Freshwater Action Network
– grassroots influencing on water and sanitation

FANSA and ANEW member impressions of the Global Forum on Sanitation

FANSA and ANEW members

FANSA and ANEW representatives joined WASH professionals from around the world at WSSCC's Global Forum on Sanitation and Hygiene in Mumbai, India from 9 to 14 October 2011. They were busy promoting the network, their work and learning from the many sessions throughout the week. They made the most of having so many key players from the sector in one place and met with key partners to strategize and plan activities at side events, particularly those that brought together African and South Asian grassroots civil society organisations (CSOs).

I had the chance to get some feedback on some of the highlights of the forum and impressions of the week:

Catherine Mwango: What impressed me most is this group of young girls who are living in a slum and they were able to come and express themselves very well.   When they have their menstrual period, there are no facilities to cope but they have been able to, through their own initiatives; to defy some of their customs that denied them from going to school during those periods. So I thought that it was really very outgoing of those young girls  to come and educate us.

Mahamuda Begum: The most important is CLTS (Community Led Total Sanitation). Still water and sanitation are always subsidized, the CLTS is not subsidiary - this is the most important for me. Going back to Bangladesh I will promote the CLTS approach in my programme implementation.

PC Mishra: I was very much impressed by the advocacy action programme that has been taken up in this forum and also, the school hygiene education programme.  These are the two important things that I liked very much. I hope I will carry these forward when I go back to my own area.

Patrick Apoya: For me the most impressive aspect of this forum has been the freeness with which professionals at different levels, at the global level, at the national level, and the community levels, have been able to share their opinions freely. We have debated in a very open environment and I believe something stuck with everyone. One thing that I think everyone should be aware of, is the fact that there are no fast rules about this. People need to be flexible, people need to be able to work according to the local context and we all need to have a hope in mind, and new things that we can try in our various contexts.

Raja Mohan: This is my first experience participating in a forum meeting at the international level and it has been really encouraging and enriching. It has given a lot of scope for me to share and enlarge my perspective on the WASH sector. A good number of people have come together, from government, international donors, and civil society organizations, to share their perspectives and look forward to implementing different WASH sector programmes; to meet and to reach the millions of people who are not served with improved water and sanitation facilities.

Suman Shakya: The major highlights at this conference were the access to WASH issues at the global level, and finding out about the different kinds of practices implemented by different agencies. Most of the practices raised were very relevant to us, so when we go back to our home country, we can implement and integrate them in our activities.
Tanya Khan: Being a member of FANSA, we have been introduced to lot of regional partnerships and collaborations and events over the last, I would say, three years. But this particular event was very useful and different in the sense that it offered us a global forum with a lot of other stakeholders from Africa, Latin America and other parts of the world. We got to learn from them, to experience sharing, and a lot of networking will lead to future collaboration. This opportunity to meet the African FAN members and to learn about their challenges will allow us to interact in the future and work towards the common goal of achieving universal coverage in terms of sanitation.

Yiga Baker: I think the key highlight for me was the innovations that are coming in to promote water and sanitation. It was a very important lesson to see how different people are working, in very innovative ways, to achieve sanitation (e.g., use of social media to promote sanitation messages on a large scale).

Murali Ramisetty : From FANSA, we are very grateful to the Water Supply Sanitation Collaborate Council (WSSCC) for giving us the opportunity to participate in the Global Forum for Sanitation and Hygiene. It has really given wonderful opportunity for all of us from FANSA, not only to meet so many key actors from water sanitation hygiene sector, but also we had an opportunity to interact with our friends and colleagues from ANEW, who have been working from 2003 onwards on water and sanitation issues in Africa.

I think the session we had on the evening of the 10th of October provided a good opportunity to learn from the experiences of ANEW in Africa. I think the way they are working with the governments and AMCOW has really given us very good insight into how we can build up relationships with the key decision makers in South Asia. Apart from that, I think all of us from FANSA had a good opportunity to talk about the achievements of FANSA in the last three and half years, and what our aspirations are for the future.

Basically, FANSA is very much committed to work on the mobilization of communities to hold government responsible for the commitments they are making at the national level, in the regional forum, and also at the global forum. We want to mobilize communities to hold government responsible for that. I think that is going to be one of the key focus areas for FANSA, and at the forum, we could communicate to all of the actors concerned about our aspirations. I have personally spoken with our nation's water entity, and various other organizations like WASH United Cricket. In the future, we will be working in partnership with all of these organization to accelerate the progress of sanitation.



Training progarmme

Dear concerning officer. We are a member of Fansa group and would like to know about the training and capacity buiding programmes on water and sanitaiton related issues. It would be helpful for us if you could show some light on that through the fansa, how we can improve the capacities of our staff on WATSAN issues.Kind RegargdsWaseem IqbalAAs, Indore

You did a good job

It was great reading the WSSCC conference learnings of the participants from FANSA and ANEW.  I was there with you all and it was great meeting as a big group.  I enjoyed the evening session on sharing and networking with ANEW members.  That was the first time we FAN/FANSA members got to share and hear from them on one to one basis.  It was a good idea.  That conference was a big opportunity to learn about the basics of sanitation.  No matter what my experience is, there is always something to learn. For example I found myself wondering why the CLTS had not been integrated with a rights based approach? and anohter question bothering me is do we need the equity and inclusion framework for India when we have the rights based approach being practiced for morethan two decades now in the development sector?  and then another area of improving our actions in CRSD was on menstrual hygiene management after seeing the fair and different materials, vending machine.  Hilda


Thanks, Prakash, to you and all of your excellent colleagues and friends within FANSA and ANEW. We were extremely pleased with and grateful for the participation of so many excellent and wonderful people. The quotations cited in your article reflect just how truly fantastic they were, and that they feel the Global Forum was a good experience for them. 

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