New Freshwater Conservation and Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Integration Guidelines by Africa Biodiversity Collaborative Group (ABCG)

6a00d8341bf80a53ef01a3fae466ff970bAfrica Biodiversity Collaborative Group (ABCG) published Freshwater Conservation and Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Integration Guidelines : A Framework for Implementation in Sub-Saharan Africa in December 2013 to guide the integration of Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and  Freshwater Conservation programs. The integration guidelines document highlights the benefits, the approaches, the principles and the rationale for the integration of the WASH and freshwater conservation sector in the context of Sub-Saharan Africa. According to the report, “water, poverty and environment are deeply connected” ; therefore, the integration of WASH projects and fresh water conservation leads to greater human well-being outcomes and improved conservation. The Theory of Change (ToC)  was utilized to show  “how the integration of WASH and freshwater conservation approach can promote human health, education, and economic growth, protect the environment and contribute to the sustainable development” ( ABCG, 2013). Statistical figures and data pertaining to WASH-related diseases and related economic loss due to wasted time, resource, energy and productivity were also included in the document.

Some important statistical figures to know from the ABCG guidelines on WASH and Water Conservation:

  • WASH-related diseases constitute 9.1% of the total disease burden in terms of disability-adjusted life years or DALYs (Pruss et al. 2002).

  • An estimated 800 million people around the world treat their water by boiling it on indoor stoves, leading to respiratory illnesses and fuel consumption (ABCG, 2013).

  • The World Health Organization estimates economic benefits of achieving the drinking water and sanitation target of the Millennium Development Goals amount to a total savings of 20 billion working days a year (ABCG, 2013).

  • According to the 2006 Human Development Report, women spend 40 billion hours a year in water collection in sub-Saharan Africa alone (Carr and Hart2010).

  • Approximately 443 million school days are lost annually because pupils and teachers are not able to attend due to WASH-related diseases (Walter 2013).

  • Each year approximately 800,000 children under five die from malnutrition induced by unsafe water, inadequate sanitation and insufficient hygiene (Prüss-Üstün 2008).

ABCG Guidelines also provide core principles for the freshwater conservation and the WASH project implementation and translating the core principles into action. A thorough explanation of the integration processes and guidelines were also given in the translating core principles in to action chapters. Guidelines for setting common vision, gathering information, identifying stakeholders and designing projects, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation were elaborated that could help foster the synergy between the WASH and the water conservation programs.

To download the full document ABCG, click here: