Sunday, 15 June 2008

ASKNet − The African Sanitation Knowledge Network

This should be a really good idea as the goal of ASKNet is “To enhance the ability of academics and professionals across the disciplines to contribute to the mainstreaming and up-scaling of sustainable sanitation in Sub-Saharan Africa, to the benefit of livelihoods, health, and the environment.” Although ASKNet was launched at AfricaSan2008 in February (see blog of 21 February), the ASKNet website is virtually empty. I don’t know why this is – but you might get an inkling of the reason(s) if you read the rather complex ASKNet by-laws (and you’ll see you have to pay to join). Then, if you read the small print, you’ll notice that the website is maintained by EcoSanRes and the by-laws emanate from WASTE – both EcoSan-oriented organizations. A cynic might wonder if ASKNet is just meant to be another way of promoting EcoSan in Africa ...

Well, I reckon a better way of getting knowledge on low-cost sanitation alternatives to ‘academics and professionals’ is through free websites like mine! Of course, there’s the ‘digital divide’ to consider and I admit I haven’t solved this yet. Maybe via the eGranary Digital Library (School of Library and Information Science at the University of Iowa). I’ll have to look into this.