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EA REGION: Concrete commitment to sanitation for all

In the morning of the third day, the countries made presented their regional groupings (West Africa, Eastern, Central, South, and North). It is in this regard that the countries of the East African region (Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Somalia, and Southern Sudan) made exposés on what they have achieved at national level.

Figures on Rwanda show that access to sanitation is 58%. The goal is to have full coverage of the country. A six-year program is already in place for this mission. Rwanda has launched a campaign to have sanitation spreading over the whole territory. It will also involve recycling waste. Plastic bags were eliminated across the entire territory of Rwanda.

Burundi remains concerned about malaria and has made progress from 42% to 55% in 2010 in terms of access to sanitation. The challenge is the lack of political and structural orientation. The country has set vision for access to water and sanitation. Burundian President Pierre Nkurunziza has himself been at the forefront in mobilising his people to promote sanitation. However, technical and financial needs pose a challenge as well.

Djibouti: The rate of urban sanitation is 79% and 17% in rural areas. The country has developed sanitation strategic plan. It created the Ministry of Water and Energy. It plans to train trainers to cover arid areas where nomadic lifestyle is the way of life. It intends to establish a framework for cooperation in the sector and mobilize resources. Djibouti is financing sanitation in urban areas by levying taxes, and granting loans. The authorities there use the media vigorously to mobilize the population.

Ethiopia: 60% of its population has access to sanitation. Approximately 35,000 employees – among them 3200 supervisors, are charged with promoting the sector. The campaign for hand washing is reported to have been successful and new one is operational. As for the needs, funding for the sanitation sector remains low. And there is no legal framework providing budgetary allocation for sanitation. As a good asset, an outreach program is in place. Manuals were prepared. Advocacy was carried out. Resources are being mobilised.

Kenya has 74% coverage in sanitation. Some 18% of the population do defecate in open spaces. The country has a policy on health and hygiene. Strategies to strengthen the sector are in place. The country emphasises public and private sectors partnerships, as well as research in sanitation.

Somalia (Puntland) is attempting to develop a sanitation plan but it has a complex emergency. The population need water, but it is not available even for buying. The country faces enormous needs and even in investment.

Southern Sudan: 14.6% of what has become the newest nation has access to sanitation. The country’s development needs range across the board: financial, institutional, etc.

Tanzania: sanitation coverage ranges between 70% - 80%. Some 13% of the population apparently defecate in open spaces. The country has set the goal of having each household with a toilet. The goal is to drop inaccessibility to sanitation at 5% by 2015.

Uganda: In 2010, 69.7% of the population had access to sanitation. The country hopes to cover 100% of the population by 2015. Policies are in the works to disseminate policies and strategies for achieving total sanitation at the community level.

Eritrea: In 2002, 2% of the rural population had latrines. According to a Demographic and Health Survey, 448,000 households must give up the habit of defecating in open places. The initiative was launched, leaving only 32 villages that defecate in the wild.

In 2011, 52,932 latrines were built, 13,810 are to be built, 83 villages no longer defecate in natural habitats where a sanitation program was launched.

As a supplement: There is need for washing hands; recycling waste; adopt innovative technologies in communities; and have health assistants active at the local level. 

Conclusion on EAC countries and the Horn of Africa

Countries that have lived through conflict make significant progress when peace returns. In general, the EAC countries and the Horn of Africa have made progress in sanitation. It remains to improve and strengthen the capacity to build sustainable sanitation, mobilize resources and implement strategies. Challenges are visible, especially in leadership and management of data.


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