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Ethiopian sanitation stakeholders on benchmarking visit to Uganda to enhance sanitation access in their country

Wednesday, 24 January 2024
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As part of the activities of the SAO CWIS program by the African Water and Sanitation Association (AAEA), funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Ethiopian representatives from the sanitation sector are embarking on a benchmarking visit to the National Water and Sewerage Corporation of Uganda (NWSC). This initiative aims to strengthen partnerships among African nations to overcome persistent challenges related to limited access to improved sanitation services.

Access to improved sanitation remains a major challenge, particularly in East Africa, where almost a quarter of the population practises open defecation and 40% use unimproved latrines.

The overall objective of this benchmarking visit which takes place from January 22 to 26, 2024, is to facilitate learning and knowledge-sharing on the provision of water and sanitation services (WASH). Specifically, the goals include leveraging governance, institutional, and regulatory tools and structures to enhance integrated sanitation services; promoting access to safe sanitation services in communities; progressively improving waste management practices, water, sanitation, and hygiene through innovative approaches, and learning by practice—scaling innovative ideas through on-the-ground practices and models.

It is worth noting that benchmarking, a central element of the operator partnership developed by AfWASA, facilitates the exchange of expertise on tools and approaches used for providing inclusive sanitation services on an urban scale. This process involves an experienced service provider acting as a mentor to strengthen the capacities of another provider in need of assistance and guidance. The aim is to foster peer-to-peer learning, allowing teams to draw lessons from best practices in sanitation and hygiene and adapt them to their specific context.

This visit underscores AfWASA's ongoing commitment to promoting regional collaboration and working towards sustainable and inclusive sanitation solutions in Africa.