What is new with ANEW? EUWI meets Prof Kairu, from ANEW
“The EUWI grant has allowed ANEW to bring together hundreds of representatives from African civil society to discuss critical water and sanitation issues. We look forward to collaborating with EUWI to manage the high demand from civil society to deal with the challenges ahead”.
At Stockholm Water Week 2009-08-20, EUWI meets Prof Kairu, from ANEW: African Civil Society Network on Water and Sanitation
Prof Kairu, what’s new with ANEW?
ANEW stands for the African Civil Society Network on Water and Sanitation. As such, it is a 'network of networks' that is, an umbrella platform. ANEW’s objective is twofold:
1) Representing the different voices of African civil society on water and sanitation issues: 2) Integrating them in the development and implementation of policies in line with the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG).
Besides, ANEW works on two levels, subregional and national. It makes it unique in efficiently reaching right down to the grass roots and enabling dialogue with the villages in Africa.In practice:
1) at national level, the Community-Based Organisations (CBOs) provide a platform to better serve local needs: 2) at subregional level, there are different networks: for example in Ghana, the national network 'Coniwas' provide drinkable water and ensure sanitation in urban and rural areas.
How does EUWI practically help the African civil society? Any tangible example?
A first very concrete example is that EUWI has created the EU Water Facility to provide funds for Water and Sanitation. Thanks to this initiative, ANEW has received an EU grant to create a functional platform to discuss specific African water and sanitation issues. This platform now brings together hundreds of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) across Africa.
“EUWI has allowed ANEW bringing together hundreds of African civil society’s representatives to discuss critical water and sanitation issues”
ANEW also received funding from the EU Water Facility to support a three year programme of work to promote and improve the capacities of the CSOs for advocacy and participation in policy making. Here comes another tangible example of EUWI’s contribution at the end of the chain:
Ø the eThekwini Declaration states that each African government should commit 0.5% of the GDP to improving water and sanitation issues.
Ø However, the declaration is long and complicated. Through EUWI and ANEW, the documents are simplified and translated into the local communities’ languages.
Ø Better understanding brings better acceptance. This way, local governments adhere more willingly to the objectives.
What is the way forward for EUWI?
ANEW dreams to see an Africa where everyone has access to safe water and adequate sanitation, and we work at it.
So far, with more than 400 members from Eastern, Western, Central, Southern and Northern sub regions, ANEW has reached 17 out of 54 African countries.
It also means that the demand for membership remains very high. Indeed, more resources are needed.
“We look forward to collaborating with EUWI to manage the high demand from civil society to deal with the challenges ahead”
In the future, we look forward to better collaboration with EUWI, with a view to managing the high demand now being placed on our network.
In that regard, EUWI can help civil society organisations so that they can ever better operate at grass roots level;
and of course keep pressurizing African governments to adhere to the commitments of the declarations on a higher political level.