The second phase of UN-HABITAT’s Values-based Water and Sanitation Education programme is now underway in Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia following a Water for African Cities training workshop in the Zambian Copper Belt city of Ndola.
Zambian Minister of Education, Mr. Andrew Mulenga, officially opened the workshop with Ndola Mayor Hamson Chisenga and senior Zambian education officials, and experts from the other four countries who will start the programme in their countries.
Over the past three years, UN-HABITAT has been implementing the Values-based Water and Sanitation Education programme in six demonstration countries – Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Senegal and Zambia – as part of its Water for African Cities Programme. With support from the Swedish International Development Agency, the water education programme has proven a truly innovative and successful education initiative in Africa.
Phase I of started in January 2001 with the introduction of water and sanitation education in schools as part of the regular curriculum, training for educators, and community water and sanitation education. It was completed in June 2004.
Phase II, which started with the training of trainers workshops for West and Central Africa in Dakar (12-14 May 2004) and East and Southern African countries in Ndola (28-30 July) involves consolidating the education programme in Phase I cities by, for example, promoting investments in water and sanitation facilities in schools and extending the programme to more cities.
The trainees at the Ndola workshop included curriculum development specialists drawn from curriculum development centres and teacher training colleges; subject specialists from pre-school, primary and secondary school levels; non-formal education specialists; representatives of water utilities; and the private sector. During the workshop, participants developed implementation plans for Phase II of the Programme.
The water and sanitation education initiative is part of UN-HABITAT’s support to African countries in the development of a new ethic for water governance and conservation in cities. By complementing the technical and regulatory measures put in place to address this avoidable wastage, Values-based Water and Sanitation Education plays a strategic role in bringing about positive attitude changes, and in the longer term, helps develop a new water-use ethic in society.