Antoine Delepiere/WIN photo competition

Partner Feature – 7th Africa Water Week (cont’d)

With NIA. SWA, and Shahidi wa Maji

In light of the upcoming 7th Africa Water Week from 29th October to 2nd November, 2018 in Libreville, Gabon, WIN has asked several of its partners about their work, and what immediate actions they see as crucial to help ensure water integrity across the globe. This is what our partners  Neighbours Initiative Alliance, Sanitation and Water for All, and Shahidi wa Maji have to say!

Neighbours Initiative Alliance

Mwangani Water Utility developing their water system model during the Integrity Management training in Kwale County. Image Credit:  NIA

What do you believe is the unique selling point of your organization’s work in relation to water security and safely managed sanitation?

Neighbours Initiative Alliance (NIA) is an NGO working with pastoralist communities in Kenya. NIA is well connected to community structures – Neighborhood Committees (NCs) – which are used as the basis of championing community development. It focusses its efforts on empowering communities in order for them to address the needs of the poor and vulnerable among them mainly through capacity strengthening and knowledge transfer and also influencing and brokering useful linkages. NIA has an impressive track record and experience in implementing community anchored programs in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Health and Nutrition, Food Security, Governance and Economic Development.

What do you describe as impactful change that has happened over the last years?

NIA has over the years played a pivotal role in the socio-economic development of pastoralist and agro-pastoralist communities in Kenya, in the process, making significant contributions to Kenya’s efforts to realize its developmental ambitions. In WASH, together with partners, NIA has been able to influence the Kajiado County Integrated Development Plan, County budgeting process, Kajiado water policy, Kajiado natural resource management policy by supporting citizens and citizen groups to participate in these processes. At community level. NIA has influenced community behavioral change against open defecation in locations it has been working and other retrogressive cultural practices. Lastly, NIA made a positive shift from a hands-on organization to a facilitating organization – a shift that has seen NIA working on strengthening integrity and compliance among the targeted water utilities.

What do you want to see coming out of the Africa Water Week? And as an impactful change in the next year?

NIA would like to see enhanced linkages of international, regional, national and local initiatives. The platforms available at the international level, the platforms available at the regional level, the platforms available at the national and local levels should be able to talk to one another – the horizontal and vertical linkages should be clear.

What would be your target/action/goal for achieving water integrity? With whom would you like to engage to achieve it?

We are keen to continue supporting small water utilities with the Integrity Management trainings using the Integrity Management Toolbox as the main resource. We hope to work with KEWASNET, Water Sector Trust Fund, Caritas Switzerland and WIN.

Sanitation and Water for All(SWA)

Finance Ministers’ Meeting, held in Washington DC, 2017. Image Credit: SWA

What do you believe is the unique selling point of your organization’s work in relation to water security and safely managed sanitation?

Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) is the global multi-stakeholder partnership of the water, sanitation and hygiene sector. The over 200 SWA partners led by the governments, bring together analysis, tools, dialogue, and the shared experiences to build an effective sector that will facilitate the achievement of the WASH-related targets of the SDGs. SWA promotes coordinated efforts to strengthen national WASH sector planning, budgeting, investment and accountability. This will lead to funds invested where needed and in a way that is most effective leading to the elimination of inequalities in access to water and sanitation.

What do you describe as impactful change that has happened over the last years?

As a result of the High-level Meeting more sector ministers are placing more focus and emphasis on WASH, which was mostly neglected in favour of ‘big water issues’ including Hydro-power dams and transboundary water resource management. We are also getting feedback indicating more sector ministers are advocating for and securing separate or dedicated budget for sanitation. Furthermore, other sector ministers, having recognized the challenge to achieve SDG targets for water and sanitation are placing more focus on resource mobilization, especially from non-traditional sources which include the private sector.

What do you want to see coming out of the Africa Water Week? And as an impactful change in the next year?

SWA has recently launch the Mutual Accountability Mechanism (MAM). We would like to see our partners at the Africa Water Week working together to make joint commitments to further progress in the sector, and to report back to each other (during regional and global high-level meetings) on their actions to achieve these commitments. The MAM is an opportunity for governments and their development counterparts to respond to the obligations of participation and accountability set out in the SDGs and international human rights law. The commitments tabled at the Africa Water Week will be discussed at a global at the SWA Sector Ministers Meeting in April 2019.

What would be your target/action/goal for achieving water integrity? With whom would you like to engage to achieve it?

We already work in partnership! So in order to achieve water integrity, SWA partners – governments, civil society, private sector, donors, UN agencies, academia – must continue to jointly work on integrating the SWA Guiding Principles is everything they do.
Our guiding principles bind all partners together forming the basis of all our work – multi-stakeholder efforts; sustainability of services and actions; leaving no-one behind and minimum standards of coverage, access, use and effectiveness of services; transparency and accountability; evidence-based decision-making; human rights approach to water and sanitation; and international collaboration and aid effectiveness.

Shahidi Wa Maji (SwM)

Industrial pollution and flood impact into Msimbazi River Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Image Credit: SwM

What do you believe is the unique selling point of your organization’s work in relation to water security and safely managed sanitation?

Shahidi wa Maji was set up to fill the gap of CSO oversight on water resources governance. We believe water security is where freshwater is managed equitably and sustainably to ensure reliable availability of water for health, livelihood and production; and an acceptable level of water related risk. Through social accountability monitoring and water stewardship using research and advocacy as our main tools, we work with vulnerable rights holder and duty bearers to identify environment and water resources related policy gaps on environment and advocate for improvements.

What do you describe as impactful change that has happened over the last years?

Vulnerable communities have been empowered to understand their rights and responsibilities on water resources management and demand for better services. As a result, we have notably seen citizen taking actions to freely speak out for poor services, accountability and integrity leading to action. This has made service providers accountable for their poor performance and improved service provision for water security. The current government leadership in Tanzania has shown to take responsibilities and being accountable to its voters. A key lesson of leadership on being accountable could tackle integrity issues and improve service provision.

What do you want to see coming out of the Africa Water Week? And as an impactful change in the next year?

The threat to water security is becoming much more severe and a reality. We are seeing African environmental and livelihood refugees to Europe and into sub-Saharan African countries. AWW needs to take strong cognizance of the impact of SDG 6 on water resources to other SDG’s and ensure there is a concerted deliberate policy shift to avert future economic and livelihood disasters in Africa.

What would be your target/action/goal for achieving water integrity? With whom would you like to engage to achieve it?

We would target policy makers, private sectors to prioritise Integrated Water Resource Management(IWRM) through increased resource allocation to water resources. Working in partnership with local network, such as TAWASANET, regional network ANEW and other global partners to raise the voice on water security and its threat to other sectors.

What can you do?

You can take simple steps to launch an integrity change process. Here are the tools to help you.

Stay informed

Sign up for our newsletter for bimonthly updates on the activities of the network worldwide.

Tell us your story

Are you promoting water integrity in your organization or in your region? Tell us how and help the network learn from your achievements.

Learn from experience

See how people and organizations are changing the water sector with integrity.