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Boosting discussion around sanitation access in west Africa

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OPM’s Jenny Congrave and John Pinfold to attend UNICEF sanitation conference in Abuja, Nigeria

In 2015, more than two billion people around the world lacked even a basic sanitation service, while a further 892 million people still practiced open defecation. Lack of access to safely managed drinking water and sanitation services greatly diminishes people’s health and economic outcomes, especially those living in low- and middle-income countries.

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 spotlights this problem and aims to ensure equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene for all, and eradicating open defecation by 2030. Crucial in supporting these efforts is expanding the global knowledge base of the sanitation sector in various regions around the world.

OPM consultants Jenny Congrave and John Pinfold are participating in the UNICEF’s West Africa Industry Consultation, held in Abuja, Nigeria, 13-15 November. Jenny and John will be presenting findings from their three case studies in Ghana, Ivory Coast, and Nigeria, hoping to boost discussion around sanitation markets in west Africa and identify opportunities to accelerate progress towards the sanitation SDG.

UNICEF is a key player in the global effort towards achieving this goal. Under its global water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) strategy, UNICEF has committed to build sustainable markets for WASH goods and services. This includes commissioning regional WASH market assessments, and hosting consultation events with private sector and government stakeholders. These events aim to present findings of the market assessments to attendees and to seek their feedback, verification, or alternative views.

Engaging with all relevant stakeholders, the events are intended to lead to the formulation of an action plan for improving access to sanitation via a market-led approach.