Praise and opportunities for WaterAid in Swaziland

Feb 10, 2012

WaterAid's Southern Africa Regional Management Team have visited Swaziland to learn more about one of our newest Country Programmes, and to assess the progress of our pilot work there. WaterAid officially started working in Swaziland in 2009, building contacts and partnerships.

Robert Kampala, Head of the Southern Africa Region, said: "The possibilities are endless. The enthusiasm of the people of Swaziland for clean water, sanitation and hygiene, and the dedication and willingness to work with us for it will always be entrenched in our minds. We are excited to be part of the endless possibilities for improving the water, sanitation and hygiene sector in Swaziland."
Influential meetings
The group met representatives from the EU Micro Finance project in the country. They emphasised the importance of capacity building in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector, which has proved to be a major challenge.
Lindlyn Moma, Regional Advocacy Manager, said: "We had positive discussions about ways of working through partners and building their capacity. The EU Micro Finance office was very appreciative of WaterAid's assistance on water point mapping, which is being supported by the EU through data collection."
The WaterAid team also met the Deputy Resident Representative, who raised the possibility of future collaboration. She noted that WaterAid's support would be beneficial in the rehabilitation of water pumps, which is crucial because there was no community ownership or training to ensure sustainability and management of water systems at the time of installation. She also acknowledged the need for linkages with the health and education sectors.
There was also a meeting with Her Royal Highness Princess Tsandzile, the Minister of Natural Resources and Energy, and the Director of the Department of Water Affairs. They discussed plans to identify potential partners and start work in the country.
Robert said: "HRH Princess Tsandzile reiterated her appreciation and support for WaterAid. She lamented that education and health have always been given priority over water, despite the wide knowledge and acceptance that water is essential for the realisation of education and health.
"However, her hope was that with WaterAid finally being established and the water point mapping under way, water, sanitation and hygiene would be given more attention and priority in the budget."
HRH Princess Tsandzile said: "The water point mapping project is my baby and after its completion I know I would have left a legacy before I retire. Now we will know which areas are most affected and which water points needs rehabilitation; thanks to WaterAid."
The team also encouraged her colleagues in the Ministry of Finance to join the Sanitation and Water for All initiative.
In a speech during the reception, Robert referred to the great collaboration and support the government of Swaziland has extended to WaterAid. He also re-affirmed our commitment to starting full operations in Swaziland soon.
The visit ended with a meeting with academia to explore opportunities for collaboration with the university around research and climate change issues.

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