Beyond Utility Reach? How to Close the Urban - Rural Access Gap.
27.03.2019 - 29.03.2019
Africa is one of the regions most in need of innovative solutions for tackling water and climate change-related challenges; yet many parts of Africa are also suffering from the lack of water-related skills and capacity as well as wide-spread institutional fragmentation. In this context, RWSN is pleased to announce that it has signed an MoU with the AfriAlliance. The AfriAlliance project, led by IHE Delft in the Netherlands, aims to better prepare Africa for future climate change challenges by having African and European stakeholders work together in the areas of water innovation, research, policy, and capacity development. RWSN and AfriAlliance will harness the power of our networks to share knowledge and connect research on climate and water issues, to enable cross-fertilisation of the AfriAlliance Action Groups and the RWSN thematic groups, and to build lasting networks in the water sector in Africa. We will explore the opportunities and conditions to jointly provide for strategic research and innovation for water and climate in Africa by specifically looking at how mandated African institutions can be supported to facilitate research and put innovation into use. | »
Rural population in Sub-Saharan Africa is projected to continue growing for decades to come. In spite of urbanization, rural populations are not going to disappear. Both as individuals and as organizations, we need to spend more efforts in reaching out to the people in rural areas, and we need to come up with more diversified strategies to facilitate the delivery of services to these people. | »
Word from the RWSN Chair: Kelly Ann Naylor, UNICEF This month we celebrated International Youth Day (on August 12th). More than half of the world’s population today is under 30: 1.8 billion people are between the ages of 10-24. And nine out of 10 people between the ages 10 and 24 live in less developed countries (UNFPA, 2014). These demographic trends mean it is vital to ensure full participation of young people in rural water supplies. Whilst 1% of the global workforce works directly in water and sanitation jobs (UN, 2016) attracting skilled workers to rural areas remains a key constraint: according to GLAAS (2014), of the 67 countries that reported on systems operation and maintenance, only 11 had the capacity to operate and maintain their rural drinking systems. And globally women make up less than 17 percent of the water, sanitation, and hygiene labour force (IWA, 2016). Young people clearly have a role to play to ensure the Global Goals for rural water become a reality by 2030. Yet, 75% of young people in developing countries are either unemployed or in irregular or informal employment (viS4YE, 2015). The recruitment and development of young professionals will be critical to the future of the rural water sector. RWSN’s new Strategy 2018-2024 has embraced our work as an opportunity to engage with young people and empower them to be agents of change. This current generation of young people will be the ones leading the way- in our communities and countries- towards the achievement of the SDG vision of universal access to safe drinking water. Recent activities: Already this exciting agenda has been launched into action and we have some exceptional young water professionals leading the way: 6 early-career UPGro researchers from Kenya, Malawi, Ethiopia, Uganda and New Zealand had the opportunity to tell the story of their groundwater research to a packed auditorium at the 41st WEDC Conference in Nakuru, Kenya Shabana Abbas, from Pakistan, has gone from being a junior researcher in the UPGro programme to a full-time job at Aqua for All, in the Netherlands. Shabana is also the President of the Water Youth Network and a member of the REACH programme Junior Global Advisory Panel Muna Omar is an Ethiopian refugee and a young water professional, living and working in Sana’a, Yemen, undertaking monitoring and evaluation of humanitarian programmes in WASH. Muna took part in the RWSN-CapNet online course on Drilling Professionalisation. Read her story on the RWSN blog. More Coming Up: There will be other opportunities to get involved in Young Professional events in the months ahead. @Stockholm World Water Week The Youth for Water and Climate “Quality Assurance Lab” (Wednesday 29th): young fellows/ entrepreneurs will pitch their projects and present their posters to a series of reviewers who will work with them giving feedback on their projects. An informal event at the Swiss Water Partnership booth (Wednesday 29th from 4 pm to 6 pm): where 14 young entrepreneurs will pitch their project/ social enterprises to people present. @UNC Water & Health Conference Two RWSN Sessions are an opportunity for rural water and WASH professionals, young and old, to engage with the issues and meet each other: Pipe dream or possible: Reaching the furthest behind first in the WASH sector? Monitoring & Data for Rural Water: Different perspectives, common goals Join our growing community of Young Rural Water Professionals! The RWSN network has over 10,000 members and provides a unique platform to bring together young professionals and seasoned sector experts and practitioners from around the world. We encourage you to reach out to your colleagues who are Young Professionals to help shape the future next generation of RWSN! If you are under 35, Sign-up via the link below. | »
AGUASAN is the Swiss Community of Practice for water and sanitation that has been running since 1984 and comprises regular meetings through the year and an annual week-long workshop focused on a specific topic, which this year was around role of data in decision-making in water and sanitation services. Around 40 participants attended at a really great training facility in Spiez, in central Switzerland. They came, not just from Swiss organisations, but from a wide range of partners (many who are active RWSN members). There were participants from Bangladesh, Tajikistan, Mozambique, Peru, Thailand, Mali, Pakistan, Benin, Egypt, Mongolia, the UK, South Africa, US and many more. Continue reading on the RWSN blog (link below) | »
A single weather event does not prove climate change, but the heatwave that is hitting much of the Northern Hemisphere this summer and triggering forest fires from California and Canada to Portugal, Greece and Sweden is focusing attention on the need to kick our collective carbon habit. Even without climate change, it just makes sense to transition from fossil to renewable energy sources. Take water pumping technology in rural areas of Africa, Asia or remote islands in the Pacific Ocean or the Caribbean. The people of these areas have historically made a negligible contribution to global greenhouse emissions and yet they stand to bear the brunt of rising seas and destabilized rainfall patterns. However, it is more immediate needs that make solar power attractive—cost and convenience. Diesel for submersible pumps is dirty and expensive, and handpumps are inconvenient and tiring. The time for solar pumps has come. The need is here, the technology is here, and the cost of that technology is making it viable and attractive. Although solar pumps have been around for many years, their time has come. The need is here, the technology is here, and the cost of that technology is making it viable and attractive. Read more at Engineering for Change on the link below | »