La Journée mondiale de l’eau / World Water Day – stay inquisitive, keep learning

Amongst the flurry of activity related to World Water Day, we would like to highlight A guide to equitable water safety planning prepared by the WHO. This tool offers step-by-step guidance and good practice examples of how to consider equity through the WSP process to help achieve safe water for all. 

We also would like to encourage you to sign up for the new RWSN webinar series dedicated to the 2019 Theme “Leave no one behind” in rural water supply, running every Tuesday from April 16th, 2019 until June 04th, 2019, in English, French and/or Spanish. Click here to register for the webinar series in English and find more information here. Finally, keep up to date with your rural water supply knowledge through our new RWSN Talks. Be sure to subscribe to the playlist to be notified as we post new presentations from our rich archive of webinar recordings.

Finally, keep up to date with your rural water supply knowledge through our new RWSN Talks. Be sure to subscribe to the playlist to be notified as we post new presentations from our rich archive of webinar recordings.

Parmi les nombreuses activités liées à la Journée mondiale de l’eau, nous aimerions souligner le guide pour une planification équitable de la sécurité de l’eau préparé par l’OMS. Cet outil offre des conseils étape par étape et des exemples de bonnes pratiques sur la façon de tenir compte de l’équité dans le cadre du processus du planification pour la sécurité de l’eau afin d’assurer la salubrité de l’eau pour tous.

Nous aimerions également vous encourager à vous inscrire à la nouvelle série de webinaires du RWSN consacrés au thème « Ne laisser personne de côté » dans l’approvisionnement en eau en milieu rural, qui auront lieu chaque mardi du 16 avril 2019 au 04 juin 2019 en anglais, en français et/ou en espagnol. Cliquez ici pour vous inscrire aux webinaires en français et trouvez plus d’informations ici.

Enfin, restez au courant de vos connaissances en matière d’approvisionnement en eau en milieu rural grâce à nos nouveaux RWSN Talks – en français

An Empowering Drop in the Bucket – A women’s journey on International Women’s Day

Author: Sara Ahrari, Programme Manager at Simavi. 

March marks two significant internationally celebrated days for those of us working in the sector. On 8th March we celebrate International Women’s Day #IWD and on 21st March we cherish the World Water Day #WWD. So, it would be good to reflect once again on how exactly WASH is critical to the health and empowerment of women and girls throughout their life.

Let us imagine that you are a girl born to a economically challenged family in a village in the so called developing world where you and your family do not have access to safe water and sanitation.

If you are lucky enough to survive the first 5 years of your life and not die from diarrhoea or other water-borne diseases, the chances are very high that you are already walking a few hours per day to fetch water for your family and you are taking care of your younger siblings.

Then when the time comes for you to go to school, if your family does not have to prioritise your brothers’ education to yours, and if there is a school to attend, you may actually enrol at one. The chances are still very high that you have to walk a good half an hour to fetch water before going to school and answer the call of nature in the open since your school does not have any (functional) toilet. You probably get harassed and experience gender based violence during these visits.Slide6.JPG

Then sometimes when you are between 9 to 12 years old, one day you feel a lot of pain in your lower tummy and suddenly feel that you have wet yourselves. Embarrassed to death, when you finally can find a private corner, you notice the blood in your underwear and think you are going to die. Terrified you tell your older sister or friend and if you can overcome the shame, maybe you tell even your mother, only to learn that although you will not die, you will be going through this pain and embarrassment every month for what seems to be the rest of your life. You will be given a cloth or two, to manage your period. Of course, finding water to wash them and a private place to properly dry them would still be a challenge. You miss school either because you have a lot of pain, which you don’t know how to manage, or you or your family don’t want to risk getting embarrassed because of the blood on your clothes, or simply because there is no toilet or water at school where you can change your cloth or pads! Even in some countries, you might also end up staying in a shed during your period since you will be considered unclean!

Getting your period, is also considered start of your womanhood, and your family might start thinking that it is about time to marry you off, either to reduce the costs or to avoid that you start misbehaving or simply because that’s how it works. Of course you would not get any education about your reproductive system, nor for instance how to avoid unwanted pregnancies. If you are not married off, you will be told to avoid the boys!

By the time that you are 15 years old, the chances are very high that you are pregnant. If you are married and pregnant, you need the permission and money from your husband or his family to go for your check-ups. Mind you, you probably need to bring your own water in a bucket to the health centre, which you have to walk quite a distance to get to. And mind you, when you are pregnant, you need to use the washroom more often, but of course there is no toilet in public places or even health centres. By the way, your family might think that these visits don’t worth the trouble and you are better off with a traditional birth attendant, who usually does not have any hygienic place to do the check-ups nor have water to wash her hands with, even when you are delivering your baby!

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And, if you are not married and pregnant, you can forget about going to the health center since the staff will not even talk to you. You probably end up with a traditional birth attendant who wouldn’t mind performing illegal abortion, and again have not washed her hands, when she puts them inside you or uses other terrifying unclean objects to perform an abortion. As you can guess, the chances that you actually survive this one, is very low.

Anyway, throughout your reproductive age, you probably would be pregnant pretty much every year. Of course you would not be able to get the rest or support you need during this time and have to still do most of the unpaid work around the house, without anyone recognising or appreciating it.

You may at some point in life also start doing some paid work to support your family. However, whenever someone at household gets sick or you have your period, you probably have to miss going to work and thereby your income. Talking about income, you are the one who would prioritise investing it in sanitation, whereas for your husband it comes as his 8th or 9th priority, but unfortunately it is often not you who decides what happens with your income, so still no toilet for your family.

When you lose your husband or your father, you probably will not inherit anything from them and all the assets would go to male member of your family. Often if you don’t have sons, or even when you do have them, this means that you need to rely on their mercy for food and shelter.

All these situations can get worse if you are living with any type of disability, or HIV/AIDS, or in places where there is too much or too little water, or if you are from a minority or displaced group.

Yet, generation after generation you have been the source of inspiration and driver of change within your family, community and throughout the world and your resilience and agency has brought the mankind where we are today.

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And of course, while WASH programmes alone cannot tackle underlying causes of the barriers women and girls face through their life cycle, by fulfilling women and girls basic needs for access to water and sanitation, they can be the first step in the right direction. On the other hand, WASH programmes when designed and implemented in a gender responsive and transformative way can provide the opportunity to move beyond this and also address women and girls’ strategic needs, such as participation in decision-making processes within their family and communities and thereby contributing to their physical, political, socio-cultural and economic empowerment.

The article is inspired by a panel discussion with Sara Ahrari convened by WaterAid Canada, UNICEF and RESULTS Canada during International Development Week 2019 in Ottawa.

 

World Water Day 2018: Publication of the new RWSN Strategy 2018-2023

The 2015-2017 RWSN strategy came to an end last year, and the RWSN Theme Leads and Secretariat have been busy consulting members and partners to develop a new strategy for the period 2018-2023.  We have received valuable ideas for the network through consultations with working groups, the 2017 RWSN member survey and evaluation of the network, and the 6-week open consultation to which we invited all RWSN members. We also hosted a webinar in November 2017 during which the RWSN Secretariat and Chair outlined the proposed changes to the existing strategy.

Ideas and comments received from the network members and partners through the open consultation were incorporated into the RWSN Strategy in early 2018. The final version of the Strategy was approved by the RWSN Executive Steering Committee in March 2018. The revised RWSN strategy is now available for download here.

So what’s new?

The highlights include:

  • Welcoming new organisations to contribute to RWSN’s thematic activities, in particular Water Mission (on solar pumping, as part of the Sustainable Groundwater Development Theme) and Simavi (as part of the Leave No One Behind Theme, formerly known as Equality, Inclusion and Non-Discrimination);
  • A new focus on the development of RWSN’s Young Professionals community;
  • Fostering the collaboration between RWSN themes on emerging or specific topics such as water quality, social accountability, climate-resilient WASH and solar pumping. Given the complexity of the rural water sector challenges, this approach to tackling issues from different angles and perspectives together is helping us capitalise on the diverse experiences and expertise of our members in a process of co-creation.

As ever, your contributions to the network are highly appreciated, and we encourage you to join RWSN’s Themes and contribute to topics of interest. Feel free to reach out to your colleagues, in particular Young Professionals, to bring them on board to engage in the Rural Water Sector dialogue and shape the future next generation of RWSN.  Thank you for all your ideas and we look forward to working together over this next phase!

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La stratégie RWSN 2015-2017 a pris fin l’an dernier. Les responsables thématiques et le secrétariat de RWSN ont pris l’initiative de consulter les membres et les partenaires du réseau afin de développer une nouvelle stratégie pour la période 2018-2023. Nous avons reçu de bonnes idées pour le réseau à travers des consultations avec les groupes de travail, l’enquête des membres RWSN 2017 et l’évaluation du réseau, et la consultation ouverte de 6 semaines à laquelle nous avons invité tous les membres de RWSN. Nous avons également organisé un wébinaire en novembre 2017 qui a permis au Secrétariat et à la Présidente de RWSN d’expliquer les changements proposés par rapport à la stratégie existante. Les idées et commentaires reçus des membres et des partenaires du réseau à travers cette consultation ont été incorporés dans la nouvelle stratégie RWSN début 2018. La version finale de la stratégie a été approuvée par le Comité de Pilotage Exécutif de RWSN en mars 2018.

La nouvelle stratégie RWSN strategy est maintenant disponible ici.

Quoi de neuf dans cette nouvelle stratégie?

Les points forts de la nouvelle stratégie 2018-2023 de RWSN sont les suivants:
• Nous souhaitons la bienvenue à de nouvelles organisations souhaitant contribuer aux activités thématiques de RWSN, en particulier Water Mission (sur le pompage solaire, faisant partie du Thème Développement Durable des Eaux Souterraines) et Simavi (faisant partie du Thème “N’exclure personne”, qui s’appelait Egalité, Inclusion et Non-Discrimination lors de la phase précédente);
• Un nouvel axe prioritaire sur le développement de la communauté de Jeunes Professionnels de RWSN;
• La collaboration entre les thèmes RWSN sur des sujets émergeants ou spécifiques tels que la qualité de l’eau, la redevabilité sociale, la résilience au climat des services EAH et le pompage solaire. Etant donné la complexité des défis du secteur de l’eau en milieu rural, cette approche nous permet de voir les problèmes de différents angles et perspectives afin de capitaliser sur les différentes expériences et expertises de nos membres à travers un processus de co-création.

Comme toujours, vos contributions au réseau sont les bienvenues, et nous vous encourageons à rejoindre les communautés des groupes thématiques de RWSN et à contribuer aux sujets qui vous intéressent. N’hésitez pas à partager avec vos collègues, en particulier les jeunes professionnels, afin de les impliquer dans le dialogue du secteur de l’eau en milieu rural et former la prochaine génération de RWSN. Merci à tous pour vos idées et nous avons hâte de travailler ensemble lors de cette nouvelle phase !

La stratégie RWSN 2018-2023 #eau

La stratégie RWSN 2015-2017 a pris fin l’an dernier. Les responsables thématiques et le secrétariat de RWSN ont pris l’initiative de consulter les membres et les partenaires du réseau afin de développer une nouvelle stratégie pour la période 2018-2023. Nous avons reçu des bonnes idées pour le réseau à travers des consultations avec les groupes de travail, l’enquête des membres RWSN 2017 et l’évaluation du réseau, et la consultation ouverte de 6 semaines à laquelle nous avons invité tous les membres de RWSN. Nous avons également organisé un wébinaire en novembre 2017 qui a permis au Secrétariat et à la Présidente de RWSN d’expliquer les changements proposés par rapport à la stratégie existante. Les idées et commentaires reçus des membres et des partenaires du réseau à travers cette consultation ont été incorporés dans la nouvelle stratégie RWSN début 2018. La version finale de la stratégie a été approuvée par le Comité de Pilotage Exécutif de RWSN en mars 2018.

La nouvelle stratégie RWSN strategy est maintenant disponible ici

Continue reading “La stratégie RWSN 2018-2023 #eau”

#WorldWaterDay #WWF8 : Publication of the new RWSN Strategy 2018-2023

The 2015-2017 RWSN strategy came to an end last year, and the RWSN Theme Leads and Secretariat have been busy consulting members and partners to develop a new strategy for the period 2018-2023. We have received valuable ideas for the network through consultations with working groups, the 2017 RWSN member survey and evaluation of the network, and the 6-week open consultation to which we invited all RWSN members. We also hosted a webinar in November 2017 during which the RWSN Secretariat and Chair outlined the proposed changes to the existing strategy. Ideas and comments received from the network members and partners through the open consultation were incorporated into the RWSN Strategy in early 2018. The final version of the Strategy was approved by the RWSN Executive Steering Committee in March 2018.

The new RWSN strategy is now available for download here

Continue reading “#WorldWaterDay #WWF8 : Publication of the new RWSN Strategy 2018-2023”

New 2018 RWSN webinar series (April 3rd – June 5th, 2018)

Mark your calendars! RWSN is delighted to announce its 2018 series of 10 webinars dedicated to rural water services, April 3 -June 5, in English, French, Spanish and/or Portuguese!

To attend any of the webinars, please register here by April 2nd: http://bit.ly/2prrVf3

We will hear from more than 20 organisations on a range of topics, including:

· A special double session with the WHO/ UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme to find out how you can make the most of the JMP data, and how countries nationalise SDG6 targets and indicators (May 2nd and May 29th);

· The challenges specific to sustainable and safe water supply in peri-urban areas and small towns, with a focus on the urban poor (April 17th and 24th);

· Practical ways of financing to reduce corruption in the sector (April 3rd), and to improve social accountability for better rural water services (May 8th);

· A discussion on community-based water point management (April 10th), and a radio show-style session showcasing experiences with capacity strengthening for professional drilling (June 5th);

· A debate on water kiosks (May 15th), and the role of self-supply and local operator models for universal access in rural areas (May 22nd).

To find out more about the session topics, dates and times, see here: http://www.rural-water-supply.net/en/news/details/66

To attend any of the webinars, please register here by April 2nd: http://bit.ly/2prrVf3

Access to drinking water around the world – in five infographics

Billions of people have gained access to clean and safe drinking water since 1990, but data show that huge inequalities remain.

How many people have access to clean and safe water? Where do they get it from, and how much do they pay for it? A new report by the World Health Organisation/Unicef Joint Monitoring Programme delves into data on drinking water from the last 17 years to give a detailed view of the state of access to drinking water today.

It also examines how the current situation matches up to the vision for universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water – set out by the sustainable development goals (SDGs). It considers gaps in the data and what we still need to know to achieve universal access.

See the full article here: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development-professionals-network/2017/mar/17/access-to-drinking-water-world-six-infographics

 

 

Call for Abstracts – Sri Lanka Water Conference

3rd Annual Research Symposium

The National Water Supply & Drainage Board

Ministry of City Planning and Water Supply

20th March, 2017

At The Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall (BMICH), Colombo, Sri Lanka

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS

Web: http://www.waterboard.lk

Email: agmrnd@gmail.com

Deadline for Abstract Submission:

30th November 2016

Send Abstracts to: agmrnd@gmail.com

Local and international authors are invited to submit abstracts under the following conference themes.

  • Wastewater reuse / Wastewater for Future
  • Socio Economic Aspects of Water & Sanitation for Small Communities
  • Challenges in Reduction of Water Loss & Revenue Increase
  • New Trends in Wastewater Management
  • Challenges in Implementation of Wastewater Systems
  • Sustainable Sanitation Solutions for Small Communities
  • Future Trends of Water Supply
  • Business Efficiency in Drinking Water Supply and Wastewater Management

High quality abstracts, with the potential to generate new knowledge, related to completed/on-going studies or based on experience and prepared according to the brochure linked to the news headlines of www.waterboard.lk , would be selected for oral or poster presentations.

All presenters will be given free registration for participation. Further, a limited number of local sponsorships will be offered for foreign presenters.

For more details – Contact: Assistant General Manager (Research & Development),   +94112625196,   agmrnd@gmail.com

Visit http://www.waterboard.lk

World Water Day – so what?

by Matthias Saladin, Skat / RWSN Secretariat

Today is World Water Day, but to be honest, this does not mean much to me. Not that I don’t care about water (who doesn’t?) or about the people who cannot just turn on the tap in the morning for their shower, but somehow 22nd March for me is just a day like many others in the year.

A few months ago, many media channels hailed the finding of what are believed to be indications for water on Mars. Whereas this indeed may be an important finding, it also shows how much we all focus our attention on such events: finding water on Mars, inventing the next machine which will solve all the problems of the world (and on the way turning wastewater to drinking water and energy), busily drilling new boreholes and constructing new water supply distribution networks – while not caring about the millions of boreholes drilled and thousands of water supply systems constructed in the past decades which do not function any longer (and all the inventions which somehow did not solve the problem so far). And with some 660 million people without access to improved sources of drinking water on our planet one might indeed ask why finding water – or traces of it – on a different plant would make a difference to our lives.

Continue reading “World Water Day – so what?”