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SACOSAN Special! Voices of people in vulnerable situations in South Asia






The 7th South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN VII) kicks off on 10 April 2018 in Islamabad, Pakistan. SACOSAN Is a powerful agent for sanitation and hygiene progress in South Asia and in recent years has highlighted, in particular, the voices, and needs, of people in vulnerable situations.

This year, the Freshwater Action Network South Asia (FANSA), WaterAid and WSSCC supported national level consultation meetings in seven South Asian countries in advance of SACOSAN. The multi-stakeholder consultations focused on one priority vulnerable group in each country and also included government authorities who will be expected to to commit to work on ensuring access to sanitation at least for the constituency covered under the national consultation.

With the support of the partners, selected representatives from each of the constituencies will participate in sessions and discussions with Ministers at SACOSAN. One plenary session, in particular, will focus on Listening to Community Voices. That event will highlight voices from the most marginalized communities on their current status and aspirations of access to sanitation services.

To get a flavour of the consultations and these aspirations, FANSA, WaterAid and WSSCC are pleased to present these short blogs from experts in the region.

We welcome your thoughts and opinions on these blogs and the broader issue of equality and non-discrimination in sanitation and hygiene. Feel free to share them with us via email at [email protected].


National Workshop on Strategies to engage with Governments in achieving SDG6

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National workshop was organized by FANSA India in collaboration with Water Aid, Watershed Coalition and National Institute of urban Affairs on “Strategies to engage with Governments in achieving SDG6"on 3rd April, 2018 at Vishwa Yuvak Kendra, New Delhi.  This event successfully achieved its aim of building a shared understanding among the stakeholders on the status of SDG 6, challenges in implementations and to plan for collective actions on carrying the SDG 6 agenda forward. 
Nicolas Osbert, Chief of WASH, UNICEF India, Professor PK Anand of Research Information System for Developing Countries, Dr Yogesh Kumar, Executive Director, Samarthan, Farrukh Khan and Hemalatha Patil, Regional Managers, WaterAid, Dr JB Rajan from Kerala Institute of Local Administration and Dr S Chary of Administrative Staff College India shared their insights on SDG 6 implementation challenges at national, state, district and local levels.  Findings of the study on national accountability mechanisms conducted by FANSA were shared as well as Wada Na Todo Abhiyan's initiatives to review SDGs annually by the CSOs and produce a shadow Voluntary National Report. Mr Meenakshisundram stressed that ultimately it is the action at local body levels that will lead to achieving the SDG 6 targets and therefore it is important to focus on capacity building of urban local bodies and gram panchayats.  
The participants included over 70 representatives of civil society, academic and research organizations, think tanks. A lively discussion and group work brought out the need to have equal focus on water quality, integrated water resource management and not just 6.1 and 6.2, integration of SDG 6 with ULBs' and GPs' action plans, to institutionalize public consultations and community monitoring to enhance accountability, to build capacities of CSOs on monitoring, data analysis and data utilization to enable them to support the local governing bodies in their action plan development, and to conduct larger independent qualitative study focusing on the WASH needs of marginalized groups to promote equity and inclusion. The group prioritized finalization of indicator framework, popularization of SDG 6 and capacity building of CSOs and it was agreed that collective action will be taken by the group in coordination with the existing CSO platforms including Wada Na Todo Abhiyan. A small group of volunteers was formed as task team for further planning, coordinating and strengthening the CSOs engagement with SDG 6 process.

Workshop on "Accelerating Universal and Equitable Access to Safe Drinking Water"

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FANSA UP Chapter has organized a state level workshop on “Accelerating universal and equitable access to safe drinking water” on 7th December 2017 in Lucknow at Krishi Prashikshan Sansthan. The workshop was attended by more than 65 participants representing  WSSO, SWSM ,UNICEF, Action aid, Water Aid India, Oxfam ,Save the children, Plan, SCORE Network, CEE NGOs, Media, Academic institutions (Ambedakar University and LKO university), FANSA , NHM, Sate rural development Institutes (SIRD), State disaster management authority, etc. 
The workshop was inaugurated by Sri Jata Shankar Tripathi (MLA - Khadda, Kushinagar) and in his inaugural address he mentioned the need for prioritizing drinking water among all other sectors. He emphasized on the need to have guidelines and policies on addressing the issues of Arsenic and Fluoride as more and more villages are getting affected with the water quality. Further he recommended that the agriculture sector and famers need to adopt water conserving technologies and methods for saving water for future generations. The Chief Engineer, UP Jal Nigam mentioned that this workshop is being organized at an appropriate time and requested to share the workshop replaceings with the concerned sector stakeholders and thanked FANSA for providing an opportunity for WSSo to be technical support organization for conducting of the workshop. 
The presentations were made by different departments and the crucial issues of water quality were discussed at length. The group discussion towards the end of the workshop was focused on identifying the strategies and follow up actions for ensuring the universal and equitable access with specific reference to the water quality. The detailed workshop report will be shared on the website soon.

FANSA participation in European Public Health Conference held at Stockholm from 1-4th November 2017.

FANSA participation in European Public Health Conference held at Stockholm from 1-4th November 2017. 
Mr. KJ Joy represented the FANSA in the conference which focused on addressing important issues in  "Application of a human rights based approach to health policy planning and practice: will it improve access and quality of care?" with the main conference  titled  as“Sustaining resilient and healthy communities". 
Experience of the workshop in the words on Mr. KJ Joy , " Overall it was a well organised and participated conference. It did provide me with many new insights into public health especially about the broader rights based approach to public health and the emerging dimensions/areas (second generation issues) of social determinants of health. I am thankful to Fresh Water Action Network South Asia (FANSA) for nominating me to the conference on its behalf and SIDA for making it possible to participate in it"

Workshop: Accelerating Universal and Equitable Access to Safe Drinking Water

Date: 13th November 2017            Venue: Suyansh Hotel, Bhubaneswar
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FANSA Odhisha chapter   conducted a state level workshop on universal and equitable access to drinking water safety and security. The event was attend by diversified participants from Governments, CSOs and NGOs, Research Organizations, Academia and Private business entrepreneurs. The workshop was inaugurated Prof. D.P. Ray,  Ex. Vice Chancellor OUAT, Bhubaneswar and he  mentioned the need for an intersectoral approach to ensure the water security and safety.  The presentations from Pollution Control Board, Central Ground Water Board, State Ground Water Department, Public Health Engineering and Waterlex have been very informative covering the policies, practices and challenges in ensuring the household, institutional and community level water safety and security. The group work focusing on the possible solutions to address the identified challenges needs a mention. The detailed workshop report will be posted on the website soon. 

3rd National Summit - Sustainable Water & Sanitation

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Drinking water supply and sanitation in India continue to be inadequate, despite longstanding efforts by the various levels of government and communities at improving coverage. Out of the 1.3 Billion population In India, 77 million people lack access to safe water while 769 million people lack access to improved sanitation. 157 million Indians or 41 percent of Indians living in urban areas, live without adequate sanitation. India comes on top for having the greatest number of urbanites living without sanitation.

Learning from the governance and transparency programme in South Asia

Read a series of case studies from a five-year governance and transparency programme undertaken by FAN Global and WaterAid to improve the accountability and responsiveness of duty bearers to ensure equitable and sustainable WASH services for the poorest and most marginalised.

World Toilet Day 2013 in South Asia

On 19th November 2013, the independent sovereign India is the Global Capital of open defecation with more than half of its 1200+ million people defecating in the open every day. The political independence has not brought any significant change to this reality.

Briefing: 5th South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN V)

Find out about FANSA's engagement in the fifth South Asian Conference on Sanitation, hosted by Nepal from 22-24 October 2013 in Kathmandu, with the theme 'Sanitation for All: All for Sanitation'.

Sanitation campaign kicked off

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A coalition of civil society organizations, media and parliamentarians from across South Asia have started their discussion on tackling sanitation crisis in South Asia in Kathmandu in connection of the launch of regional campaign on sanitation on 19th March. 


Civil Organization deliberated whole day on citizens’ charter to right to sanitation, a vision for prosper South Asia and dignified citizens. The charter is an aspiration of citizens of South Asia for dignified lives and freedom from diarrhoea, malnutrition and discrimination. 

Regional Campaign on Sanitation                                   


Keep Your Promises on Sanitation is a regional customised version of the international keeps your promises campaign.   The campaign is calling on decision makers to stick to the pledges they have made on sanitation. Decision makers have made promises locally, nationally, regionally and globally to get sanitation to the poorest communities in South Asia, where over a one billion people don’t use improved sanitation and 700 million practice open defecation - however, words are not enough and actions are required to end this human development and public health crisis. 


Announcing FANSA's new Coordinator Siddhartha Das

Siddhartha Das joins FANSA as the new regional Coordinator. A management graduate with specialisation in Forestry and Natural Resources, he has been working with UNICEF as the HIV/AIDS Officer in its India Country Office in Delhi for the 2 years. 

FAN South Asia launches new four-year strategy

FANSA has released its new four-year strategy at the first annual general meeting of the new independent FAN Global focusing on the human right to water and sanitation, sector governance, equity and inclusion, climate change. 

Rajamouli determined to work for rights

At the 6th World Water Forum in Marseille, Kusum Rajamouli, a local Panchyat leader from Gangadevpalli village in a southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, India, was not happy to see the government's shyness over their commitment on the right to water and sanitation.

World Water Forum 6 in Marseille, France

The Sixth World Water Forum in Marseille, France kicked off on Monday 12 March. Over 20 thousand people from 144 countries discussed for a week water issues and make decisions for the future of this vital liquid. The event involved representatives, legislators, ministers, business, and civil society representatives, among others. 

Contact details

H.No.2-19-96/11, Second Floor, Plot No. 2, East Kalyanpuri, Uppal
HYDERABAD-500 039, Telangana, India

Ramisetty Murali

Freshwater Action Network South Asia (FANSA)
e-mail: [email protected] 
Tel: +91 40 6454 3830; Mobile:  +919849649051

Also click here for the contact details of South Asian country chapters

FANSA participation in European Public Health Conference held at Stockholm from 1-4th November 2017.

FANSA participation in European Public Health Conference held at Stockholm from 1-4th November 2017. 
Mr. KJ Joy represented the FANSA in the conference which focused on addressing important issues in  "Application of a human rights based approac