Getting to the heart of climate resilient WASH

by Dr John Butterworth, IRC WASH Ethiopia – re-posted with permission

Climate resilient WASH is about new ways of working across the traditional humanitarian and development sectors. We went to one of the harshest spots in Ethiopia, and surely in the world, to find out more.

Photo: An existing water point in Afdera, Afar

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RWSN Update – September 2016

 

If you are having trouble reading this then download the more readable PDF version: ENGLISH / FRANÇAIS.

Pour les francophones – Si vous souhaitez recevoir le bulletin trimestriel en français, veuillez nous écrire un e-mail à ruralwater @ skat.ch intitulé Bulletin Trimestriel en français.

English

The late Ton Schouten: 1955 – 2016

The sudden loss of Ton Schouten in May 2016 came as a shock to many of us, and sitting here looking at his photo I find myself still not quite believing that he has left; thinking that he might just call, send a message, or that we may bump into each other in the corridor of a sector meeting.

We miss you Ton. I think that you would have gazed with eyes wide, stood with ears pricked at the farewell given to you by your family, friends and colleagues in Delft on the 30 May. We learned so much about other parts of your life; your rich and full life. A life of listening, of caring, of giving, of philosophising and of humour. You touched the hearts and minds of people in so many places, and from multiple walks of life. Thank you Ton. Thank you.

Patrick Moriaty (CEO, IRC) helped us to know more about Ton in his tribute, so allow me to borrow from him: Ton worked with IRC for more than 17 years, and was equally a leading figure in the WASH sector, a steadfast champion of the cause of sustainability and above all of an approach to development that was based on respect and support to national actors and institutions. During his time at IRC, Ton led Triple-S (Sustainable Services at Scale), RiPPLE and SMARTerWASH and supported IRC’s Ghana country team. Ton brought his original passion for film making to IRC, producing the Seventh Video in 2000, a compilation of lessons on community water management from Nepal, Pakistan, Cameroon, Kenya, Colombia and Guatemala. Ton later used clips for another video “What if?”, which illustrated the concepts behind the Triple-S initiative. Other significant works that Ton co-authored include “Doing things differently: stories about local water governance in Egypt, Jordan and Palestine” (2008) and “Community water, community management: from system to service in rural areas” (2003). In recent years Ton became a champion of sector monitoring as a critical building block for national ownership and sustainability. It was with great pride that he organised IRC’s 2013 international symposium on “Monitoring sustainable WASH service delivery” in Addis Ababa. The outputs of the symposium formed the basis for a state-of-the-art book on WASH monitoring, for which he was co-editor: “From infrastructure to services: trends in monitoring sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene services”.

Many RWSN members sent their condolences and wishes, which we passed onto IRC and Ton’s family. Thanks to all of you. There is an online condolence register on www.memori.nl/ton-schouten.

Ton’s departure as our chair has certainly been felt. However he has left his mark, fired us up with ideas, and so as we nominate a new chair in the coming months and move forwards, we will keep on carrying the bright torch that Ton handed us – particilarly of listening to RWSN members – and enabling you, the membership to engage more with one another and keep on improving water supply services in rural areas.

 

Dr Kerstin Danert, Director RWSN Secretariat

 

HEADLINES

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RWSN Update – April 2016

The RWSN quarterly newsletter – April 2016

If you are having trouble reading this then download the more readable PDF version: ENGLISH / FRANÇAIS. Pour les francophones – Si vous souhaitez recevoir le bulletin trimestriel en français, veuillez nous écrire un e-mail à ruralwater @ skat.ch intitulé Bulletin Trimestriel en français.

WORD FROM THE CHAIR

Dear RWSN members and friends, dear colleagues,

Knowledge sharing and learning is critical to establishing and delivering water services that last. Advances in communications technology have made this easier than ever at a global scale. I hope that you have taken advantages of RWSN’s online discussions, webinars and publications – and we know from the feedback that you have given us, that you do value these exchanges.

However, even with such powerful online tools, nothing beats meeting people face-to-face. It is an opportunity to strengthen links with past and current collaborators, and hopefully find new partners for the work ahead. That is why the RWSN Forum is such an exciting opportunity for sharing.

The agenda is set by you, the members, and the contributions that you have submitted.  Complemented by regional pre-events in Peru and Thailand, the 7th RWSN Forum in November will be a truly global event – and it brings together people with a common purpose, which is expressed clearly in the RWSN Vision:

“of a world in which all rural people have access to a sustainable and reliable water supply which can be effectively managed to provide sufficient, affordable and safe water within a reasonable distance of the home.”

At the last Forum, way back in 2011, delegates agreed on the 10 Kampala Commitments.  The 7th Forum, this year, gives us an opportunity to reflect on these, the progress we have made, what needs to be done, and what we have learned. Do we still hold to the same principles, or has thinking and experience taken us in a new direction?

Be part of this conversation and I look forward to welcoming you to Abidjan on 29 November.

 

Ton Schouten, Chair

Continue reading “RWSN Update – April 2016”

Peering over the fence – how water security can bring business and rural communities together

RWSN/REACH blog post by Sean Furey, Skat Foundation (02.03.2016, Zurich, Switzerland)

 In 2015, the World Economic Forum ranked water as the global risk with the greatest potential to impact economies over the next 10 years. So what are companies doing to assess and manage these risks – and could their efforts benefit or worsen the livelihoods for rural people?

The first part of this question was addressed at a GreenBuzz lunchtime presentation on 2 March, by Tilmann Silber and Naomi Rosenthal from South Pole Group and Dr Julian Kölbel from ETH Zürich, entitled Water Management Beyond the Fence: Holy Grail or Wishful Thinking?”

Flower farms near Entebbe 4

(photo [S.Furey, 2012]: flower farms near Entebbe, Uganda –
how do companies manage water risks that effect them,
and impacts they have on others nearby?)

Continue reading “Peering over the fence – how water security can bring business and rural communities together”

Funding opportunity – Water Security

Happy New Year!

Let’s start 2016 with a bang:  a call for expressions of interest (EOIs) for ‘Catalyst Grants’ which are commissioned under the REACH programme.

Dr Katrina Charles explains the REACH Catalyst Grant process
Dr Katrina Charles explains the REACH Catalyst Grant process (click picture to see YouTube video)

These Catalyst Grants of between £10,000 and £50,000 each are designed to explore novel approaches to water security and poverty research and policy that complement the core research conducted by the REACH programme. These grants will promote the co-production of effective tools and technologies relevant for and adopted by policy makers, practitioners, civil society organisations and enterprise.

There are three themes for this call:

  1. Water security for vulnerable people
  2. Water security risk science
  3. Water security partnerships.

Continue reading “Funding opportunity – Water Security”