News Article | December 22, 2016
One of the greatest gifts we can give is to help end poverty around the world: a challenge of overwhelming dimensions. But a crucial step is access to energy. I’ve provided links below to 25 organizations which are working to end energy poverty now. They can all benefit from your help and generosity. Imagine life without electricity, heat, refrigeration, adequate lighting and cooking facilities, air conditioning, modern transportation and health care, clean and safe water. When we are faced with these conditions for even a few days or a week following a natural disaster it creates a crisis we speak of for years. Yet this is the life billions live every day. When people don’t have access to energy to begin with the challenge to move up from a life of poverty is all consuming. More than 1.3 billion people still have no access to electricity. And almost three billion people still rely on biomass, wood, charcoal and dung for cooking, with disastrous health consequences. One in six people lack access to clean drinking water. What can we do to help end poverty around the world? Access to energy is essential. Traditionally, much of the resource, service provision, investment and technology to address energy poverty is driven by government policy / funding and corporate, institutional and financial sector investment. Large-scale global initiatives are essential and may indeed over time help bring greater focus and funds at a national and regional scale to those in greatest need of access to energy. But as individuals we can each make our own contribution, now. Last year at this time I provided the Second Annual List of non-profit and charitable organizations all helping end energy poverty at a variety of scales. Many of you contributed with funds and your own time and energy to these organizations and for that my thanks. Once again, I’ve updated the list for the coming year based on your suggestions. The list is certainly not all inclusive nor intended to be a specific endorsement but is a good and efficient starting point. I hope you find it useful and welcome your additions and ideas – simply adding your favorite organization as a comment to this blog would be the best way to get information into the hands of people who want to help. Thanks in advance for your consideration. Select Non-Profit Organizations, Foundations, Funds and Institutions Helping to End Energy Poverty Acumen Borgen Project CARE Energy for All Engineers without Borders Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves Grid Alternatives ImpactCarbon Innovation: Africa Light Foundation ONE Practical Action Pritzker Innovation Fund Rockefeller Foundation SolarAid Solar Electric Light Fund Solar Sister STG International UNICEF Unite to Light United Nations Foundation US Aid New This Year: WaterAid America AidFor Africa OXFAM The Breakthrough Institute And One For the Families and Children of Aleppo UNICEF Aleppo
News Article | November 5, 2016
WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - Nov 4, 2016) - WaterAid today celebrates President Obama's Executive Order, Advancing the Global Health Security Agenda to Achieve a World Safe and Secure from Infectious Disease Threats. The Order gives higher prominence and priority to the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), an inter-governmental, multi-national initiative to prevent disease outbreaks; improve surveillance; and advance rapid, effective, and coordinated responses. Safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) are important components of the Global Health Security Agenda and the stronger health systems, more resilient communities, and healthier world it envisions. As evidenced during the West Africa Ebola outbreak in 2012, a lack of WASH in households and communities, which affects approximately one in ten people worldwide, allows for the spread of disease, from intermittent diarrhea to pandemic cholera. A lack of WASH in health facilities puts health care workers -- and their patients -- at risk of preventable illness and, as was the case with the recent Ebola outbreak, can decimate weak health systems. Fewer than half of health facilities in the developing world have safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene on premises. "We are thrilled that President Obama has prioritized the Global Health Security Agenda and its critical work. This initiative is so valuable in part because it recognizes the role of WASH in preventing and controlling infection in the first place," said Lisa Schechtman, Director of Policy and Advocacy for WaterAid America. "The Global Health Security Agenda is a reflection of two important government mandates in one program: the need to protect Americans at home, knowing that diseases do not respect national borders; and the promise to help the poorest and most vulnerable people worldwide live healthy, productive and safe lives." WASH is also critical to achieving the Global Health Security Agenda's commitments to addressing antimicrobial resistance. According to a recent Review on Antimicrobial Resistance, supported by the UK Government, access to safe water and sanitation could reduce by 60% the number of diarrhea cases treated with antibiotics. This, in turn, reduces the risk of resistance developing. Since 2014, the Global Health Security Agenda has been led by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in collaboration with other Federal Agencies and 55 governments around the world, without the security of a legal, executive, or budgetary framework to enable it to continue its important work. With today's Executive Order, President Obama has helped ensure that progress can continue. WaterAid thanks President Obama, and calls upon the next President of the United States to ensure ongoing commitment to this Executive Order, as well as sufficient funding for the Global Health Security Agenda and for all global WASH and health programs. About WaterAid WaterAid is the #1 ranked international non-profit dedicated to helping the people living in the world's poorest communities gain access to safe water, toilets and hygiene. WaterAid has programs and influence in 37 countries across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Pacific region. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 23 million people with safe water and, since 2004, 21 million people with toilets and sanitation. Connect with WaterAid at Facebook.com/WaterAidAmerica and on Twittter with @WaterAidAmerica, or find out more at WaterAid.org.
News Article | November 17, 2016
To Make A Big Stink About Diarrhea, Ask 'Em To Write A Poo-em How do you get people to discuss diarrhea? Ask them to write poetry about it. That's the idea behind Poo Haiku, a competition created by Defeat DD, a campaign dedicated to the eradication of diarrheal disease. Although everybody's had the runs, it's not something most folks talk about, says Hope Randall, digital communications officer for PATH's Center for Vaccine Innovation and Access, which created DefeatDD to bring together resources on vaccines, nutrition, oral rehydration therapy, sanitation and more. Silence is a problem because diarrheal disease is a problem. It's the second-leading cause of death for children under the age of five. And it disproportionately affects kids in the developing world, where it's tougher to access safe water and medical care. Attention translates into more resources, Randall says, which is why Defeat DD wants to get people comfortable with words like "poo." Hence, the call for "poo-ets" to write "poo-ems." Turns out there are plenty of potty mouths eager to show off their creativity. For the third Poo Haiku contest, which wrapped up on Nov. 4, Twitter was flush with submissions — a record 146 poo-ems, Randall boasts. The prize? Social media fame and the chance to be featured in DefeatDD's 2017 calendar, which will be shaped like a toilet. Most contributions came from the global health world. Take, for example, this winning entry from Kat Kelley of the Global Health Technologies Coalition, which references a recent study published in The Lancet: Just six pathogens But eighty percent of kids' Diarrheal deaths. Currently, there's only a vaccine for one of these six pathogens — rotavirus, Randall notes. So DefeatDD is pushing for investment in vaccines to fight two more, ETEC, a type of E. coli bacteria, and Shigella. The other pressing item on the DefeatDD agenda, Randall says, is the need to address the fact that even kids who survive diarrhea often deal with long-term consequences. Randall herself penned an entry on that topic: Some Poo Haiku are more emotional than informational. Alanna Imbach, media relations manager for WaterAid, offers a good reminder that behind the stats, there are individual children out there facing hurdles to hygiene: She is just a girl Out looking for a toilet Trying not to fear. Other "poo-ems" will put a smile on your face, promises Randall, who's partial to this one from a fifth grader who learned about Poo Haiku at school: Go now, Mister Poo Hurry, quick to the toilet, When done wash your hands. The ultimate winner, of course, is the fight against diarrheal disease. "As simple as it sounds, these kinds of words are so rarely used in polite discourse," Randall says, noting that anything that helps poo become public makes the campaign a success. Although the contest is now over, Randall would love to see people continue to share poo-ems through Saturday, which is World Toilet Day — the annual reminder that 2.4 billion people don't have access to a toilet. Check out all of the poo-ems, including some videos, by searching for the hashtag #poohaiku on Twitter.
News Article | November 18, 2016
Through its Sustainability 2022 efforts, company aims to increase access to clean, safe, sustainable sanitation to 10 million people by 2022 DALLAS, Nov. 18, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- This November 19, on World Toilet Day, Kimberly-Clark renews its commitment to its Toilets Change Lives program, a multi-national commercial program that leverages the power of its well-known brands to educate consumers and help solve the global sanitation crisis. The United Nations General Assembly officially designated World Toilet Day in 2013 to raise awareness and inspire efforts to tackle the global sanitation crisis. A lack of basic sanitation affects more than 2.4 billion people around the world, making 'access to water and sanitation for all' an important platform for the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. The reality of what this means for so many people is profound. Countless children miss school because of the spread of life-threatening diseases and infection from a lack of basic sanitation. And millions of girls miss school every month because menstruation becomes too hard to manage without access to proper facilities. "Access to safe, clean, sanitation facilities should be a basic, human right," said Mauricio Troncoso, vice president and managing director for Western Europe for Kimberly-Clark Corporation. "The nature of our business gives us a unique understanding of sanitation and toilets, and the opportunity to improve and change lives for the better." One of the keys to solving the crisis is the Toilet Board Coalition, a business led public-private partnership co-founded by Kimberly-Clark. Now in its fourth year, its members are multinational corporations, development experts, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations and social investors who share a joint vision and mission to support and accelerate commercially sustainable business models dedicated to building smart, sustainable sanitation systems for the future while delivering sanitation to all. With the help of Kimberly-Clark leaders with a wide variety of skills from marketing, sales, finance, research, logistics and human resources, the Toilet Board Coalition is providing access to innovation and support for business processes that help entrepreneurs focus on the goal – to provide sustainable access to a proper toilet. "This model works because it's about mutual benefit. Kimberly-Clark can gain so much from working with entrepreneurial young businesses," added Troncoso, who also was recently named chairman for the Toilet Board Coalition. "Thus far, we've been given direct insight into consumer behavior and we've been greatly inspired by the enthusiasm and drive of our mentees. And at the same time, we can help provide the expertise that will get growing businesses over the start line, to start solving the issue for good." In addition, Kimberly-Clark is rallying employees, customers and consumers behind a large-scale multi-national program titled Toilets Change Lives. It brings the global sanitation crisis to the forefront through its well-known global brands to help fund potentially life-saving programs. Since its inception in 2014, the Toilets Change Lives program has helped improve access to sanitation to approximately 300,000 people in need. Several Kimberly-Clark brands, including Andrex, Scott and Neve, have partnered with key retailers in 10 countries to sell special promotional packs that help support potentially life-saving programs through donations to NGOs such as UNICEF, Water for People and WaterAid. In India, for example, Kimberly-Clark has partnered with Charities Aid Foundation India to address the issue of open defecation through work to provide clean, safe toilets in schools and early child development centers. Additionally, the company is creating a sustainable market-driven model in partnership with the Toilet Board Coalition and Svadha, a sanitation focused social enterprise. The program trains villagers to become 'Sani-preneurs' who can build and sell toilets. This holistic approach, which galvanizes both demand and supply of toilets, aims to bring a sustainable solution to open defecation in India. "We're asking our consumers and our employees to purchase our products, share posts and stories through social media to enable contributions, or consider donating to support the cause," said Lisa Morden, Global Sustainability director for Kimberly-Clark. "Through our Sustainability 2022 strategy, we hope to improve the social and physical well-being of people in need around the world, and make a lasting difference that realizes our company's purpose of making lives better." For more information about Kimberly-Clark's commitment to sanitation or to access the work of our brands related to the issue, search "Toilets Change Lives" on Facebook. Kimberly-Clark (NYSE: KMB) and its well-known global brands are an indispensable part of life for people in 175 countries. Every day, nearly a quarter of the world's population trust Kimberly-Clark's brands and the solutions they provide to enhance their health, hygiene and well-being. With brands such as Kleenex, Scott, Huggies, Pull-Ups, Kotex and Depend, Kimberly-Clark holds the No. 1 or No. 2 share position in 80 countries. To keep up with the latest news and to learn more about the company's 144-year history of innovation, visit www.kimberly-clark.com or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
News Article | November 24, 2016
Innovation can play a massive role in increasing consumer demand for sanitation systems, but we believe it can go beyond the toilet itself. We are nearing a tipping point between advances in health and technology, and the toilet is an invaluable tool in this. Health sensors, fertilisers, biogas – unlocking these business models can change the face of sanitation and the way we think about “doing our business”. I think we’re about to see what has happened with telephones over the last two decades happen with toilets. Alexandra Knezovich, programme manager, Toilet Board Coalition, @swissmrsk The Sanitation Challenge is a competition for local authorities in Ghana. It was launched in November 2015 and we are in the second stage of the programme. The competition is leading to a shift in the priorities of the government, making sanitation more visible and important. Local authorities are excited about having the opportunity to decide what they think is needed in their area. An innovation prize that can be broadly defined as “a financial incentive that induces change through competition” is bringing changes at political level, as well as incentivising local authorities to identify new service delivery methods. Veronica Di Bella, senior consultant, IMC Worldwide Mobile phones have made paying for services easier, with lower transaction costs. Small payment amounts make pay-per-use more affordable for low-income populations as well. It is only one small piece in the puzzle, but it has opened up many opportunities. Christian Zurbrugg, senior researcher, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology Private entrepreneurs have to be encouraged to use unique business models which make toilet services an experience to remember, and a routine that attracts people to use them. For example, access to our toilets is free and they have all the basic facilities – sufficient lighting, ventilation, wash basins, soap dispensers – and we use stainless steel so the blocks are shiny. We also create the toilet blocks to be a hyper-local marketplace – users can recharge their mobile phones. Just think of the incentives that would be created if people had access to a free Wi-Fi hotspot at a public toilet. Mayank Midha, managing partner, GARV Toilets, @mayankmidha It is critical that people accept the water and sanitation solutions that are installed. Even in Europe, there is great resistance to the idea of using faecal sludge on agricultural land. Involving communities in the design and choice of technology is key to ensuring that the result is what users want. One great example is from Paraguay, where communities helped to select the technology and the design of the facilities to ensure they met their values. This is a long process and requires investment in the construction and participatory processes, but considering the current low sustainability rates of many Wash [water, sanitation and hygiene] investments, it will pay off in the long term. Moa Cortobius, programme officer and gender specialist, Stockholm International Water Institute If we want to promote sanitation as a sustainable utility service, it is important to come up with more standards for technologies and services. The International Organization for Standardization is developing a new standard for non-sewer sanitation systems that kill pathogens. The standard provides guidelines for the industry to develop new technologies, and can help countries shape their policies and promote the best systems. Doulaye Kone, deputy director – water, sanitation and hygiene, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Innovation can be done in different ways but it should be focused on the key audience for the right reasons and for the right end value-add. This might be around working on aid effectiveness, scaling action in supply chains, focusing on marginalised communities, hygiene behaviour, water stewardship, capacity building or working with the private sector – a whole number of things. It can take longer but buy-in is greater in the end. Isabelle Herszenhorn, innovation and strategic engagement lead, WaterAid, @izzy_hersz We need to have a cultural attitude that supports innovation. This also means that we have to accept failures when new techniques don’t live up to expectations and share these lessons. This should not be an excuse for ill-considered experimentation, however, as the stakes are high. Brian Reed, Water, Engineering and Development Centre Join our community of development professionals and humanitarians. Follow @GuardianGDP on Twitter, and have your say on issues around water in development using #H2Oideas.
News Article | December 9, 2016
Family portraits from across the world show progress in access to water and sanitation View the full photo gallery of family portraits from around the world here From chickens and cows to motorbikes, rubber shoes and radios, a special gallery by WaterAid reveals the items that generations of families from across the world say represent the progress made in their lives as a result of access to water and sanitation. The international nonprofit interviewed and photographed 18 families in countries including the US, Ethiopia, Japan, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Nepal, Pakistan, Rwanda, Sweden and the UK. Each story highlights how families across the world share a common bond around water, despite the cultures, countries and continents between them. The photos are released to mark the launch of WaterAid's 'Made of the same stuff' appeal, which celebrates the progress that has been made over the last 35 years in providing safe water, sanitation and hygiene to some of the world's poorest and most marginalized communities. In a show of good news, 6.7 billion people across the world today now have access to clean water, while 2.1 billion more people have access to a decent toilet now, as compared to 1990. In Northwest New Mexico, USA, 68-year-old Pentecostal preacher, Sister Sarah Begay has dedicated her life to championing rights to water in the Navajo Nation with the support of DIGDEEP, a global water organization that delivers services in the United States. Sister Sarah only got access to running water and a bathroom at home in 1998. Today, her grandchildren do not know anything different, thanks to her tireless work. She says: "Before we had running water at home, life was unpleasant and unhealthy -- a heartache. When I was young, I remember melting snow and getting water from dirt ponds. We had to filter the pond water before we could use it for cooking or washing because we didn't want to drink it and get sick from all the bugs. "My grandchildren grew up in this house with water running through their house. It was really awesome to have that kind of blessing in our home. My kids were very grateful that they were able to take showers, be clean, be healthy." Sarah is pictured holding a plaque from the local school district recognizing her 30 years of devoted service to the community, and the progress she has made. In Malawi, access to water led to improved health for local farmer, Rafiq Moyenda, 26, and his family. It also means Rafiq has had more time to invest in business; opening a popular barbershop and grocery store in his village, and even buying a motorbike, to help him with his business. He says: "Our way of life greatly improved. Our economic status improved as my wife would bake doughnuts which brought us more money. Our daughter, Fortune, stopped suffering from diarrhea and her school studies improved." Outside of Seattle, WA, USA, Dr Oahn Truong, 49, is pictured with her husband Chung and her son, Ryan outside their home in Seabeck, WA, holding a photo of the heavily contaminated river in Vietnam where she learned to swim. She says: "We collected water from the river using a pail and rope. It was used for all of our needs including drinking and bathing. During the monsoon season, I showered by running through the streets with my friends... I was so happy to arrive in America, where I didn't have to wait in line for water. I remembered marvelling at the purity of clean water; the toilets in America are so clean and not like the outhouse we had in Vietnam or in the refugee camp." "I escaped death and was blessed to make it safely to America. I have learned that my work as a doctor is a concrete way I can give back and improve the quality of life for others. I have seen many people die as a result of illness that could be easily prevented. My youngest sister Hang, died at 6 months due to dysentery illness. As a family doctor, I am aware that there are a myriad of illnesses that can be prevented through the access to safe water and sanitation." "This powerful collection of family portraits is a striking reminder of how much good there is in the world today; never before has so much progress been made towards making sure that everyone, everywhere has clean water and a toilet. From the US to Nepal, Sweden to Malawi, our basic need for clean water unites us all. WaterAid's 'Made of the Same Stuff' is our chance to join together in a shared vision of reaching the remaining 663 million people who still struggle to get enough clean water to drink, and the 2.3 billion people who do not have access to a toilet." Every year, 78 million people are turning on a tap or using a pump for the first time. If just 8% more people can be reached each year then everyone, everywhere will be provided with lifesaving water facilities by 2030. Ending the sanitation crisis is a big challenge. Every year, 69 million people are closing a toilet door behind them for the first time every year; but there's a lot more to do. It's going to take a combined global effort to reach everyone everywhere with a decent toilet, but the progress we've made on water shows it is possible. Together, we're made of the stuff that makes history. The family portraits are part of WaterAid's 'Made of the Same Stuff' appeal, which aims to to raise $1.6 million to help improve access to clean water and sanitation in some of the world's poorest countries. Find out more at www.wateraidamerica.org/made-of. About WaterAid WaterAid is the #1 ranked international non-profit dedicated to helping the people living in the world's poorest communities gain access to safe water, toilets and hygiene. WaterAid has programs and influence in 37 countries across Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Pacific region. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 23 million people with safe water and, since 2004, 21 million people with toilets and sanitation. Connect with WaterAid at Facebook.com/WaterAidAmerica and on Twitter @WaterAidAmerica, or find out more at WaterAid.org.
News Article | November 18, 2016
Pradeep wakes up every morning before the cockerels start crowing. He leaves his house and starts whistling; a signal for all his friends to gather. They talk among themselves and branch off in different directions across the village. They are on a mission. As dawn slowly breaks in this rural corner of Sehore district in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, villagers leave their homes carrying a small dabba (container) to perform a ritual as old as humanity. As men and women find a quiet and secluded corner and start going down on their haunches, Pradeep and his friends spring out whistling and topple their dabbas of water. Calling themselves the Dabba Dol Gang, Pradeep and his friends (children between eight and 13 years old) use their unique and courageous method to draw attention to the people defecating in the open, in an attempt to prevent them from doing so in the future. Pradeep is one of thousands across India who are trying to solve one of the world’s greatest challenges; how to get 560 million people in India to stop going to the toilet outside. Ever since the re-branding and re-launch of the Indian government’s flagship sanitation campaign, the Swachh Bharat Mission, the country’s sanitation sector has been galvanised to debate and take action with a sense of urgency. The goal is ambitious: make India open defecation-free by 2 October 2019 – the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi. One of the most commonly used approaches for triggering this change is community-led total sanitation (CLTS). This involves bringing together the residents of a community and, through an experienced field facilitator and interactive sessions, get them to understand the health and economic consequences of defecating outside. When this is done through continuous engagement, CLTS usually prompts the whole community to decide collectively that it is beneficial to stop open defecation and to build and use toilets. This approach is sustainable and long-lasting as the community takes ownership of the issue and works together to make the change. In practice, however, this is never so easy. There are always people who refuse to believe in the benefits of using a toilet. Many prefer to go out in the open as their ancestors have done for centuries – a habit extremely difficult to break. To convince them otherwise the CLTS approach uses various methods such as forming nigrani samitis (watch committees) who keep track of those in a village who still defecates in the open, garlanding “offenders” and following them to open defecation sites, and processing around a village with a band announcing the names of open defecators. All these methods have several things in common; they are non-violent, mostly persuasive in tone, and, while they have an element of naming and shaming, the methods are adopted by the community and the final decision to change is left to the individual. But due to the urgency brought on by the ever-closer Swachh Bharat deadline, state governments across India are now trying to coerce communities to stop open defecation, by adopting methods and passing laws that are more stringent and have a top down approach that goes against the spirit of CLTS. The government of the north Indian state of Haryana recently announced that drones would be used to monitor people going out to defecate. Meanwhile, in Madhya Pradesh, a law was passed which bars anyone not having a flush toilet in their homes from contesting in Panchayat elections. A sarpanch (village chief) in the neighbouring state of Chhattisgarh has gone even further and ordered that people not constructing toilets will be ineligible to access the government’s public distribution shops to get essential food items. Tragically, in the same state, a man was recently killed after he refused to construct a toilet. While some coercive actions have been around since the beginning of the CLTS approach, the increasingly harsh nature of the methods being adopted – especially by governments – to try to change behaviours is worrying. We need to solve the problem of open defecation in India, but governments must step back and let the communities take ownership and make the change happen – even if it takes time. The perceived Big Brother attitude that accompanies most government policies and directions carries the danger of making people hostile to safe sanitation and its benefits – worsening the problem. Lessons learned from the failures and successes of family planning and polio campaigns are worth reconsidering to avoid such a backlash, especially as the Swachh Bharat Mission moves into its most critical end phase. By supporting non-coercive behaviour change, communication programmes, training and deploying field facilitators who can implement CLTS effectively, monitoring the use of toilets and hygiene behaviours, governments can help to make long-lasting change happen that is owned by communities. Anil Cherukupalli is the media and communications manager of WaterAid India. Follow @anilcheruk on Twitter. Join our community of development professionals and humanitarians. Follow @GuardianGDP on Twitter, and have your say on issues around water in development using #H2Oideas.
News Article | October 28, 2016
Water for Empowerment is offering the Indianapolis community a basic training on the sustainability of economies built on clean water. Open to the public, Vincent Casey from WaterAid America will present “How Clean Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Eradicates Poverty” on October 13, 2016 at 3 pm in the Community Room of the new 825 Capitol Building, Indianapolis. Water for Empowerment, an Indiana-based organization devoted to empowering girls and women to build healthy futures through clean water initiatives, supports a micro-enterprises project in Nicaragua for young women led by WaterAid America. Vincent Casey, International Director for WASH, WaterAid America’s water, sanitation and hygiene program, has been invited to speak on October 13 in Indianapolis. EnviroForensics, an Indianapolis based environmental consulting firm is hosting the WaterAid presentation by Vincent Casey in the Community Room of their new headquarters at 825 N. Capitol, in downtown Indianapolis, on behalf of Water for Empowerment. The firm has recently completed renovation of a former auto shop and costume company with new offices, community space and learning lab. The company, led by CEO Stephen Henshaw, a co-founder of the Indianapolis charity, is also hosting a 5 pm reception for the building’s grand opening. Attendees for the presentation are invited to join the 5 pm reception with an unveiling of a new light sculpture by Quincy Owens. Refreshments and tour will begin at 5 pm, in the Lounge, North Entrance. Water for Empowerment, an Indiana-based 501c3 organization devoted to empowering girls and women to build healthy futures through clean water initiatives, is now able to sponsor fundraising and training events at the new EnviroForensics headquarters. Plans for the 825 Building in 2017 include charitable use of the multi-use facilities. Water for Empowerment will be the first charity to schedule an event in the building. The clean water charity is already making plans for a World Water Day celebration to be held at the 825 Building on Saturday, March 18, 2017. Currently, Water for Empowerment is partnering with WaterAid America to raise awareness and money for micro-enterprises for young women in the Bilwi region of Nicaragau working in areas of sanitation, well rehabilitation, water filtration, and hygiene education. On the ground in Bilwi, WaterAid offers job skills training to women ages 16 to 30 that takes them from writing business plans to educating and developing their own markets. By educating the community on the value of clean water and sanitation, the young women are able to build a demand for clean water products and services. Young women also lead crews in construction of latrines and wells. The October 13 training will include look into the Bilwi project. Dawn Sandoe, president of Water for Empowerment, comments, “The space at the 825 Building allows charities like ours to put on trainings and special events in a large and innovative space in the heart of Indianapolis, close to cultural assets and arts organizations.” The Grand Opening reception at 5 pm will include a building and art tour of Hoosier artists, past and present, featuring Harrison Center for the Art’s Quincy Owens and a new light sculpture. Details about the training event and reception on October 13, 2016 are available at Registration. For more information, call 317-626-0742.
Agency: Cordis | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP-SICA | Phase: ENV.2010.3.1.1-3 | Award Amount: 2.00M | Year: 2011
The water and sanitation sector is not short of new and emerging technologies, but hardly any have been adopted into national strategies in Sub-Saharan Africa, nor have they been widely taken up by private enterprise. The contribution of new technologies to MDG targets appears therefore to have been minimal in the last 20 years. A key constraint to reaching the sector targets therefore appears to be the lack of systems to assess the potential of a technology and lack of ability to take new appropriate technologies to scale effectively. WASHTech seeks to address the problem through research on an innovatory process for assessing the potential and sustainability of a wide range of new technologies, and for designing successful strategies for scaling up. The overall development objective is for more effective investment in new technologies to achieve MDG targets. The project (WASHTECH) objective is to strengthen sector capacity to make effective investment in new technologies, through development of a framework which assesses the potential of new technologies introduced into innovative de-centralised systems. The project objective would be achieved through research producing two levels of outputs. The first level of outputs will consist of a widely applicable Technology Assessment Framework (TAF) and process that will provide a simple system and criteria for evaluating new technologies and their performance, identifying sustainability issues, and analysing approaches to introduction, innovation, diffusion and scaling up, including establishing of the required capacities in the three countries,: Burkina Faso, Ghana and Uganda. The second level of outputs depends on the TAF development and capacity building. They define strategies for innovation and scaling up, and the time-span and process needed to achieve successful up-take and sustainability.These outputs are both of direct use to the sector and are also an indication of the value and application of the framework
Agency: GTR | Branch: NERC | Program: | Phase: Research Grant | Award Amount: 291.60K | Year: 2015
Extending and sustaining access to safe and reliable water services remains central to improving the health and livelihoods of poor people, particularly women, in Africa. Here an estimated 350 million rural inhabitants still have no form of safe drinking water, and depend on poor quality unreliable sources for all their domestic needs. Improving access to water, and helping to achieve new international goals of universal access to safe water hinges on accelerated development of groundwater resources, usually through drilling boreholes and equipping them with handpumps. However, emphasis on new infrastructure has obscured a hidden crisis of failure, with >30% of new sources non-functional within 5-years and many more unreliable. This problem has remained stubbornly persistent over the last four decades, with little sign of sustained progress despite various interventions. Part of the reason for this continued failure is the lack of systematic investigations into the complex multifaceted reasons for failure and therefore the same mistakes are often repeated. The accumulated costs to governments, donors and above all rural people are enormous. Addressing the functionality crisis requires a step-change in understanding of what continues to go wrong. The complex issue must be approached from a truly interdisciplinary viewpoint: combining innovative natural sciences to assess the availability of local water resources and how this changes with seasons and climate; with detailed social science research of how local communities function and make decisions about managing their infrastructure; and understanding of how the engineered structures can degenerate. Underlying these reasons for source failure may be other contributory factors, such as government incentives, the role of the donor community, or long term changes in the demand for water. The overall aim of the project is to build a robust, multi-country evidence base on the causes of the unacceptably high rates of groundwater system and service failure and use this knowledge to deliver a step-change in future functionality. To achieve this aim, our research draws on a novel interdisciplinary approach using the latest thinking and techniques in both natural and social science and applies them to three African countries that have struggled for decades with service sustainability - Uganda, Ethiopia and Malawi. There are five main objectives:1.to provide a rigorous definition of functionality of water points which accounts for seasonality, quality and expectations of service; 2. to apply this new definition to Ethiopia, Uganda and Malawi to get a more realistic picture of water point functionality and therefore water coverage figures; 3. to investigate in detail 50 water points in each country by taking apart the water points and pumps, testing the local groundwater conditions, examining the renewability of groundwater and exploring in detail the local water committee; 4. we will also build on this information to forecast future rural water supply coverage by modelling the impact on water points of various potential future pathways; and 5. finally we will use all this information to develop an approach for building resilience into future rural water supply programmes and helping people decide when it is worth rehabilitating failed sources. To carry out this ground breaking research we have brought together a consortium, led by the British Geological Survey, of leading interdisciplinary UK researchers at BGS, KCL, ODI and Cambridge with groundwater academics from three highly regarded African universities (Universities of Addis Ababa, Mekerere and Malawi), and WaterAid, a leading NGO on developing rural water supply services across Africa with a history of innovation. The research has the potential to have a major impact on the delivery of reliable clean water throughout Africa, and if the results can be taken up widely break the pattern of repeated failure.