By Babatope Babalobi
A mutli-stakeholder report has further confirmed what has been known all the while -Nigeria and 49 African countries will not achieve the Millennium Development Goal for Sanitation.
The report jointly published by the Africa Council of Ministers (AMCOW), the Water Sanitation Porgamme (WSP), the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), WaterAid and the African Regional Center for Water and Sanitation (CREPA), states that only four Sub-Saharan Africa countries Rwanda, South Africa, Angola and Uganda states are on track to meet the sanitation target which seeks to reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation by the year 2015.
However, five Northern African countries namely: Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia are on track to meeting the MDG sanitation target.
The report titled ‘Sanitation and Hygiene in Africa at a Glance: a Synthesis of Country Priority Actions’, states that as at 2008, 584million people in Africa did not have an improved sanitation facility and of those, 231m practice open defecation.
Improved facility is defined at use of the following facilities- flush or pour flush to piped sewer system, piped sewer system, septic tank and pit latrine; Ventilated Improved latrine, Pit latrine with Slab, and Composting toilet.
Unimproved sanitation is defined at flush or pour flush to elsewhere (that is not to a piped sewer system, septic tank or pit latrine), Pit latrine without slab or open pit; Hanging toilet or hanging tree; Shared facilities of any type; and Open defecation.
An analysis of access by socio economic status shows significant disparities with the richest 20percent of the population in Sub-Sahara Africa being five times more likely to use an improved sanitation facility than the poorest 20 percent. The poorest are 18 times more likely to practice open defecation. It states that that Southern Africa had achieved 50 per cent coverage in 2008, West Africa, 41 per cent and Central Africa, 21 per cent during the same period.
The report also stated that as at 2008, 86m West Africans practice open defecation, 90 million people in Eastern Africa practice open defecation, 33 million people in Southern Africa practice open defecation and 16 million people in Central Africa practice open defecation..
The indicators that was used to access the African countries include existence of a National Policy on Sanitation; development of a National Sanitation plan; the profile of Sanitation in the National Poverty Reduction Strategy; the existence of a Principal Accountable Institution with clear national mandate for sanitation programmes; implementation and Monitoring and Evaluation; the existence of a coordinating body involving all stakeholders for sanitation; and the presence of a public sector budget line for sanitation at National or local level.
Other indicators are the extend to which a Monitoring and Evaluation system has been developed for sanitation; and the extent of Gender mainstreaming of Institutional sanitation programmes.
The report indicates that that only 20 countries, namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, Madagascan, Malawi, Mozambique and Democratic Republic of Congo have a National Sanitation policy and have made good progress in implementing . 14 other countries, namely Cote D’ Voire, Gambia,Guinea Bussa, Mauritania, Togo, Djibouti, Tanzania, Angola, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Central Africa Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo and Equatorial Guinea are making some progress in implementing it, while Comoros have made insufficient progress in this regard.
On the development of a National Sanitation plan to meet the MDG target, 24 countries namely Benin, Burkina Faso, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bussa, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Togo, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Angola Madagascan, Malawi, Swaziland, Zambia and Democratic Republic of Congo have made good progress, while 9 countries- Cote D’ Voire, Liberia Muritania, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Chad, Democratic republic of Congo and equatorial Guinea are making some progress, and two countries; Cosmoros and Central Africa Republic have made insufficient progress.
Other findings of the report are that only 21 African countries have given a good profile of Sanitation in the National Poverty Reduction Strategy, 19 countries have made good progress while 13 countries are making some progress and 2 countries with insufficient progress.
On countries that have one coordinating body involving all stakeholders, 21 countries have Principal Accountable Institution with clear national mandate for sanitation programmes; 8 countries have public sector budget line for sanitation at National, only Equatorial Guinea has allocated up to 0.5% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) allocated to sanitation, no African country have a Good Sanitation monitoring and Evaluation (M+E) system, while 26 countries have made good progress in developing Institutional Sanitation programs that include gender aspects.