Leaders in sanitation form partnership to advance sanitation agenda and improve access to clean water across Africa

Speak Up Africa, a Policy and Advocacy Action Tank, and the African Water Association (AfWA), a continent-wide platform that brings together organisations in the water and sanitation sector, are pleased to announce a formal partnership. This partnership will support the implementation of the African Water Vision for 2025 and promote knowledge sharing on the African water and sanitation sector.

The two organisations signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the margins of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Water, Sanitation & Hygiene partners meeting in Lusaka, Zambia last month.

Through close collaboration, this agreement will see both partners further engage key stakeholders on issues in the water and sanitation sector. Furthermore, AfWA and Speak Up Africa will align their activities by sharing expertise and communication resources for even greater impact.  

Today 1 in 3 people still live without adequate sanitation facilities in Africa, with this number rising to 75% in the West Africa region. Inadequate sanitation facilities can lead to poor health, the spread of diseases and continuation of poverty.  Cross-sector collaboration is the key to achieving life-changing outcomes for people affected by lack of access to water sanitation and hygiene.

Water and sanitation initiatives undertaken by organizations around the world have sought to provide toilets, dig latrines, and more. Other projects focus on training communities to use and maintain these facilities, while other investments have focused hygiene awareness, encouraging healthy behaviors through creative campaigns. Clean water, sanitation, and hygiene — much like extreme poverty itself — are challenges that will require our collective, collaborative efforts. It is too big of a problem with too significant of an impact for any one organization to be left to solve it on their own. 

Ms. Yacine Djibo, Founder and Executive Director of Speak Up Africa, said: “We are delighted to partner with an organization that shares our core belief that no one should live without adequate water and sanitation facilities. AfWA has been instrumental in the advancement of access to clean water and improving sanitation across Africa, and we hope that by uniting and amplifying our voices we will be able to accelerate positive change.”

Mr. Sylvain Usher, Executive Director of AfWa, said: “Water and sanitation are public goods so there is a strong need for awareness of the authorities to develop this sector. An organization like Speak Up Africa has proven experience in advocacy and this strategic partnership with AFWA will allow us to join forces to make water and sanitation a priority for our governments for the well-being of the people. »