WSSCC's Archana Patkar highlights sanitation equity for UK parliamentarians


WSSCC's Programme Manager for Networking and Knowledge Management, Ms. Archana Patkar, was a key participant at "Universal access to water and sanitation - More than a pipedream?", an event held yesterday,  Monday 4 March 2013 at the UK House of Commons in London.

2015 heralds the end of the Water for Life Decade and the deadline for meeting the targets set out in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Despite some progress being made towards meeting these targets, over 2.5 billion people are still living without access to improved sanitation facilities and nearly 800 million people receive drinking water from unimproved sources.

In her speech, Mrs. Patkar reminded the participants that “sanitation and hygiene for everyone is not really a choice anymore but rather our collective responsibility.”  She also highlighted the struggle of women and girls when menstruating  in silence and secrecy,  and the essential role of governments to “help to stop their citizens defecating in the open in order to restore dignity and the pride of their village, town, city and country”.

 This event was jointly organized by the All Party  Parliamentary Group on International Development and the Environment and the Institute of Development Studies. It brought together an expert panel to discuss how the issues of increasing urbanization, rising inequalities and local governance need to be understood and addressed within a new post 2015 framework if universal access to water and sanitation is to be assured.

Ms. Patkar's  particular areas of expertise include health, education, water and sanitation, and gender and women’s rights in rural and urban contexts. She has been at WSSCC since 2010 and has helped steer the organization’s redevelopment as a sector leader in topics such as equity and inclusion in sanitation and hygiene, menstrual hygiene management, and sanitation as a business.

Other speakers included:

  • Lyla Mehta, Research Fellow, Institute of Development Studies 
  • Jamie Skinner, Principal Researcher Natural Resources, International Institute for Environment and Development 
  • Tom Slaymaker, Deputy Head of Policy, WaterAid 
  • Eilidh Whiteford MP (Chair)