Cape Town: The Sanitation community just finalized twin-track events which combined the fifth Africa sanitation (Africasan ) and the fifth Faecal Sludge Management (FSM) conferences. More than 1000 participants from around the world registered to participate in the events. Sanitation and Water for All partners gathered on Friday, 23 February 3019 for a three hour workshop focusing on how they will implement the mutual accountability mechanism. Participants represented the full spectrum of the SWA constituency— government leaders, civil society, external support agencies, private sector and research and learning agencies.
In his opening remarks, Dr. Kepha Ombacho, Director of Public Health, Kenya who is also one of the SWA Steering Committee members for the East and Southern Africa region encouraged his government counterparts to lead the process, mobilize partners and demonstrate their own commitments towards their national targets. Participants heard presentations from Malawi and Pakistan, which are implementing the mutual accountability mechanism through their existing national processes. Both countries are working through national platforms to mobilize stakeholders and identify national targets around which government and national partners will table commitments.
Participants from the private sector, civil society, external support agencies all made interventions highlighting how their agencies will make commitments. Agencies with a national and global presence such as UNICEF and USAID discussed the support and initiatives they are taking to encourage their counterparts at country level to table commitments which will also be supported through global level commitments.
Government participants indicated that financing is an area around which commitments might be made. This is consistent with evidence which shows that countries have significant difficulties around mobilizing or effectively using financing.
Other stakeholder constituencies discussed how they will mobilize at country level and the steps they will take to arrive at institutional or constituency level commitments.
The SWA Secretariat will continue to provide support including through a series of webinars in different languages on 27 and 28 February. Find more details about the webinar here.