Water and Sanitation Programme (WES)
São Tomé e Principe is very rich in water sources, benefiting from abundant rain fall in the south of São Tomé on the island of Principe. During colonial times, the Portuguese had built up an extensive network of reservoirs and piped water systems. Much of this infrastructure has degraded over time, thus requiring extensive repairs or new construction. With a heavy concentration of the population in two districts, sanitary conditions are poor for most, posing serious health risks such as malaria and diarrhoeal disease.
The WES Programme aims at contributing to providing safe water to 90 % of the population and safe excreta disposal to 50 % of the rural and peri-urban population by the end of the current cycle. These objectives have been proven to be far from realistic for several reasons: slow pace of rehabilitation and new construction; state of disrepair of old infrastructure and general lack of maintenance; and population growth which constantly out paces whatever progress is being made.
UNICEF has traditionally supported the technical WES team of the Ministry of Health with materials such as cement, wood and roofing materials as well as logistical support. In 1999, the team mainly constructed latrines in several communities. In 2000, the WES team integrated with Nuova Fronteira, constructing piped water systems and latrines. This new approach is working extremely well, with the team on course of meeting its annual objective as far as latrine construction is concerned.
In 2000, UNICEF continued to support Zatona/Adil, which ensures social mobilization Collaboration with Nuova Fronteira continued in gravity water systems and hygiene education in several communities. Several seminars on water hygiene are planned for this year by this NGO , benefiting community water committee members.
The Mid Term review concluded that this Programme should gradually evolve in a Community Development Programme with converging activities coordinated by other sectoral programmes.
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