The African Civil Society Network on Water and Sanitation is a twenty three member civil society platform on water and sanitation issues in Africa. In this interview, shortly after his election as the Chairman of the ANEW, Leo Otakpu sets out his agenda for the continental body
My agenda for the African Civil Society Network on Water and Sanitation (ANEW) is to see how we can reposition ANEW for greater efficiency in the discharge of our responsibilities and then to take ANEW to higher levels, to engage all stakeholders and to ensure that we are able to meet various commitments at different levels.
Again we want to see how we can get operational the memorandum of understanding that currently exist between the ANEW and African Ministers Council for Water (AMCOW) so that together as partners we can begin to effectively tackle the various policies of our various governments, begin to work the talk, not the time for so much promises but time to enforce policies particularly the antique declaration in the case of sanitation and then again the eThekwini Declaration we need to work together so see how they can be enforced in various countries.
The other plans my leadership will provide for ANEW is to see how we can strengthen national networks. At the moment, we still have some gaps in the areas of capacity, in the area of advocacy and policy analysis. So we hope to follow through with all of our current twenty-three country member networks and then we plan to also establish ANEW national network in countries where they do not currently exist.
Strengthening the national network also entails working closer with the grass root people to see how we can take the vision of ANEW a step further to ensure that we bring assess to water and sanitation closer to the poorest of the poor in our various communities all over Africa.
We also need to engage all the development partners to see how they can scale up all their commitments particularly financing the work of various governments and civil society. We need to scale up financing in the area of sanitation. Quite a number of countries are not on track to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) on sanitation. Currently in Africa we have just nine countries, but we need to work to ensure that the new drive of achieving sanitation for all by 2015 is fought with renewed vigour.
We need to also increase our work in the area of advocacy, the area of policy analysis, the area of capacity building for our members.
Finally, I like also to say that the new leadership intends to see how we can also work with other sector operators to ensure that the cross cutting issues around sanitation are effectively and efficiently managed by all stakeholders.