WSSCC makes its mark at the 5th World Water Forum

Date: 9th November 2010

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WSSCC was active in March at the 5th World Water Forum, where the Secretariat promoted the work and interests of members and National WASH Coalitions. The Forum drew 33,000 practitioners, politicians, development specialists and NGO representatives. One special event arranged by WSSCC was “Hurry Up and Join the Queue: Welcome Event for new and old WSSCC Members,” which was chaired by WSSCC Chair Roberto Lenton and featured presentations from several National Coordinators as well as The Big Necessity author Rose George.

A strategically located WSSCC exhibition also proved to be a popular meeting point for members and other conference participants. WSSCC staff such as Jon Lane, Executive Director, and Barry Jackson, Global Sanitation Fund Programme Manager, were invited to give presentations in different sessions. Staff members were also able to arrange a number of productive meetings. For example, Carolien van der Voorden, Networking and Knowledge Management Officer, met with professional colleagues working to establish a National WASH Coalition in Liberia.

WSSCC also arranged a week-long workshop for media together with partners that included PATH, the UN Office to Support the International Decade for Action ‘Water for Life’ 2005-2015, Water Advocates, the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program, and the World Water Council. Forty journalists focused on the vital links between water, sanitation and health in low-income countries. The workshop built media capacity and bolstered coverage of the impacts that climate change, shifting demographics, and water supply and sanitation programs have on the health of the world’s poor. It also highlighted how achieving the Millennium Development Goal targets on water and sanitation is critical for reaching development targets on poverty reduction, education and child mortality , for example.

A field trip to Ethiopia and India following the workshop gave journalists the chance to see solutions like low-cost water purification technologies and eco-san toilets in action, and provided access to the individuals who are driving change where the problems are an everyday concern. In Ethiopia, the journalists were accompanied by WSSCC Communications Officer Tatiana Fedotova on field visits kindly arranged by WSSCC National Coordinator Michael Negash.

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