Beyond Utility Reach? How to Close the Urban - Rural Access Gap.
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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 | »
In 2013, the idea of rural communities paying for water services was relatively new in DRC: there was a belief in the WASH sector that this context was too fragile for community management of WASH services to be possible.Yet with extremely low access rates, a fast-growing population, and especially poor functionality of water infrastructure, something needed to change. When the DRC WASH Consortium started that same year, there was no past experience in the country which could confirm rural communities’ willingness or ability to pay for water. The DRC WASH Consortium’s ambitions were high: five INGOs launching a six year programme to support local communities in managing and financially sustaining WASH services in rural DRC. Funded by UK-aid, the DRC WASH Consortium gathered the know-how of lead agency Concern Worldwide with ACF, ACTED, CRS, and Solidarités International to work with more than 600 rural communities and 640,000 people across seven provinces. Five years later, with a wealth of project data at our disposal, we wanted to answer some key questions: To what extent do Consortium-assisted rural communities succeed in managing their water services in a financially self-sufficient way? And what makes a community successful? | »