Africa Honors Sanitation and Hygiene Champions

A musician and activist, whose songs about using latrines and washing hands are positively influencing the hygiene practices of communities in Mozambique; a widow who has risen through her caste status to lead a campaign against open defecation in her village in Ethiopia; and a toilet entrepreneur, whose innovative partnership with local authorities is changing the way public toilets in Kenyan towns are managed, are the top winners of this year’s African Ministers Council on Water (AMCOW) AfricaSan Awards.

The winners were announced by the AMCOW Task Force on Sanitation during Africa Water Week in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from November 22 to 26, 2010. The AMCOW AfricaSan Awards are dedicated to recognizing outstanding efforts and achievements in sanitation and hygiene in Africa which result in large-scale, sustainable behavior changes and tangible impacts. AMCOW is the driving force behind the AfricaSan movement, a regional initiative that seeks to place sanitation and hygiene at the top of the development agenda in Africa.

Musician Feliciano dos Santos won the Grassroots Champion Award for dedicating his life and his music to campaigning for better public health through clean water and adequate sanitation.

Takiso Achame, a widowed member of a marginalized community in the remote village of Shashera in Southern Ethiopia, was picked for the Distinguished Woman Leader in Sanitation for her exemplary local leadership over a communal cause.

David Kuria won the Public Service Award for implementing a partnership model that is delivering safe, clean, and affordable sanitation to the urban poor in Kenya. 

In 2008, the Africa Union Heads of State Summit mandated AMCOW to co-ordinate implementation and monitoring of the eThekwini Declaration – which seeks to assist African countries to accelerate the achievement of national and global targets on water, sanitation, and hygiene. The AMCOW AfricaSan Awards are administered by the AMCOW Task Force on Sanitation, whose membership includes: WSP, the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council , the African Development Bank , UNICEF, the UN Secretary-General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation , UN-Water Africa, WaterAid and the Africa Civil Society Network on Water and Sanitation (ANEW).

For more information on the awards and winners visit:

Contact: Toni Sittoni at