Interview with Samson Shivaji, CEO at the Kenya Water and Sanitation CSOs Network (KEWASNET), May 2015
KEWASNET recently shared with EWP their thoughts on the upcoming AfricaSan 4 conference, and the work they are doing to raise awareness about the need to realise the human right to water and sanitation on the continent.
Samson on behalf of KEWASNET, will be attending the upcoming AfricaSan 4 conference in Senegal from 25 to 27 May 2015, and will be representing the Kenyan water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) civil society sector perspective. Alongside other civil society organisations and government representatives, including the EWP Secretariat and other members, he will join the call for African leaders to fully realise the human right to water and sanitation and address the large gaps and inequalities evident.
The main outcomes from the conference he hopes to see is to hear Africa speak more strongly on human rights, and using the language of the human right to water and sanitation more. He feels that Africa needs a stronger voice on human rights and to become leaders in the progressive realisation of the human right. The conference comes at a critical point, especially as we go forward with the sustainable development goals (SDGs) being developed this year, and our close proximity to the final last months before they are agreed on. Samson feels that the upcoming AfricaSan will be an important opportunity to get civil society’s voice heard at this time. Governments must work harder to meeting their obligations on water and sanitation and improve people’s lives. Africa in particular has a very poor track record in ensuring sufficient access to sanitation, and this needs to change to address the major inequalities. His key message is a strong call for the prioritisation of the human right to water and sanitation within African leadership and governments.
Samson will be presenting and participating in a number of sessions throughout the duration of the conference, particularly as a presenter in the EWP-led workshop on Monday 25 May. This session, entitled ‘Unpacking the human rights to water and sanitation and campaigning for their realisation across Africa’, will be a facilitated interactive workshop aiming to increase participants understanding of the content of the human right to water and sanitation and how they are being realised in Africa. This session will explore what the realisation of these rights actually means and will discuss how the new Pan African Commitment, which will be agreed at AfricaSan 4, can recognise and promote the human right to water and sanitation, through the Availability, Accessibility, Acceptability and Quality (AAAQ) framework and the SDGs.
AfricaSan 4 will also see a side meeting held by the African Civil Society Network on Water and Sanitation (ANEW), the continental regional civil society network of WASH advocates. It is Samson’s hope that the network comes out stronger from this meeting, with renewed energy to push civil society’s message further. So there is much to look forward to!
The Kenya Water and Sanitation CSOs Network (KEWASNET) is a national membership organization formed in 2007 consisting of Civil Society Organizations working in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene sector. Their vision is a society with access to safe water and sanitation, and their mission is to promote good governance in the water and sanitation sector thereby increasing access to services. They work to influence the policy environment so as to ensure Kenyans have access to affordable and safe water and sanitation services in a sustainable context. Read more on their website.