Netwas is involved in many networking sector activities at the national, regional and international levels. At the national level, Netwas continues to maintain close links with sector actors through national co-ordination and networking forums. At the regional level, Netwas organises and has held Regional Water and Sanitation Seminars (RWSS) annually for the last 16 years, which brings together sector actors in Eastern and Southern Africa region and other developing countries to discuss important topical issues in the sector. The themes usually cover one or more of the sector current issues and are solicited from the various stakeholders and reviewed by Netwas to line them up with global sector trends. The RWSS attracts over 50 key sector actors from East and Southern Africa.
Netwas is a member of the global International Training Network for Water and Waste Management (ITN) and also a founder member of the ITN Africa network, which comprises of a number of Resource Centres in eastern, southern and western Africa. The ITN Africa centres meet at the annual ITN Africa Conference. Netwas is also a founder member of STREAM, a coalition of global resource centres that seek excellence in the promotion and provision of water and sanitation sector services. It also participates in the following international networks:
- Gender Water Alliance
- Water supply and sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC)
- (IRC) Resource Centre Development of the Netherlands
- Hygiene and Environmental Sanitation/School Sanitation Global Thematic Group
Netwas also operates a well-established Documentation Centre, which was set up in 1989. The Documentation Centre continues to be a landmark that distinguishes Netwas from other sector non-governmental organisations. The Centre is not only a library, but it is a proactive Reference Centre that reaches out to the users of information in the sector through:
- Provision of library user services
- Publication of monthly Bibliographic Briefs, disseminated by regular mail and email
- Publication of Water and Sanitation Update, produced regularly. This is disseminated through regular mail, email and on the Netwas website
As part of the information and networking services, Netwas is also in the process of establishing knowledge management services. The service will enable sector players and other actors’ access relevant knowledge in a timely manner, by avoiding the issues created by the information overload in the sector, and availing tacit knowledge with various players.
As part of the networking function, Netwas International hosts the National Wash Secretariat.
Kenya National Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH Campaign)
Putting People at the Centre
Aims of WASH
The WASH Campaign aims at mobilize political awareness, support action towards achieving the water, sanitation and hygiene Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The cornerstone of the WASH Campaign is effective collaboration between like minded individuals, organizations and institutions.
The WASH Campaign in Kenya is coordinated by Netwas International, Kenya. Hygiene and Environmental Sanitation at household and institutional level continue to be of key importance in Kenya. The Kenya Government recognizes the importance of safe water and improved hygiene and sanitation towards the improvement of people’s health and development, which it is committed to attain by the year 2015. It has set a number of initiatives as enshrined in the major reform activities including policies on water as well as on hygiene and environmental sanitation. Some of the major strategies adopted at the national level include promotion of hygiene and sanitation using “Community-Led Total Sanitation” (CLTS); advocacy to raise the awareness of policy makers in increasing budget allocations, partnership building; among others.
Kenya now boasts of an Environmental Sanitation and Hygiene Promotion Policy which was signed in June 2007 and was launched in October 2007. In this policy, the government commits itself to ensure that 90% of households will have access to sanitation by 2015, rather ambitious but achievable. The Policy states as its overall goal:
By the year 2015, as a contribution to Kenya attaining the Millennium Development Goals, we want to achieve the following:
- All households will be educated and made aware of the importance and need for improved ESH practices for improved health, resulting in positive changes in behaviour.
- Every school community and 90 percent of households will have access to, and make use of, hygienic, affordable, functional, and sustainable toilet and hand-washing facilities.
- All households and their immediate surroundings will be clean and free from solid waste and unpleasant odours, and will have adequate drainage.
- The national incidence of preventable sanitation-related diseases will be halved.
The WASH Coalition members participated actively in its development and finalization. The National WASH working group which is part of the National Environmental Sanitation and Hygiene working group (ESHWG) has been set up as a vehicle for the WASH promotion in Kenya.
This working group recognizes the challenges in hygiene and sanitation in Kenya as highlighted below and is committed to contribute towards the attainment of the MDGs in the country. It draws its membership from the relevant Government Ministries, local and international NGOs, the UN –Agencies, the private sector among others. The working group meets every three months.
The country is in the process of developing a national strategic plan of sanitation and hygiene (NSPSH). It will be one of the highlights in the implementation of the sanitation policy in Kenya
The Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation has provided the necessary impetus, political will and commitment to the sanitation sector.
Join the WASH Campaign: www.wsscc.org