By David Trouba, Programme Manager – Advocacy and Communications, WSSCC
In the WSSCC context, Madagascar knows how to do things well, and to do them big:
Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the recent national WSSCC Strategy Consultation, held 13 July in Antananarivo, was the best-attended to date, with some 80 professionals representing a wide range of the country’s WASH professional society.
A full day of presentations from the Government, WSSCC’s National Coordinator, and the GSF Programme Director in Madagascar, together with small group discussions, yielded a result similar to that of the other 16 national consultations taking place: general endorsement of six propositions vital to WSSCC’s work from 2017 and beyond.
Again, these propositions – agreed upon by WSSCC’s 16 National Coordinators in early June, and resulting in great part from 8 months of research, surveying and other data gathering by WSSCC – are:
For the period 2017-2020, and on the basis of existing financial and human resources:
Similar to other National Consultations, however, there were suggest “tweaks” and additions by the gathered participants designed to make the propositions most appropriate to the local context and supportive of the Government’s own ambitions and priorities in water supply, sanitation and hygiene in the new Sustainable Development Goals era.
For Madagascar, these included: continue work on achieving open defecation free status in rural areas, with handwashing and hygiene programming in focus, but support where possible the Government’s efforts on water supply, solid waste management, and integrated water resources management; serve as a strong financial resource support partner (directly and in helping to identify new financial flows); accelerate work on Menstrual Hygiene Management; align efforts with other development partners including UNICEF, WaterAid, PSI, the World Bank, and others; and support sector coordination (while not usurping the Government’s coordination mandate) as well as efforts to improve monitoring and evaluation, knowledge management, sustainability and cross-sector collaboration (i.e. nutrition, health).
These thoughts were also conveyed by Madam Joséphine Angèle Ravelojaona Rasoanandrasana, Secretary General in the Ministry of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene. The SG opened the workshop with a declaration in which she confirmed the ministry’s commitment to assume the leadership of the WASH sector and the will to set a new national action plan for WASH, the “Wash Sectorial Programme” and after lunch, her Minister, the Honourable Roland Ravatomanga, called for an acceleration in engagement.
“We must speed up the pace and work together to achieve our goals, which are the same as the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Minister Ravatomanga. “Coordination of all players in the sector, and other sectors, should mean coordination around the necessary actions to be taken for water supply, sanitation and hygiene.”
The Minister also called for a series of regional consultations to complete the “Wash Sectorial Programme” by the end of 2016. He also emphasized the importance of other ministries in the work. In addition to the WASH Ministry, others at the meeting included the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Decentralisation, and Ministry of Education.
WSSCC’s long-serving National Coordinator, Jean Herivelo Rakotondrainibe, praised the Minister by saying “God has given us a great leader in Minister Ravatomanga; and while the inputs in the sector by different stakeholders have been good, with real accomplishments, we can all do more.” As a token of appreciation for the his work, the Minister was presented a WASH Champion plaque, and Dave Trouba, Manager for Advocacy and Communication at WSSCC and a member of the Senior Management Team, declared the Minister to be an Honourable Member of WSSCC.
The workshop also included a mapping session of stakeholder interventions throughout Madagascar. The event was closed by Joséa Ratsirarson, formerly Country Director of Medical Care Development International(MCDI), the Executing Agency of FAA but now serving as Secretary General in the Ministry of Health.
“We all have high ambitions in the National Development Plan, and in working together across sectors to achieve WASH goals,” Ratsirarson said. “The Ministry of Health is committed to the effort.”
The meeting was expertly emceed by longtime WSSCC member and WaterAid Country Director Lovy Rasolofomanana. Rija Lalanirina Fanomeza, the Programme Director for FAA, gave an update on the progress of the programme as well as steered several working group discussions. Together with Michèle Rasamison Andriambahiny, chair of the Programme Coordinating Mechanism, as well as representatives from several sub-grantees, including NGO Miarintsoa, and also representatives from the Natural Leaders/Community Consultants, the FAA was strongly represented during the day.
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