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TitleA review of the sanitation and hygiene status in 32 countries : can Africa afford to miss the sanitation MDG target?
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsWater, AMCOWAfrican Mi, Abidjan, CIAfrican De, Water and Sanitation Program - Africa Region -Nairobi, KE, (WSP-AF)
Paginationxvi, 40 p. : 12 boxes, 12 fig., 20 ref.
Date Published2008-03-01
PublisherWater and Sanitation Program - African Region
Place PublishedNairobi, Kenya
Keywordsevaluation, hygiene, monitoring, sanitation, sdiafr, sdipol, sdisan

This report presents an overview of the sanitation situation in Africa, based on 32 country assessments. It provides up-to-date comparitive regional data as well as information on the strategic areas of policies, institutional frameworks, financing and resources; capacity and monitoring and evaluation. The report identifies common challenges and issues across countries and discusses some possible solutions and options based on the innovations which are already taking place within the continent and elsewhere in the world.

The country profiles show some similarities in the issues faced by the majority of sub-Saharan countries. one of the biggest problems is the overwhelming weight of on-site sanitation, which places the emphasis for sanitation on households rather than service or utility providers. Other issues arise from the pace of demographic growth and rapid urbanization and growth of informal settlements; the sector has to run hard just to stay still in terms of the proportion of people it covers. All these elements (urbanization, population growth, on-site sanitation) are aggrevated further by the extent of poverty across the continent.

The profiles also show that many countries have embarked on the process of devolving responsibilities for sanitation to local authorities. However, this has often taken place withouth the necessary associated development of local capacity and technical support. Capacity is not just a problem at local government level but one which cripples the sector at every stage and even if all the other problems could be solved immediateley, the capacity issue will hold the sector back because of the time that is needed to train the required human resources.

Another issue identified in the report is the need to mobilise greater private sector involvement, and to plan for this involvement, and to plan for this involvement in policies and strategies. In particular, small scale private businesses could play a greater role in the sector if they were given more organisational and marketing assistance and had access to legal security and credit.

The final problem highlighted in the report is the problem of monitoring and evaluation. Universally the country reports point to an absence of adequate monitoring and evaluation systems. The lack of monitoring and evaluation is a reflection of the institutional fragmentation and the lack of capacity and resources especially at the local level.

The last chapter presents an action plan and how to adapt it to each country. This action plan is also a monitoring tool, which was one of the outcomes of the AfricaSan 2008 conference. [abstract partly compiled from the executive summary of the report]

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