At least ten African countries have expressed their desire to adopt Indigenous Sulabh techniques to improve their sanitation system. Representatives of African countries have spent ten days in India to get first hand experiences about the low cost Indian toilet system.
UN-HABITAT has organized the International Capacity Building Workshop on "Sanitation Technologies" with the collaboration of Sulabh International Academy of Environmental Sanitation between November 13 and 25 to provide a platform to the African Countries to get in-depth knowledge about the low cost toilet system which was designed by Sulabh International. The Founder of Sulabh movement Dr Bindeshwar Pathak has assured the visiting delegates to provide all possible help to improve sanitation condition in these African countries
As a part of the implementation of the Habitat Agenda through collaboration with all Partners including NGOs in achieving the Millennium Goals for Sustainable Development in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, this Capacity Building Programme was organized . The participants have expressed great satisfaction over the techniques and expressed their desire to implement in their countries in near future.
Twenty four professionals including representatives from UN-HABITAT, covering 10 African countries of Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivorie, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania and Zambia have participated in the programme. They were mainly decision makers and utility service providers for urban, semi-urban areas of the countries represented who can initiate follow-up actions to attain the programme objectives. The Workshop was inaugurated by Shri Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, Hon'ble Union Minister of Rural Development, Government of India. Large number of diplomats from African countries have also attended inaugural and concluding sessions of the International workshop.
The capacity-building process was carried out in three phases wherein the professionals were trained by Sulabh on sanitation technologies, followed by the implementation of the sanitation projects by the participants in their own countries under Sulabh's technical and administrative supervision and the review of the projects in Africa by early 2008. This was so arranged to evaluate the functioning of the sanitation technologies in different African countries. Sulabh has been working closely with UN-HABITAT for over 35 years and has made contributions to bridge the sanitation gap in India.
This programme was an initiative of UN-HABITAT to promote closer cooperation among developing countries by exchanging ideas and appropriate technologies and thereby strengthening the South-South cooperation as the countries of this region face many common problems including sanitation. These workshops are a step further to meet the Johannesburg Declaration Goal of sanitation-for-all by 2015 and for this purpose the role of NGOs, individuals and private organizations are 'an essential' to scale-up the strategies and expand sanitation coverage.