Partners join forces to improve wastewater management and sanitation in Africa

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A new project has been launched to improve wastewater management and sanitation provision in Africa.

The project, led by the African Development Bank, UN Environment and GRID-Arendal, will improve knowledge on wastewater management and sanitation provision. By assessing management of wastewater, including its impact on human health and the environment, the three-year project will focus on wastewater, sanitation services and safe drinking water.

The lack of wastewater management and sanitation facilities are challenges for many countries in Africa. As a result, some countries on the continent are witnessing the re-emergence of fatal and yet preventable water-borne diseases such as typhoid and cholera. It is expected that the project will result in a shift towards good practices while also pointing to the vast opportunities for private and public sector investment in wastewater management and sanitation provision in Africa.

The Abidjan-headquartered African Development Bank is supporting infrastructure development in Africa through its Partnership for Infrastructure Development in Africa. Some of the initiatives that the bank is supporting include the Africa Water Facility and the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative, which are having some positive impacts on human health and the ‘environment.

“When the right policies are effectively implemented, they can catalyse private and public sector participation in wastewater management and sanitation provision in Africa, with positive transformation of peoples’ lives,” said Osward Mulenga Chanda, Manager of the African Development Bank’s Water and Sanitation Department.

“Sharing proven best practices on wastewater management and sanitation provision will inform policy dialogue and engender change. The three project partners bring together complementary in-depth expertise on water resources management,” Chanda further said.

The project will provide data and knowledge on some of the indicators for tracking progress torwards achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Through a range of products that include news and policy briefs, maps, graphics, and an atlas, the project will engage experts across Africa as well as provide a platform for regular discussion and sharing of ideas.

"The need for sustainable wastewater management practices in Africa is steadily rising, and this requires supportive policies, appropriate technologies and innovative financing mechanisms,” noted Birguy Lamizana, Programme Officer, Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land Based Activities at UN Environment.

“Improving wastewater management and sanitation provision will have positive benefits on both human health and the environment across the continent”, Lamizana added. “Therefore it is gratifying to see the joining of forces by UN Environment, the African Development Bank and GRID-Arendal in working towards a better understanding of the state of wastewater and sanitation in Africa. Up-to-date information will allow us to make better decisions. The comprehensive package of knowledge products proposed under the project will definitely provide positive insights and shifts in mindsets on matters of sanitation and wastewater management."

“Established by the government of Norway to support the work of UN Environment, GRID-Arendal is excited to partner with the Africa Development Bank in activities that support some of Africa’s pressing needs, including sanitation provision and wastewater management,” said Peter Harris, Managing Director, GRID-Arendal.

For more information, contact any of the following:

Osward Mulenga Chanda

Water and Sanitation Department

African Development Bank, CCIA-Immeuble, 01 BP 1387, Abidjan 01, Cote D’Ivoire

Tel. +225 2026 3544, Cell: +225 75750094, Skype: swadeo, Email

Birguy Lamizana

Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land Based Activities (GPA)

Ecosystems Division, UN Environment

P.O. Box 30552 (00100), Nairobi, Kenya

Tel. +254-(20)-762-4163, skype: kolene, Email:

Clever Mafuta


Teaterplassen 3, N-4836 Arendal, Norway

Tel. +47 46 81 92 40, Skype clever.mafuta Email