The AMCOW AfricaSan Awards are Africa’s foremost accolades to celebrate the outstanding efforts of individuals and institutions in improving access to adequate and equitable sanitation and hygiene for all in the continent. They aim to raise the profile of sanitation and hygiene in development agendas; promote excellence in leadership and innovation; and put the spotlight on bold initiatives and innovations that inspire action. The fifth edition of the AMCOW AfricaSan Awards recognized outstanding efforts and achievements in sanitation and hygiene in Africa in three categories: Innovation, Inclusiveness and Impact. The winners each received a unique engraved crystal glass trophy and a certificate of recognition, and were sponsored to participate in the AfricaSan5 Conference and awards ceremony.


Inclusion Award Winner:  Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP)

The Inclusion Award recognizes initiatives that develop and implement scalable programmes that target vulnerable and under-served communities to provide access to sanitation and hygienic services. The Water & Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) won the award for a programme that enabled the Maputo Municipal Council (CMM) to provide high-quality shared sanitation in the densely populated areas or ‘bairros’ of Maputo, where there is neither space nor money for a toilet for each household.

WSUP’s innovative model was recognized as an effective solution showing that well-designed shared latrines can improve quality of life for the poorest urban residents. It has also enabled CMM to strengthen its commitment to citywide sanitation, as well as providing an approach that can be replicated in other cities.


Impact Award Winner: Water.Org -  WaterCredit

The Impact Award recognises institutions achieving large-scale improvements in sanitation and hygiene by directly impacting on people in resource-poor communities. Water.Org was honored for impact achieved through its WaterCredit Initiative, a market-driven approach that is empowering communities in Ethiopia and Uganda to access affordable loans that enable them to install household water improvements and toilets.

WaterCredit brings small, easily repayable loans to those who need access to affordable financing and expert resources to make household water and toilet solutions a reality. They partner with local financial institutions by providing technical assistance, connections and small grants, so that the financial institutions can provide small, affordable loans to people in need of water and sanitation at home. This initiative has facilitated over 153,000 Ugandans in rural and peri-urban areas to gain access to safe water and improved sanitation. 


Innovation Award Winner:  DEVTRAIN Community and Entrepreneurship Development Initiative

DEVTRAIN Community and Entrepreneurship Development Initiative (DEVTRAIN CEDI), a youth-based NGO from Nigeria, was honored for its innovative programme which addresses menstrual hygiene through school clubs. DevTrain CEDI’s Girl Advancement Programme (GAP) seeks to address challenges facing the adolescent girl child through learning and knowledge transfer, and awareness on menstrual hygiene management, safe water and hygiene promotion.

Girls Advancement Programme Clubs in schools in Benue State facilitate training sessions on menstrual hygiene management with adolescent girls. Through the GAP Clubs, DevTrain CEDI involves girls in environmental protection and climate action activities including recycling, up-cycling and exchange for environmentally friendly items.

Lifetime Achievement Winner:  Piers Cross


Piers Cross (1951-2017) was honoured posthumously for his role as an activist, teacher, mentor, and visionary whose influence shaped the AfricaSan movement. Since his early involvement during the International Water Decade in the 80s, Piers relentlessly advocated for water and sanitation to the poor. For many years through the 1990s and 2000s, Piers played leading roles in the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program, where he served in various senior capacities. Throughout a long career in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector, Piers advised governments and development agencies and supported civil society networks. Piers worked zealously to nurture partnerships with diverse organizations including regional ministerial-level organizations such as AMCOW, NGOs, CBOs, training and capacity building centres, and the private sector.

Piers was instrumental in kick-starting the AfricaSan African Sanitation Movement and inspiring its replication across other regions including SACoSan in South Asia, EASan in East Asia and Pacific, and LatinoSan in Latin America. Throughout his career and even after retiring from the World Bank, Piers strived to raise the profile of sanitation through policy dialogue, supporting testing of new ideas, developing and disseminating knowledge, and mobilizing resources.