CLTS Blog posts
I have to be honest: I have an interesting job. I travel around the world, meet loads of interesting people from all different kinds of cultures and the water, sanitation & hygiene business is not really boring either!
Life on the beach – the stunning location of the AfricaSan 4 Dakar conference, in a grand hotel perched on the Senegalese coast, was not enough to distract the participants of the IDS CLTS sharing and learning workshop from their task. As usual, the workshop was held the day before the main AfricaSan conference to profit from the gathering together of so many experienced WASH professionals. The event proved almost too popular – something like 90 participants turned up – making it quite challenging and time-consuming to capture and discuss the diverse views of the large group.
A huge conference like AfricaSan provides a wealth of information and learning for the enthusiastic sanitation groupie. But so much is packed into the three-day duration that it is impossible to take in everything – schedules are tight, and often overlap, which means that nobody manages to see all of their top picks, despite efforts to have thematic discussions running in parallel throughout the conference.
In the run up to AfricaSan I joined a Global Sanitation Fund (GSF) field trip and learning event in Matam region, Senegal. Along with Global Sanitation Fund programme managers and WSSCC National Coordinators we visited different villages where local NGOs had been triggering communities. Matam, in the north east of Senegal separated from Mauritania by the Senegal River, has a population of over 550,000 of which 98% are Muslim. In the region 47.2% practice open defecation.
I attended the AfricaSan (Africa Conference on Sanitation and Hygiene) convened by the Government of Senegal and AMCOW in Dakar in May. The conference brought together national government ministers and officials, as well as implementation partners, programme managers and teams, and sanitation and hygiene specialists, to discuss opportunities and challenges for Making Sanitation for All a Reality in Africa by 2030.
A few years ago I posted a blog titled ‘Nutrition Puzzles’. Today, the puzzles seem a bit nearer to resolution. And the answer may be shit.
The earlier blog was prompted by the huge and massively expensive nutrition survey that was sponsored by a range of international aid donors. It showed to everyone’s surprise that, despite the crisis, nutrition indicators across Zimbabwe, including in rural areas, were not as disastrous as expected. Indeed, they were better than most neighbouring countries, including South Africa.
Although the root cause of violence is the differences in power between people, poor access to sanitation – together with poorly triggered CLTS processes - can increase vulnerabilities to violence.
According to one African folk tale, the giraffe had a short neck until she got her head stuck in a honey tree. Many years passed and as the tree grew it stretched the neck of the giraffe. Eventually, the other animals decided to work together to free the giraffe; they grabbed all four of its legs pulled the giraffe out of the tree – stretching its neck and legs in the process.