The Ecological Sanitation Research group (EcoSanRes) at Stockholm Environment Institute has launched its first Knowledge Node on Sustainable Sanitation for southern Africa during the second Africa Water Week. It is one of the ten planned regional nodes, the next one will be launched next week in Uganda. “Our aim is to train groups in sustainable sanitation and develop local capacity to respond to demand for information and training in the region, says Madeleine Fogde, EcoSanRes Capacity Development Manager.” Other knowledge nodes will be established in Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and Latin America. The Water Research Commission (WRC) is managing the the secretariat of the Southern African knowledge node. The Water Information Network South Africa (WIN-SA) is implementing it. The Southern African Node will create a knowledge management hub for sustainable sanitation. The hub will facilitate and coordinate capacity and skills development, knowledge sharing and collaboration. It will furthermore assist individuals and organisations from different disciplines within the SADC to:
o Participate in sustainable sanitation activities and innovations;
o Document and share experiences on sustainable sanitation as generated by different stakeholders and;
o Develop and maintain a sanitation portal that facilitates e-collaboration amongst stakeholders in the region.
In Johannesburg the three partners launched a new quarterly magazine for Southern Africa “Sanitation Matters”. The first issue Nov 2009 – Jan 2010 is very colourful. It carries an interesting story of Sanitation Learning Journey from a Namibian delegation to South Africa. They looked at various urine diversion toilets and other ecological sanitation technologies in various provinces in South Africa. The information will help feed Namibia’s the sanitation strategy and its implementation, as called for by a cabinet decision to improve sanitation.
In another article on South Africa’s Free Basic Sanitation Implementation Strategy the author says that the sanitation targets will not be met in 2010 as earlier planned. The new target is 2014.
For more information, contact Ditshego Kgopotso Magoro, Node Manager, e-mail Ditshegom@win-sa.org.za
The water cut-offs in Cape Town based on one of its by-laws is unconstitutional, as the South African Constitution provides that everyone has the right to have access to sufficient water. The by-law conflicts with the empowering legislation as well as with the Water Services Act. But the City of Cape Town is within the law in terms of applying water flow restrictors to those that are defaulting.
These are the main conclusions of the Department of Water Affairs’ response in its Regulatory Declaration with regard to the concerns and issues that have been raised by various civil society groups in 2008 and were formally raised at the Portfolio Committee on Water Affairs and Forestry in February 2009.
“However, the impact of the restrictors has very negative consequences for human dignity and they are therefore socially unacceptable. Currently there is no regulation that covers the flow rate for those restricted. DWA commits itself to review this issue and shall advise all municipalities to review the use of flow restrictors”, writes DWA in its role as national regulator of water services.
On two other complaints the regulator sides with the civil society. The list provided by Cape Town of areas where the flow restrictors have been installed show that 70 percent of them were installed in low income areas and 30 percent in affluent areas. “Hence the community has a point about the device being used mainly in low income areas. DWA has noted that Cape Town City Council has taken a decision to implement the device in all new developments irrespective of low or high income area”.
On the complaint about insufficient consultations with the citizens DWA regulator concludes that although Cape Town provided extensive documentation on consultation “it does appear that the communities are not satisfied with this process. DWA has made recommendations on this issue”. [which ones?]
Source: City of Cape Town Report, in: Water Regulation Bulletin, no 3, October 2009, p. 6
The Institute of Water and Sanitation Development as a key capacity building organisation in Zimbabwe has been educating communities on issues around the cholera pandemic through television programmes and is embarking on a long standing partnership with the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Holding, writes the editorial team of Water Voice, IWSD Newsletter 1st Issue, 2009. Of note have been discussions on how sanitation problems have affected the girl child in relation to school attendance, her security, privacy and dignity in view of the challenges of not only the water borne sanitation technology but also availability and proximity of such facilities. To curb the effects of cholera and other such outbreaks there is need for all stakeholders to ensure communities are equipped with coping skills and sustainable hygiene practices. Ensure our young are taught proper hygiene behaviour even in a decaying environment the benefits are life long and will save generations after us.
The current economic decline, coupled with food insecurity and declining levels of access to safe water call for concerted efforts to avoid the devastating impacts of the cholera outbreak to the nation, FS Makoni Manager Research and Implementation adds. The epidemic continues to spread, with total cumulative cases being 67945 with 3371 recorded deaths and the Case Fatality Rate of 5% as of 5 February 2009. So far most cases have been reported in Mashonaland West and Harare.
Web site http://www.iwsd.co.zw/index.cfm
Source: Water Voice, IWSD Newsletter 1st Issue, 2009, PDF by e-mail, 21 Feb 2009
Six Maasai Warriors from Northern Tanzania, wearing their traditional clothing, beaded jewellery and shoes made from car tyres, will run the London marathon on 13 April 2008. Their goal: raising money to provide their dry and desperate village with clean water. Isaya, the Maasai warrior who is leading the tribe’s marathon attempt, explains: “Our elders told us that we can do it because we have been running all over for killing a lion and herding cattle. We can help them by getting them clean water, so all of us trained very hard because we want to do it to make life easier for the Maasai people.”
Years of drought in Northern Tanzania, combined with the effects of climate-change, deforestation and over-grazing, mean the Maasai’s traditional way of life is increasingly under threat. Children, adults and animals are often forced to drink contaminated water and their village, Elaui, is constantly victim to disease, famine and drought. As a result of this, two out of every three children born in the village die before the age of five. The money raised will fund a sonar ground survey, which will help locate subterranean water. Test holes will be drilled to ascertain the quality and quantity of the water discovered. A full bore hole will then be drilled and a concrete cap and pump unit fitted. The cost for this process will vary depending on the findings of the initial survey and tests. A conservative estimate puts the cost between £20,000 and £60,000.
Greenforce, an international aid organisation, has worked with the Maasai tribe since 2005 and introduced the word “marathon” in English lessons to them. See their special web site.
Source: Fran Ridler, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org