PARTICIPATE WITH RECIRCULATE - Health and Sanitation Webinar

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Can Africa improve its health and sanitation?

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TIME - 13.30 to 15:00 GMT (UK TIME)


VENUE : Zoom Webinar -


An estimated 60% of all diarrhoea deaths globally, can be attributed to poor water and sanitation. Though the proportion of global disability-adjusted life years due to poor water and sanitation has declined, conditions in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) generally remains high. This is due to low coverage of basic water and sanitation services; most African countries have less than 50% coverage in basic sanitation services according to the Joint Monitoring Programme of the WHO and UNICEF. In 2015, about 14% of the population in SSA used shared toilet facilities compared with a global average of 8%; 31% used unimproved facilities compared with a global average of 12%; and 23% practised open defecation compared with a global average of 12%. About 60% of the population in SSA use at least basic drinking water services compared with 28% who use at least basic sanitation services. This gap in water and sanitation coverage, coupled with limited access handwashing facilities (less than 50% of the SSA population use basic handwashing facilities) tends to compromise potential gains in expansion in drinking water coverage, as water gets contaminated by poorly contained faecal matter.

Poor access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) is the main cause of faecally-associated infections such as cholera and diarrhoeal disease which remains the second leading cause of morbidity and mortality among children under five years, and the leading cause of death in SSA according to UNICEF. Other diseases including malaria and neglected tropical diseases such as schistosomiasis, guinea worm and helminths that continue to plague the poor in SSA are strongly associated with poor WASH provisioning.

Exposure to faecal contamination occurs within households through drinking water, food, and physical contact with contaminated surfaces, or at the public domain through avenues such as street food, contacts with drains and public toilets. This intricate and often inter-related sources of faecal contamination make health risks in urban settlements with poor sanitation a complex one, as blocking one pathway may not yield much benefits if other hidden pathways exist. Hence WASH interventions at the household domain does not lessen overall exposure to fecal pathogens, if contamination in the wider environment is not removed. There is therefore the need for city-wide and integrated WASH infrastructure and behaviour change interventions in order to harness the gains of improved health.

In order to tackle these sanitation and health problems, Lancaster University has won two sanitation related development projects for Africa – RECIRCIRCULATE ( and ACTUATE ( These projects are being deployed in partnership with Nigerian (University of Benin) and Ghana (CSIR and Lancaster University Ghana campus) partners as Phase 1 partners and Phase 2 partners in Kenya (ATPS), Malawi (NCST), Zambia (Copperbelt University) and Botswana (BIUST).

The objectives of the Webinar are:

1. To highlight the objectives of the UK Government funded Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) RECIRCULATE (Work Package 2 – Water for Sanitation and Health) and ACTUATE Project and the projects’ progress so far in Africa.

2. To explore the challenges and opportunities for faecal waste management in Africa.

3. Encourage sanitation and health cross-learning between different African countries especially in relation to the current projects (RECIRCULATE and ACTUATE).

4. To provide an opportunity for further engagement with current and new stakeholders in different African countries for future collaborations, investments and development work.

Brief Programme

13.30 – 13.40 - Introduction of Participants/Stakeholders – Moderated by Dr. Akan Odon

13.40 – 13.50 Introduction to RECIRCULATE and ACTUATE - Prof Kirk Semple

13.50 – 14.10 Sanitation and Health, Challenges and Opportunities – A Ghanaian Case study – Dr Francis Boateng Agyenim/Richard Bayitse and Mrs. Charlotte Adjei (Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources, Ghana)

14.10 – 14.20 Stakeholder Activity/Interaction

14.20 – 14.30 Sanitation and Health - Challenges and Opportunities – A Nigerian Case Study – Dr. Noimot Balogun, Project Lead, Nigeria

14.30 – 14.40 Gender and Health Management in Africa – Prof Caroline Thoruwa, Chair of African Women in Science and Engineering (AWSE) Kenya

14.40 – 14.50 Stakeholder Activity/Interaction

14:50 – 15.00 Importance of collaborations and partnerships in providing sanitation for all- Dr Manoj Roy

15.00 – 15.15 Q/A and Wrap Up – Led by Prof Roger Pickup

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