Our dynamic : the Francophone African Alliance for water and sanitation (AAFEA)
The Francophone African Alliance for Water and Sanitation (AAEFA) brings together civil society collectives from the Water and Sanitation sector in 10 countries in West and Central Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Guinea, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Togo). The Alliance aims to strengthen the capacities and expertise of civil society in the sector, exchange practices and conduct national and international advocacy with a view to reaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and more specifically SDG 6 on water and sanitation.
As part of this dynamic, launched in 2008, our coalitions met in Mbour-Saly Portudal from 18 to 22 June 2019, for the 8th sub-regional workshop for exchange of practices and strengthening of capacities. Organised with the support of Coalition Eau and international partners (ACF, IRC, SWA, WIN, WSSCC, Niyel), together with ANEW (a network of African NGOs), the subject of this workshop was “On the way to Dakar 2021: mobilisation of Water and Sanitation NGOs/CSOs in the Sub-region to reach SDG 6”.
The challenges involved in accessing water and sanitation in West and Central Africa are still massive, despite efforts undertaken by States. Only 27% of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa has access to a safely managed domestic drinking water supply and 18% to sanitation (JMP, 2019). The SDGs are a strong commitment by the international community for universal access to drinking water and sanitation and proper management of water resources by 2030. Conscious of its role and its responsibilities in terms of reaching the SDGs, civil society has a key role to play for commitments to be respected, so that fair and effective public policies are implemented and the human right to water and sanitation becomes a reality. Civil society is mobilised through active advocacy, operational programmes and the provision of its expertise.
In this regard, 2021 will be a high point, with the SDGs at half-way, the organisation of the 9th World Water Forum in Dakar, and the UN intergovernmental meeting on water and sanitation. In light of these issues, the workshop provided an opportunity for our coalitions to come together to construct messages and an advocacy strategy, with a view to accelerating mobilisation to reach SDG 6, in the run-up to the 9th World Water Forum and beyond.
OUR CALL TO DECISION-MAKERS TO ACCELERATE MOBILISATION FOR WATER AND SANITATION:
- Achieve the human right to water and sanitation (HRWS) for all, leaving no one behind: HRWS must be an integral part of States’ constitutions or legislative and regulatory texts, and must become a reality via implementation decrees. It must be included in action plans and programmes pertaining to the sector, with a focus on the most vulnerable populations, including populations in crisis situations, taking into account urban, peri-urban and rural areas.
- Allocate sufficient, appropriate, transparent funding that meets actual needs: States must become mobilised, transparently allocate and spend sufficient funding that meets the actual needs of the sector and, more generally, basic social services. To do this, innovative funding must be developed, and States must account for their financial commitments.
- Ensure proper governance of the sector, including participation and accountability: strategies, policies and programmes relating to water and sanitation must include indicators on transparency, fight against corruption, integrity, fairness, accountability, participation, planning and budgetary monitoring. They must involve local authorities at all levels. In addition, frameworks for participative and inclusive dialogue, mechanisms for mutual accountability and forums for civic questioning must be implemented and effective.
- Respect existing commitments and account for them transparently and rigorously, based on precise indicators (regional and international declarations – eThekwini and Ngor, national declarations, commitments on Sanitation and Water for All, national strategies, etc.)
- Ensure better consideration of sanitation and hygiene, via increased specific funding that meets actual needs.
- Promote access to basic services in crisis contexts, via simple technical solutions and available funding that meets the needs of populations, as well as through integration of strategies in development policies and programme to prevent conflicts.
- Take multi-sectoral approaches: States must include Water and Sanitation objectives in development policies for other sectors, in particular health/education/food/agriculture/environment, and vice versa. They must ensure harmonisation and consistency of policies relating to basic services, in particular via the implementation of inclusive coordination mechanisms and inter-sectoral dialogue.
- Promote integrated water resources management (IWRM): in order to plan better, States must improve their knowledge and monitoring of water resources, and develop and implement national IWRM action plans, backed by appropriate investments integrating sanitation. Focus must also be placed on training of stakeholders and on collaboration between States and research bodies.
OUR EXPECTATIONS FOR THE 9TH WORLD WATER FORUM, A KEY STAGE IN MOBILISATION
The first World Water Forum to be organised in Sub-Saharan Africa, the “Dakar 2021” 9th World Water Forum will attract attention from the water community on issues in the Sub-region. In order to ensure the success of the event, our organisations are putting forward the following recommendations:
- Ensure effective participation that is representative of civil society, via: inclusion of civil society, of all movements (including users), in all preparatory processes for the Forum; effective considerations of its proposals; support for its mobilisation via funding that is sufficient and transparent.
- Ensure principled functioning of the Forum, both in its preparation and in its running: ensure inclusion of local stakeholders in all processes; include civil society in the Forum’s decision-making committees; ensure the budget for the Forum is controlled, and allocated in a transparent manner; provide the contribution paid by Senegal to the World Water Council for organisation of the Forum to concrete projects as part of the “Dakar 2021” initiative; ensure respect of gender in all spaces at the Forum; conduct an independent evaluation of Forums, and distribute this publicly.
- In the thematic architecture of the Forum, include consideration of specific subjects: sanitation, the human right to water and sanitation (including the issue of inequalities), crises, and security issues in the Sub-region.
- Improve the concrete impacts of the Forum, via: organisation of a Head of States Summit; undertaking of commitments by Heads of State, that will be implemented, monitored and related to commitments made regionally and internationally; implementation of a system for rigorous monitoring-evaluation of commitments, that will be operational as soon as the Forum begins, including regular presentations; links to other regional and international spaces related to water, and to monitoring and accountability mechanisms for SDG 6; definition of a system for labelling of “Dakar 2021 Initiative” projects based on additional funding and transparent labelling criteria.
- Promote implementation of a UN intergovernmental space for monitoring SDGs related to water and sanitation, which would be distinct from World Water Forums.
Our organisations: CONGAD (Council of NGOs and Development Associations) / POSCEAS (Water and Sanitation CSO Platform in Senegal) – Senegal; National Water Partnership – Senegal; CANEA (Framework for Non-State Water and Sanitation Stakeholders) – Benin; SPONG (Permanent NGOs Secretariat) – Burkina Faso; AME Network (Alliance for Management of Water) – Cameroon; CN-CIEPA (National Coalition of the International Campaign for Drinking Water and Sanitation) – Mali; Tenmiya Association – Mauritania; CCOAD (Chamber of Consultation among NGOs and Development Associations) – Niger; CCEABT (Council of Consultation for Basic Water and Sanitation in Togo) – Togo; National Coalition for Action and Advocacy on Water – Guinea; Association for the Defence of Consumers’ Rights (ADC) – Chad