Water, sanitation and hygiene are at the very heart of sustainable development, essential to the survival of people and the planet, and among the most effective ways to reduce the risk of disease transmission, ensure a better life on earth and the sustainability of global resources. Lack of sanitation creates a host of health risks.
Aware of this situation and in order to promote good practices in sanitation, Meinewelt e.V. and PLACE for Africa initiated an exchange workshop on sanitation as a common task. The exchange session was attended by about 20 participants and featured Amina TALL, an environmental activist living in Germany. The session was actively attended by representatives of civil society and institutions in charge of sanitation in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Senegal and Germany. In her introductory remarks, Amina TALL presented the progress made in African countries in terms of sanitation. She highlighted the case of Benin and insisted on the projects of the governments in place for a better allocation of water resources. In Benin, she gave the example of the Cotonou Rainwater Sanitation Programme (PAPC), an important step in the construction and development of the city. The aim of this programme is to reduce the phenomenon of flooding and its consequences in the city of Cotonou, to ensure that water is evacuated in such a way as to improve sanitary conditions, and to improve the quality of life of the inhabitants of several underprivileged neighborhoods along the river by means of related urban development. A real example to be followed by neighboring states for an effective consideration of sanitation problems in our African countries.
In addition, his remarks also focused on the difficulties faced by local communities at the grassroots level with regard to problems related to climate change. Indeed, in African countries, flooding is one of the most recurrent natural disasters and they are becoming increasingly severe in recent times, not only devastating the crops of the victims but also making them homeless and climate refugees. Amina TALL therefore stressed the importance of taking appropriate measures to ensure that local communities are better taken into account in the sanitation programmes of our countries.
His intervention led to a discussion with the participants on the initiatives of young people in the various communities for better management of waste, rainwater and environmental protection. This session was also attended by Jeannette Bosingizi, a Cameroonian who received the “Woman of Courage” award in 2012 and who is a reference in the fight against insalubrity in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In her conclusion, Amita TALL explained how community members can be involved in the sanitation of a city. At the end of the workshop, the participants learned about the solidarity community models from Cameroon, Benin, Togo, Gambia and Germany.
This initiative is part of the Migration meet Sustainable Development Project which aims to promote the contribution of migrants to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. Through this project, 17 events are organized on the 17 sustainable development goals in the form of round tables, workshops, digital campaigns, etc. The project is supported by DSEE (DEUTSCHE STIFTUNG FÜR ENGAGEMENT UND EHRENAMT) to strengthen the participation of people with a migration background in the cities of Mannheim, Lampertheim and Worms.
By Idoxine AHOUMENOU