Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

The Water and Sanitation sub-sector is responsible for ensuring availability and access to safe and clean water and hygienic sanitation facilities in rural and urban areas, as well as delivering viable Sewerage or Sanitation systems for domestic, industrial and commercial use. The sector is composed of various state and non-state actors. The sector working group fosters joint resource mobilization, planning and budgeting, harmonization coupled with playing an advisory role.

The Ministry of Water and Environment is responsible for overall coordination, policy formulation, setting standards, inspection, monitoring, technical back-up and initiating legislation.  Other state institutions include; the National Water and Sewerage Corporation, and Local Governments.  Non-state actors include: private sector firms that participate in consultancies, construction and development as well as operation and maintenance of facilities; Civil Society Organizations that provide services in emergency and disaster situations as well as complimenting government efforts in community mobilization, water supply, sanitation and hygiene; and Development partners that provide financial and technical support.

The challenges in rural water supply and sanitation include: poverty, rapid population growth resulting in congested and informal settlements and a continuously increasing need for new safe water sources; lack of funding to keep up with this increasing need; unreliable operation and maintenance (O&M) of water facilities; poor protection of water sources resulting in low and decreasing water quality; poor sanitation practices due to negative customary beliefs and lack of sensitization; unavailability of appropriate technologies at reasonable cost; weak enforcement of  existing laws and regulations; poor operation and maintenance of sanitation facilities, more especially in public places and schools; climate change causing frequent floods and drought; political instability in neighboring countries creating settlement camps which characteristically remain unplanned settlements.

Constraints to Urban Water Supply and Sanitation include: pollution and depletion of water resources; unplanned settlement patterns which lead to difficulties in supply of water and sewerage services; inadequate institutional capacity; weak local private sector players; temporal and spatial variability of water resources leading to high investment costs; high energy costs and limited grid power network leading to use of high cost alternatives; and low prioritization of sanitation and hygiene at all levels.

Challenges in Water Resources Management include; pollution and over-exploitation of water resources, low compliance to water laws and regulations, underdeveloped sectoral approaches to planning and implementation, lack of appreciation of the importance of water resources to socioeconomic development and poverty alleviation, low prioritization of water resources issues at all levels and trans-boundary water resources issues.

Raising Africa aspires to make contributions in this sphere by way of the following;

 Strategic Objective 1: Increase access to safe water supply in rural areas

Strategic Interventions

  • Construct, operate and maintain appropriate community safe water supply systems in rural areas focusing on unserved areas.
  • Target investments in water stressed areas abstracting from production wells as well as large Gravity Flow Schemes (GFS) where appropriate to serve the rural areas.
  • Promote and scale up rainwater harvesting at household, public institutions and community level taking into account the impact of climate change.
  • Promote water, sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) humanitarian preparedness and response especially in settlements for poor communities, refugees and displaced persons.
  • Improve functionality, sustainability, resilience and source protection of water supply systems in rural areas.
  • Promote public private partnership arrangements to increase accessibility of water sources.

Strategic Objective 2: Increase access to improved sanitation in rural areas

Strategic Interventions

  • Strengthen collaboration among the institutions responsible for sanitation activities.
  • Implement demand led sanitation and hygiene (Community Led Total Sanitation and sanitation or social marketing), including the promotion of hand washing.
  • Modernize solid waste management and treatment in the rural growth centres and fish landing sites.
  • Promote appropriate sanitation technologies.