is this an appropriate model for the South African situation, given that, in urban areas, it is the relevant authorities, not NGOs that are tasked with sanitation provision. Another potential obstacle is the lengthy process of community consultation required – is this possible in South Africa , given the already acute backlog in the provision of basic services and the numerous service delivery protests (many of them violent) which have taken place in recent years? Then there is the problem of community expectations in an urban context where the ideal sanitation model seems to be one flush toilet per household – given this context, how will a user pays, communal sanitation model be received?


  • Consider how to respond to the broad issue of equity and accessibility with regard to South Africa ’s sanitation programme – for example, how to respond to the needs of people with HIV and Aids and people with disabilities in relation to South Africa ’s sanitation projects.




6.1 Parliament needs to ascertain why South Africa did not deliver a country progress report for the publication, ‘Sanitation and Hygiene in Africa at a Glance’ by UNICEF et al, so that this shortcoming can be addressed by the relevant department/s and it can be ensured that this does not recur in the future.


6.2 Parliament needs to oversee the sustainability of the current model of urban sanitation service delivery, which ideally aims to provide a flush toilet for every household. Is there a place for a communal sanitation model which, like the Kibera Project, provides a ‘user pays’ staffed toilet and bathroom block in densely populated urban areas? This model, as well as other alternatives, could be the subject of further discussion at a parliamentary meeting jointly held by the Portfolio Committees on Human Settlements and on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs.


6.3 The Department of Human Settlements should submit a report on South Africa ’s

progress with regard to the implementation of the eThekwini Commitments to the Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements by 11 August 2011. It is also anticipated that such a report should have been co-ordinated jointly with the Department of Water Affairs, hence it is currently dealing with bulk water infrastructure services. Thereafter, the Department of Human Settlements should submit the country’s report as expected by AMCOW before 19 August 2011.


6.4 The Department of Human Settlements should report progress on the implementation of delivery agreements signed with the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs in relation to sanitation service delivery, especially in relation to the MDG target on sanitation. The report should specifically reflect targets agreed upon and timeframes.


6.5 The Department of Human Settlements should be requested to report on the issue of ecosanitation, for example: how many EcoSan latrines are in use; where are they located; how effectively are they being used by communities and to what extent is the resulting fertiliser being used by communities or small-scale farmers? In addition, the Department should provide information on the issue of beneficiation, i.e. whether the sludge produced by the country’s 2½ to 3 million ventilated improved pit latrine (VIP) units could be converted into fertiliser. Is there scope for a partnership on EcoSan latrines? (see 4.2.2).


6.6 The Department of Human Settlements should review the reporting system on the attainment of MDGs which is based only on the tick-a-box scenario and adopt a holistic approach that will also relate to quality, equity and sustainability aspects of services provided.





The Sanitation and Hygiene Conference provided an opportunity for delegates from all over the world involved in this sector to exchange ideas and further explore the practical solutions which have been applied in the developing world. For the South African delegation, it was a fruitful experience to listen to accounts of sanitation projects which were faced with familiar obstacles and to learn how these have been overcome. It was especially humbling to learn from a small country like Rwanda , which, despite having few of South Africa ’s economic and natural resource advantages, has nonetheless emerged from a traumatic political history to implement a highly successful national sanitation programme. While South Africa ’s socio-economic and political situation is vastly different, there are many valuable lessons to be learnt from the experiences of Rwanda , as well as those of other developing countries.



Report to be considered.





The eThekwini Declaration


We, the Ministers and Heads of Delegations responsible for sanitation and hygiene from 32 African countries, together with senior civil servants, local government officials, professionals from sector institutions, academia, civil society, development partners, and the private sector under the auspices of the African Ministers’ Council on Water and Sanitation (AMCOW), and the other co-hosts of AfricaSan at the Second African Conference on Hygiene and Sanitation in Durban, South Africa, February 18–20, 2008:


• Recognising that approximately 589 million people, more than 60% of Africa ’s population, currently do not have access to safe sanitation;

• Mindful that an estimated 1 million Africans die every year from sanitation, hygiene and drinking water-related diseases, and that improving sanitation reduces disease burden and improves household and national economic development;

• Welcoming the International Year of Sanitation, 2008 which seeks to boost the importance of sanitation and draw attention to the fact that sanitation is critical to economic development and poverty reduction;

• Noting that the associated human, social, health, environmental and infrastructural costs of inadequate sanitation are a major economic burden on African economies; that an investment in sanitation positively impacts related development targets;

• Recognising that sustainable access to sanitation is one of the Millennium Development Goal targets, and that many Governments have set their own goals for both sanitation and hygiene;

• Recognising that AMCOW has committed itself to lead Africa towards achievement of the water and sanitation MDGs;

Do hereby pledge ourselves to the following “eThekwini commitments on sanitation”:






The eThekwini Commitments


1. To bring the messages, outcomes and commitments made at AfricaSan 2008 to the attention of the African Union at its 2008 Heads of State and Government Summit to raise the profile of sanitation and hygiene on the continent;

2. To support the leadership of AMCOW to track the implementation of the eThekwini Declaration and prepare a detailed report on progress in mid-2010, when AMCOW will provisionally host a follow up AfricaSan event;

3. To establish, review, update and adopt national sanitation and hygiene policies within 12 months of AfricaSan 2008; establish one national plan for accelerating progress to meet national sanitation goals and the MDGs by 2015, and take the necessary steps to ensure national sanitation programmes are on track to meet these goals;

. To increase the profile of sanitation and hygiene in Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers and other relevant strategy related processes;

5. To ensure that one, principal, accountable institution takes clear leadership of the national sanitation portfolio; establish one coordinating body with specific responsibility for sanitation and hygiene, involving all stakeholders, including but not limited to those responsible for finance, health, water, education, gender, and local government;

6. To establish specific public sector budget allocations for sanitation and hygiene programmes. Our aspiration is that these allocations should be a minimum of 0.5% of GDP for sanitation and hygiene;

7. To use effective and sustainable approaches , such as household and community-led initiatives, marketing for behaviour change, educational programmes, and caring for the environment, which make a specific impact upon the poor, women, children, youth and the unserved;

8. To develop and implement sanitation information, monitoring systems and tools to track progress at local and national levels and to work with global and regional bodies to produce a regular regional report on Africa’s sanitation status, the first of which to be published by mid-2010;

9. To recognise the gender and youth aspects of sanitation and hygiene, and involve women in all decision-making levels so that policy, strategy and practice reflect gender- sensitive approaches to sanitation and hygiene;

10. To build and strengthen capacity for sanitation and hygiene implementation, including research and development, and support knowledge exchange and partnership development;

11. To give special attention to countries or areas which are emerging from conflict or natural disasters.


Extracted from: The eThekwini Declaration and AfricaSan Action Plan, February, 2008

























AfricaSan 3


Draft Conference Statement [16]





The Third African Sanitation and Hygiene Conference was held in Kigali , Rwanda from 19-21 July 2011. It was hosted by the Government of the Republic of Rwanda, a country with amongst the best track records in improvement in sanitation and hygiene on the continent, and the African Minister’s Council on Water, who have appointed a special Sanitation Task Force to promote, track and support improvements in sanitation.


The meeting in Kigali represents a further consolidation and growth of the AfricaSan movement, initiated in 2002 by African Ministers and supported by partner agencies. The meeting attracted extraordinary interest: over 1000 people registered and nearly 900 people attended from a total of 67 countries, including representatives of 42 African countries. Participants included 23 African Ministers and Deputy Ministers of Sanitation, Water, Local Government, Health or Infrastructure; and many of the leading thinkers and practitioners in sanitation and hygiene on the continent. Participants represented governments, UN agencies, development banks, local and international civil society organizations, youth groups, gender groups, utilities, local governments and universities. The conference heard over 160 speakers (not including panelists and commentators) in 40 sessions.


His Excellency the President of Rwanda gave the meeting his strong support, graced it with his presence and received a special Award from AMCOW, acknowledging his outstanding personal contribution to the improvement of sanitation and hygiene in Rwanda . The meeting was opened by the Prime Minister of Rwanda, Right Honourable Bernard Makuza, together with Honourable Minister Samuel S Nkomo, the Vice-President of AMCOW, representing the AMCOW President.


AfricaSan is a successful brand for a community that is often marginalized from development dialogue and information exchange. It is not only a periodic conference, but provides a forum to build momentum and results within the sanitation community in Africa . The build-up to Kigali involved country preparatory meetings in many African countries. AfricaSan 3 also provided the opportunity for alignment with key global sanitation initiatives, in particular the Sustainable Sanitation: Five year drive announced by the UN Secretary General. Kigali was the launch pad for the African 5 year drive.






The AfricaSan 3 conference objectives were to:


1. Take stock of progress made by African countries since 2008 and the progress needed to meet the MDG on sanitation by 2015, AMCOW’s 2025 targets and national goals.

2. Re view progress on implementing the eThekwini Declaration and where needed refine these commitments. The conference also challenges other stakeholders - including donors, civil society, utilities and local government - to make commitments for action.

3. Share advances in the evidence base on sanitation and hygiene in Africa and assist decision-makers to overcome key blockages in implementing large-scale sanitation and hygiene programs.

4. Support the development of country sanitation and hygiene action plans , and improve their quality, realism and potential for impact through peer-to-peer exchange.

5. Raise the profile of sanitation and hygiene as a determinant of sustainable development; and strengthen leadership and advocacy for sustained sanitation and behaviour changes.


Progress Against the Challenge


The conference recognized that the scale of the challenge facing sanitation and hygiene remains formidable. 584 million people in Africa do not have access to safe sanitation services and 231 million people still practice open defecation. The poorest twenty percent are twenty times more likely to defecate in the open than the richest twenty percent. The impact of this “hidden scandal” is devastating to health and quality of life, in particular to the lives of women and girls. Lack of sanitation was likened to mass destruction. The conference learned of the scale of impact from poor sanitation on education, economic growth, productivity, tourism, the environment and the management of infrastructure.


Yet AfricaSan 3 was not a conference of gloom and doom. AfricaSan participants are helping to affect a significant shift towards greater recognition of this hidden problem and finding solutions that work. Conference sessions tackled problems head-on and the spirit was one of strategic and pragmatic action, based on the latest evidence. The conference reported on some significant recent achievements:


· Firstly, the experience of Rwanda - a poor country that has moved dramatically to be on track to meet the MDG in Sanitation - has been a source of inspiration and hope to many. It shows that huge steps in progress can be made with political will, hard work and pragmatism.

· Peer-reviewed action plans are now prepared in 38 African countries, giving clear priority action to get countries back on track to meet the sanitation MDGs and national goals.

· Countries reported good or encouraging progress in three quarters of the targets established in the eThekwini Declaration.

· Over 34 countries are tackling the problem of open defecation head-on, through adoption of Community-Led Sanitation Programs.

· There is increased recognition that that sanitation improvement involves systemic and behaviour changes in parallel with technical innovation.

· Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation launched an important new initiative, “Reinventing the Toilet”, a pro-poor approach to stimulate solving of key blockages to achieving sustainable sanitation. The initiative seeks ways in which Africa can “leapfrog traditional sewerage systems”.

· The conference also learned of the significant untapped potential for a resource-hungry world by using the nutrients and chemicals in waste and excreta to help solving key future challenges, in particular the food crisis.


Ministerial Commitments


Ministers attending AfricaSan 3 agreed on a statement as follows:

“We, the ministers attending AfricaSan 3 in Kigali , reaffirm the commitments contained in the eThekwini declaration. We acknowledge the excellent progress made in the region against most of these commitments and recognize the many actions countries have taken using resources mobilized locally.


We further note the many excellent examples of good practice in a number of countries and the value of sharing these experiences through the AfricaSan process.


However we also note that further progress is urgently needed in some countries to establish specific sector budgets and increase funding to the required levels. We note the useful contribution made by Sanitation and Water for All in increasing the profile of sanitation and involving Ministers of Finance in sector discussions.


We also further note that some countries have made slow progress in developing sanitation information systems and that this is a key constraint.


Finally we note that some of the targets do not have measurable indicators and that some indicators may now require updating in view of the progress that has already been made.


We therefore commit to:

(i) Continuing our efforts to meet the e-Thekwini commitments and to accelerate progress to meet the urgent sanitation needs of the region

(ii) To do what we can ‘in our own back yard’

(iii) To support and share experiences and best practices

(iv) To advocate strongly with our colleagues in Ministries of Finance, other sectoral ministries and with our Prime Ministers and Heads of States for continued focus on the sector.


We call on AMCOW to:

(i) Continue to support the sector and the AfricaSan process

(ii) Redouble its efforts to support us in promoting sanitation to our colleagues in Ministries of Finance and our Heads of State and Prime Ministers.

(iii) Continue a dialogue with the AfDB about the potential to host a regional conference on sanitation financing with Ministries of Finance in Africa .

(iv) Through the Sanitation Task Force to:

a. Review and propose indicators for those targets for which no indicators yet exist where necessary

b. Refine indicators for those targets which have now largely been met

c. Test and consult widely on the proposed new indicators and

d. To report back at the next AfricaSan meeting using the new proposed indicators.

(v) Continue to report back annually on progress made in the implementation of our commitments.


We call on our Parliamentarians, Ministers of Finance, Prime Ministers and Heads of State to:

(i) Support us in our efforts to continue progress on the vital areas of sanitation and hygiene.

(ii) Engage in creative dialogue regarding the best ways to guarantee the required funding to the sector.


We also call on development partners, civil society and multinational and regional development banks to:

(i) Continue their support to us in our efforts to continue progress on the vital areas of sanitation and hygiene

(ii) Provide access to best practice and knowledge on how to best guarantee and channel the required funding to the sector.”


Utility and Local Government Commitments


Utilities and local governments both before and during the conference conducted a dialogue on how to give greater focus to sanitation in the remaining years to 2015. The conference recognized that utilities and local government leadership in sanitation are critical for the improvement and management of services. Utilities and local governments committed themselves to specific actions in five thematic areas [17] :


1. Innovative and affordable sanitation technologies

2. Capacity development and networks

3. Robust sanitation focused policies

4. Financing

5. Regulation, norms and standards.


Working in partnership with AMCOW local government representatives proposed to develop mechanisms and ideas for greater involvement of local governments in the Africa Sanitation dialogue and to present proposals at the next African Water Week. Local Government associations and bodies representing local governments need to be fully incorporated into this dialogue. Progress indicators for local government and utilities should be included in future sector monitoring.


Donor Statement


A small group of external agency donor groups exchanged views on strategies supporting sanitation in Africa . The discussion applauded governments’ clear priority setting agenda to be helpful to donors when considering investment or support to addressing sanitation Africa . Among the donors present there was a clear pattern to increase support to sanitation in Africa and a general trend towards supporting sanitation approaches which improves services for poorer people. The GLAAS process has increased transparency in being able to track donor’s focus and commitments towards sanitation.


Civil Society Commitments


Africa is fortunate and unique in having in ANEW an active network of networks if civil society that stretches across Africa . ANEW managed a strong process developing core ideas in taking the sector forward and committing themselves to approaches to enhance their support to sanitation [18] . These approaches include:


· Increased focus on equity and inclusion

· Improved planning and monitoring

· Stronger focus on co-ordination and capacity building

· Better transparency.


Civil society committed themselves to report on progress against these commitments at future AfricaSan meetings.


Country Action Plans


A major outcome of AfricaSan 3 has been countries’ commitment to defining specific and measurable priority country actions, endorsed by national authorities, to improve performance in the sanitation and hygiene sector. Thirty five countries are developing action plans. Many of the plans recognize the MDGs but take them further to achieving universal access. Key actions include:


· Identifying outstanding policy gaps

· Accelerating the implementation of policies and strategies

· Embedding capacity building into sector strategies and action plans

· Improving management of existing financial resources through better planning, targeting and tracking.

· Continuing to lobby to establish specific budget lines for sanitation for allocations from the national fiscus and as well as sanitation-specific budget lines at local levels.

· Making the case for significant increases in these budgets. In the current economic climate countries recognized the need to make hard-hitting economic arguments for increased resources.

· Moving more quickly from pilot approaches to solutions that can work at scale

· Renewing efforts to develop tracking tools which link performance to budget allocations and establish effective national and local-level monitoring. Several African countries are using mobile web-based technologies to develop and update inventories: these approaches need to be taken to scale.


Countries have committed themselves to six-monthly reviews of agreed actions over the next two years to be reviewed by sector leaders and submitted to the AfricaSan Task Force.


Learning Outcomes


The conference featured rich and lively sessions on key learning topics identified from country service delivery blockages. Key learning outcomes include:


Recognition of the need for at-scale service delivery in different settlement types:


· Urban sanitation presents one of our most complex challenges. Local governments need to be in the driving seat and their capacity strengthened. Clear urban institutional responsibilities are needed including the role of informal service providers and regulation. Community engagement remains vital in many African cities, but building this into urban processes takes time. A balance needs to be found between in situ upgrading and building new settlements.

· The needs in towns , small and large, vary considerably and require different management options. In just about al cases, towns are experiencing unprecedented rapid population growth. On-sanitation systems are being outpaced in many towns, and what was previously a private matter is now a public sector responsibility. Greater focus on town sanitation is an urgent priority.

· In rura l areas, the conference reported significant advances in behavior change and sanitation marketing. The development of CLTS at scale presents a major opportunity in many countries: programs can grow rapidly and the benefits are shared equitably, directly tackling open defecation amongst the poorest populations.


The conference learnt of a growing understanding behaviour change . Current approaches are learning more about what motivates change in specific communities and making this the cornerstone of sanitation programs. Much is being learnt from commercial product development processes.


On the supply side , approaches first and foremost need to consider scale and development of an evidence base of what works. Local governments need to clarify their roles and encourage ways of stimulating the private sector. Utilities and local governments should clarify sanitation responsibilities. In order to use the potential of waste as a resource, governments need to champion more holistic approaches to sanitation. The growing Ecosan community are encouraged to imbed their work in governments and extend their reach to communities, the private sector, schools and more African universities. The capturing of phosphorous from urine presents a major opportunity to meet demand for a finite resource. Improving Faecal Sludge Management was identified as a significant new area of learning. FSM need to be incorporated within city-wide systems and effective business models developed and implemented. School sanitation needs to be fully incorporated into school building programmes.


The conference also presented sessions to give participants an up-to-date understanding the impacts of neglecting sanitation, affecting equity, economic growth, health and food security and food security.


Tools such as economic modeling of the costs of poor sanitation help make a strong economic case for investing in sanitation. The GDP (Good Dignity Practices) for GDP (Gross Domestic Product) awareness campaign was launched which can translate the economic arguments into advocacy messages. Initial messages include provocative slogans such: “Help Turn Shit into Gold”. Field tests indicate that these daring messages have a considerable impact.


Inequity is a stark feature in traditional sanitation approaches. More evidence is needed to understand this to inform strategies specifically to address equity concerns. The equity session impact session called for improved monitoring of equity in programs and the sector as a whole. Equity indicators should also be incorporated into the monitoring of the eThekwini Commitments.


The also addressed many aspects of sector management and financing . Public sector leadership and financing is vital to kick-start large-scale programs. As programs develop, a range of financial approaches need to be considered. Smart use of available finance is often the key to success. A theme of the conference as a whole was captured in the President Kagame’s advice, first to use local finance “ in our own backyards” rather than depend on hand-outs. Long-term sustainability requires appropriate tariff setting for bulk systems and making sanitation attractive to local banks and investors. The limited donor funds available to the sector might be focused on reforming national systems to sustain gains on the ground. Financing strategies were advised to categorize investments into different areas of the value chain and match these with suitable financing. So householders might finance building basic latrines, and different financing streams would finance accessing trunk services, building networks and financing treatment works.


The conference also featured an enthusiastically attended Technical Fair featuring the exchange of recent research findings and technical innovations in an informal setting. Full details of these sessions can be found in the full conference report.


Advocacy and Role of the AMCOW Sanitation Task Force


Finally, ministers, agencies and individuals in Kigali commit themselves to disseminating the main messages of AfricaSan 3. The AMCOW Sanitation Task Force will continue to have the mandate to monitor and support the implementation of contents of this statement, working with all stakeholders and giving regular reports to AMCOW’s EXCO. The STF will also present proposals to AMCOW for future milestones in the AfricaSan movement, including the timing and location of future regional or sub-regional meetings.



[1] See Appendix.

[2] AfricaSan 3 (2011b).

[3] World Health Organisation and UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme (2010).

[4] Improved sanitation – where there is access to a piped sewer system, septic tank, pit latrine or composting toilet - AMCOW, WSP, UNICEF, Water Aid and CREPA (2011).

[5] AfricaSan 3 (2011b).

[6] European Union Water Initiative (2011).

[7] AMCOW, WSP, UNICEF, Water Aid and CREPA (2011), pp.26-27.

[8] AMCOW, WSP, UNICEF, Water Aid and CREPA (2011) – see Table, p.27.








[9] Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (2011).

[10] Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (2008).

[11] CLTS (2011).

[12] CLTS (2009).

[13] Ruhamya (2011).

[14] Musoni (2011).

[15] Water Research Commission (2009).

[16] (21 July version read out in final plenary)


[17] Presented in greater detail in a separate commitment statement.


[18] Presented in greater detail in a separate commitment statement.



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