Freshwater Action Network
– grassroots influencing on water and sanitation

Progress at High Level Meeting of Sanitation and Water for All Partnership

The Sanitation & Water for All Partnership made good progress at its recent 'High Level Meeting' convened by UNICEF at the World Bank Spring Meeting on 20 April 2012.  Civil society advocacy has played its part in putting pressure on goverments through the End Water Poverty 'Crisis Talks' and 'World Walks for Water'. 


Rudy Amenga-Etego, from the African Civil Society Network on Water and Sanitation (ANEW) represented civil society at the meeting, delivering a one minute statement on behalf of civil society across the world; calling for leaders to step up and show strong leadership and move from incremental progress to transformational change.

Ministers of Water, Sanitation, Environment and Health from across Africa and Asia announced that in each of their countries they will strive to decrease open defecation by 15%, improve access to water by 5% and increase access to safe sanitation by 7% by 2014. These promises would provide56 million people with safe drinking water and 78 million people with sanitation over the next two years (WaterAid figures).

Specific commitments:

  • Benin committed to increasing its budget allocations for 2013-2014 by 100% per year for basic sanitation.
    Burkina Faso committed to allocating at least US$35m to water and sanitation annually and promised to eradicate open defecation by 2015
  • Kenya pledged that a further 20 million people would gain access to drinking water and sanitation by 2015 and Nigeria promised to progressively increase the budget allocation for water and sanitation over the next three years.
  • The Government of Pakistan committed to enhancing access to adequate sanitation for 20 million people by 2015 to achieve its MDGs targets and 14.4 million people to reach 100% coverage for improved drinking water.
  • The Government of Rwanda committed to ensuring that, by 2017, all people in Rwanda will gain access to improved water and sanitation.
  • Zambia committed to an estimated 1,000 schools receiving appropriate WASH facilities and ensuring that 1,000 rural wards are open defecation free by 2014.

Donors responded with
•    The UK Government is doubling the number of people it intends to reach with water, sanitation and hygiene education, from 30 million to at least 60 million by 2015.
•    A new initiative for Central and West Africa was announced by the Dutch Government in partnership with the UK
•    The US and Australia joined the SWA.

FAN Global will be working with the national NGO networks of ANEW and FANSA to develop national advocacy strategies to support government leverage the funding from donors and to hold goverments to account for delivery of their committments.  We are also pleased to learn that many of the African ministers raised the issue of equity and rights loud and clear at the High Level Meeting, and we will be working towards inclusion and mainstreaming of the human rights to water and sanitation by goverments in their strategies and plans.

Read more highlights and watch the meeting on webcam at:

















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