Since Akvo started talking to Water for People about taking over the development and expansion of Akvo FLOW we at Akvo have been saying that one of the goals will be to be map all the water and sanitation installations in Africa. Today, the work to get water and sanitation for every African is far from being reality. Detailed mapping done with Akvo FLOW also shows that the state of water installations in regions which have previously been considered to be on the way to full coverage is often actually far from it. An uncomfortable realisation for some, but important if we are going to actually achieve full coverage.

A very important step towards mapping all of Africa’s water and sanitation happened last Friday when Akvo and Water and Sanitation for Africa (WSA) signed an agreement to collaborate in setting up an Akvo FLOW monitoring and evaluation unit at the WSA headquarter in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. This is done with the financial support of the Conrad F. Hilton Foundation via Water for People.

Photo: Thomas Bjelkeman-Pettersson (left) and Idrissa Doucoure, CEO of Water Sanitation Africa signs collaboration agreement at the 2nd High Level Forum for Water and Sanitation in Africa, 14 December 2012, Dakar, Senegal.

This collaboration is important as it will provide local support and expertise for the Akvo FLOW monitoring system and support for rolling it out on large scale. WSA has offices in twenty two countries where they are supporting the governments and NGOs with sector expertise and coordination. A number of countries are already working with Akvo and other partners to implement national monitoring and evaluation systems, including Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, plus half a dozen others. This is in collaboration with partners such as the Worldbank’s Water and Sanitation Project (WSP), UNICEF, IRC International Centre for Water and Sanitation and the Dutch government, among others.

The collaboration agreement focuses on a few things:

  • Setting up an Akvo FLOW unit in Ouagadougou, which will be able to support WSA offices and partners
  • Cooperation around the development of Akvo FLOW, to make sure the system meets the needs of the practitioners in the field
  • Cooperation in programmes around monitoring and project transparency
  • Knowledge sharing with specific focus on the Akvo tools
  • Joint marketing and promotion of our joint capacities

We are very excited about this partnership with Water Sanitation Africa and we think it serves as a very important step towards reaching safe water and improved sanitation for everyone, forever.

Mathew Ocholi, Director of Program Support and Development of WSA describes the partnership between Akvo and WSA.
Gordon Mumbo, Regional Manager Africa, Water for People, describes the benefits of using Akvo FLOW over traditional methods.
Thomas Bjelkeman-Pettersson is a co-founder and co-director of Akvo Foundation.