3 Questions

Eric Chimsi

The WASH Alliance International, which unites over 100 organisations in 9 countries, will continue working together after the end of the programme in 2015. The main motivation for continuing our collaboration is our shared belief that together as an alliance, we can accelerate WASH and realise sustainable WASH services for everyone. Under the new name ‘WASH Alliance International’, we will put the slogan ‘Accelerating WASH’ into practice. Let’s hear what Eric Chimsi, former Country Coordinator Ghana, has to tell us about this ambitious new slogan.


What does the WASH Alliance International mean with accelerating WASH?

“Accelerating WASH means that every activity undertaken in our WASH programme will take less time, less effort and reach many more people than was previously possible. It is a way of thinking about scale and continuously reducing cost per person.

Acceleration occurs when interventions take place in other locations using more refined arrangements and result in more complex results at lower costs, rather than just ‘copy pasting’ the original model or idea.”


Can you give an example of acceleration in a WASH programme?

“A practical example is the Tamale Urban Waste and Sanitation Project (TUSWP). It is a multi-stakeholder consortium where players deliver activities covering the full range of the waste cycle from the provision of improved solid waste management mechanisms, to the safe re-use of products obtained from organic waste material.

Every player in the TUSWP has a specific role within the project. Latrine construction artisans have received training on how to construct standard facilities (that conform to the national specifications), how to develop business plans and how to organise, register and work as cooperatives. Zoomlion, a waste management company, handles solid waste management in the urban area. DeCo is a group of private entrepreneurs who use organic waste as raw material for making compost. Urbanet is a network of urban farmer groups who use organic compost to produce organic food and vegetables, while the Tamale Metropolitan Assembly fulfils its role by providing the legal backing and operational space for all the players to operate in a supervised manner.

Over the past three years, these stakeholders have worked together in a coherent manner showing strong cooperation. They have reached a position where each of them finds an opportunity in working together with another partner in the consortium, a state we can best describe as having reached the tipping point and having attained the indicators necessary for acceleration.

In this project the key ingredients for accelerating WASH are: 1) The presence of different actors (Private, Public, Business, Civil Society) who share the same vision, work coherently and contribute in a complementary manner to achieving one goal; 2) The different actors manage investments to ensure that more is achieved at less cost without compromising on quality; 3) Operational space is available for reaching out to unreached areas and populations; 4)  The players are ready to commit more time and resources in order to reach scale.”


Why is this so important?

“Accelerating WASH is important to ensure everyone gets access to improved and sustainable WASH services, thanks to reduced costs arising from the operations of economies of scale. Also, accelerating WASH reduces resource waste by eliminating duplication, unnecessary competition and exploitation of the system through monopolies and the provision of sub-standard services.”


Watch the video of WASH Alliance International’s new Accelerating WASH approach here.

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