USAID Supports a Sanitation Revolution in Africa

Uganda is one of many African countries committed to improving sanitation services and access with USAID support. Photo credit: Julia Eigner/WALIS

Sustainable access to sanitation and hygiene has consistently lagged behind access to water in both the Millennium Development Goals (2000–2015) and the Sustainable Development Goals (2015–2030). According to the United Nations, six out of every 10 people do not currently have access to a hygienic toilet. But USAID is working to change those worrying statistics. With USAID’s support, more than 10 million people have gained access to sanitation services in the first two years of the U.S. Global Water Strategy implementation. 

As part of its focus on helping countries move forward in their journeys to self-reliance, USAID works with partners to strengthen local capacity to provide reliable access to sanitation and hygiene to their citizens. With the assistance of the USAID Water for Africa through Leadership and Institutional Support (WALIS) program, the African Ministers’ Council on Water (AMCOW), a Pan-African organization, developed an African-led monitoring and evaluation framework to track countries’ achievements of the Ngor Commitments. These commitments, the continent’s pledge to support the Sustainable Development Goals on water and sanitation for all, have strong support from water and sanitation ministers across Africa.  

In 2018, WALIS worked with AMCOW to strengthen its internal capacity to develop and revise the Ngor Commitment benchmarks, work with AMCOW member states on data collection, and complete a baseline assessment, released in 2019. The data collection process has been crucial for African governments, AMCOW, and other partners to understand where information is missing, how each country is doing on achieving these commitments, and their progress toward sustainable water and sanitation for all. AMCOW is now tracking and holding African countries accountable to their sanitation commitments. And USAID can be assured that the next round of data monitoring—currently ongoing—can be done successfully without donor support.  

The full story of WALIS’s support to AMCOW on the Ngor Commitment monitoring and its relation to the journey to self-reliance can be found in our Technical Brief, Laying the Foundation for Sanitation Revolution in Africa. Visit the WALIS website for more information.

By Alayne Potter, WALIS Deputy Chief of Party