A first in a series of WASH knowledge sharing and mutual learning events
From 28 to 29 May 2019, SNV, which manages the Non State Actors Fund (NSA) of the Embassy of the Netherlands’ OmiDelta Programme, organised an exchange workshop for the seven Implementing Organisations (IOs) of the Water Supply, Hygiene and Sanitation (WASH) programme component. The workshop provided a platform for mutual learning between the NSA Fund actors.
During the workshop, staff from AERAMR, Oxfam, SIA N'SON, Helvetas, Protos, ANAP, and AProDESE shared the WASH progress they have made so far. Each also highlighted key lessons and good practice. This platform of exchange was also attended by key actors from the General Directorate of Water (DGEau), the National Agency for the Drinking Water Supply in Rural Areas (ANAEP-MR), the National Association of Municipalities of Benin (ANCB), OmiDelta Technical Assistance, and GIZ.
Progress and results by sub-component
Drinking Water Supply (Helvetas, ANAP, Protos, AProDESE)
Following the completion of each organisation’s baseline study, construction and rehabilitation of various water supply infrastructure commenced. AProDESE rehabilitated water kiosks within the peripheral zone of Parakou. Human motricity pumps (FPM) equipped with water meters were installed next to boreholes. The capacity of municipal actors (elected representatives, managers and agents) to manage and sustain the functionality of water supply infrastructure was strengthened through several training activities organised by ANAP. So was the capacity of citizens to monitor the quality of service delivery, with support from the Association of the Drinking Water Consumers (ACEP).
Hygiene and Sanitation (Oxfam, AERAMR, SIA N’SON, Protos, Helvetas)
For hygiene and sanitation, several initiatives were undertaken by AERAMR and SIA N’SON to maintain ODF status achievement of localities. SIA N'SON and Helvetas are also planning the establishment of sanitation markets, commonly known as ‘sanimarkets’, and have benefited from the experience of Protos whose new sanimarkets should soon see the light of day following the launch of the InnEAUVASSion project. Finally, as part of efforts to ‘close the sanitation loop’ a process of building a sewage sludge treatment plant was shared with Oxfam.
Several key challenges emerged from programme implementation. Technologies promoted and mechanisms set in place were not easy to sustain. Consultation frameworks at municipal level were not being scaled up. Municipal actors’ lack of involvement resulted in limited ownership and understanding of their roles and responsibilities.
Several recommendations were made to overcome programme implementation challenges. These include:
Improving project performance by deepening and strengthening overall monitoring practice and evaluation tools (e.g., impact of behavioural change communications); improving integration of cross-cutting themes (governance/ gender/ innovations/ youth employment); creating synergies across implementing partners; and respecting contractual deadlines.
Mobilising municipal actors’ commitment to monitor and ensure the sustainability of investments. As well, drawing in the support of National Association of Municipalities of Benin (ANCB) in addressing difficulties in municipalities.
Generating jobs for young people, specifically women. And increasing the visibility of the OmiDelta Programme.
Further, elements of good practice for adaption or scale up were identified:
Attaching meters to FPMs to monitor water supply management, royalty contributions and water consumption.
Pooling household financial resources (process called ‘latrine tontines’) to completely eradicate open defecation practice and inspire nearby villages to aim for ODF status.
Setting up mechanisms to improve transparency and collection of royalties for drinking water supply.
Overall, participants were thoroughly satisfied with the quality of the exchanges. ‘We really learned. The exchanges were very rewarding, and will definitely boost implementation of our projects or initiate new ones,’ said Emmanuel Adjeran from ANAP.
Edouard Akpinfa from Oxfam emphasised that such exchanges offer new perspectives that reveal a new side to the project. He said, ‘We are leaving with another energy for the implementation of our projects. We are refreshed and re-motivated.’
Finally, Ousmane Ibrahim, Coordinator of the NSA Fund, emphasised the need to ‘continue the search for and share success stories for even more effective and efficient implementation of projects and the NSA Fund!’