UPGro – African Groundwater 2020

Final report from Unlocking the Potential for Groundwater for the Poor

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Events

21.09.2020 • 14:00

Africa Source Water Protection Seminar • Online

The Nature Conservancy, jointly with the Ministry of Water, Sanitation & Irrigation of Kenya and Nairobi City Water & Sewerage Company, invites you to a virtual Africa Source Water Protection Seminar. The seminar will take place on the date previously reserved for the Africa Water Security Congress: Nairobi 2020 which has been postponed to a later date. Come and engage with key stakeholders in the water sector as they discuss high level plans for the continent’s water security situation and ways to effectively engage in the proceedings during the World Water Forum in Dakar, Senegal. The seminar also aims to mobilize government, civil society and private sector on the need for them to participate in the continent’s water agenda. | »

05.10.2020 - 09.10.2020

Water and Health University of North Carolina • Chapel Hill, USA (online)

The UNC Water and Health Conference: Science, Policy and Practice will be held October 26 – 30, 2020 virtually from the comfort of your home or office. The conference will explore drinking water supply, sanitation, hygiene and water resources in both developing and developed countries with a strong public health/COVID-19 emphasis. More details to be published on their website soon: https://waterinstitute.unc.edu/conferences/waterandhealth2020/ | »

News • Announcements

11.08.2020

Les défis multidimensionnels de la garantie d'un approvisionnement durable en eau Multi-dimensional challenges of ensuring sustainable water supplies

Chers et chères collègues de RWSN, les 4 mois qui se sont écoulés depuis le dernier Bulletin ont été riches en événements pour RWSN. Il est désormais évident que le covid-19 sera parmi nous pendant longtemps et qu’il y a besoin d'eau pour rester en sécurité. Pourtant, alors que les pressions sociales, économiques et sanitaires de la pandémie aggravent les inégalités existantes, il n'y a toujours pas de signe suggérant un investissement à long terme, nécessaire pour assurer la durabilité des services. Le 28 juillet marquait le 10e anniversaire de la reconnaissance du droit humain à l'eau et l'assainissement par l'Assemblée générale des Nations unies. Dans sa déclaration pour l’occasion, le rapporteur spécial des Nations unies a conclu : "Sur le plan positif, la communauté internationale est consciente qu'elle a l'obligation, tant morale que juridique, de garantir l'accès à l'eau potable et à l'assainissement pour tous, sans discrimination (...) Toutefois, sans une augmentation rapide et considérable des efforts actuellement consacrés à l'eau et à l'assainissement, et sans une meilleure compréhension des changements juridiques et politiques qu'exige une approche de l'eau et de l'assainissement fondée sur les droits humains, la communauté internationale ne pourra pas tenir les promesses ambitieuses qu'elle a faites" (traduit de l’anglais). La dernière série de webinaires de RWSN s'est concentrée sur le droit humain à l'eau alors que de plus en plus de praticiens cherchent à utiliser les engagements en matière de droits humains comme levier de progrès. Le point positif est que la pandémie a engendré un besoin urgent pour les agences et les praticiens de collaborer et trouver des solutions. RWSN a soutenu de nombreuses discussions par le biais de webinaires et forums en ligne, ses membres apportant un large éventail de compétences, expériences et perspectives aux défis posés par le covid et le changement climatique. Une étape importante a été la conclusion des recherches d’UPGro, ayant produit une quantité considérable de connaissances-clés sur le potentiel des eaux souterraines en Afrique et sur la manière de les exploiter, en particulier pour les pauvres. C’est le résultat d'une longue collaboration entre institutions du Nord et du Sud, avec RWSN comme knowledge broker. Entre-temps, une riche discussion sur la décolonisation des connaissances WASH a débuté au sein du groupe LNOB, déclenchée par le mouvement Black Lives Matter. Les déséquilibres de pouvoir institutionnalisés entre experts en eau du sud et du nord, et la valeur différente accordée à leur expertise, ont été exposés. Ces dynamiques sont dommageables en elles-mêmes et compromettent la viabilité des solutions développées. Je vous encourage tous à participer à cette discussion et à contester la discrimination systémique qui limite le potentiel de l'apprentissage collaboratif. Le rôle de RWSN n'a jamais été aussi important pour relever les défis multidimensionnels liés à la garantie d'un approvisionnement durable en eau pour les populations rurales. ////// | »

28.07.2020

Happy anniversary to the human rights to water and sanitation! Bon anniversaire aux droits humains à l’eau et à l’assainissement

28 July marks the 10th anniversary of the recognition of the human rights to water and sanitation. 10 years and 12 resolutions later, this blog answers common questions on the legal status of water and sanitation as human rights in international and national law. Le 28 juillet marque le 10ème anniversaire de la reconnaissance des droits humains à l’eau et à l’assainissement. 10 ans et 12 résolutions plus tard, ce blog répond aux questions les plus courantes sur le statut juridique de l’eau et de l’assainissement en tant que droits humains dans le droit international et national. El 28 de julio se cumple el décimo aniversario del reconocimiento de los derechos humanos al agua y al saneamiento. 10 años y 12 resoluciones más tarde, este blog responde a preguntas frecuentes sobre el estatus legal del agua y el saneamiento como derechos humanos en la legislación internacional y nacional. | »

23.06.2020

Evaluation of SDC’s engagement in the water sector shines light on RWSN success and influence

The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is recognised a leading international development agency in the global water sector and one that is not afraid to challenge others and itself to reflect, learn and improve. So it is to be welcomed that SDC has made public an independent evaluation of the agency’s engagement in the water sector between 2010 and 2017, including the management response . One of the main findings was that the continuity, long-term approach and flexibility of SDC were important factors behind the relevance, effectiveness and impact of SDC’s operations in water. We can relate to this finding because the Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN) and SDC have been partners since the network’s inception in 1992 (as the Handpump Technology Network) and the longstanding partnership has been mutually beneficial over the years thanks to that long-term view and flexibility. It was pleasing to see in the evaluation report itself, several positive mentions of RWSN, which are worth highlight here because they illustrate the care and passion that our network’s Theme and Topic Leaders and Executive Steering Committee members, and my colleagues in the Secretariat, put in to making the network work: • “RWSN – the network has recently been evaluated and represents a long-term investment into support global WASH. It focuses especially on the issue of sustainability thus addressing a major area of investment and a major issue in rural water and sanitation where the GPW has had the opportunity to add value in terms of building up a knowledge base.” (p84) Also in relation to SDC promoting sustainability of water interventions: • "SDC’s widespread support to knowledge, learning and exchange in the various networks helps to further harmonize and strengthen approaches to sustainability globally – for instance through its support to RWSN which has sustainability as one of its core themes”, (p47) And on enabling and strengthening partners’ capacities to implement actions and to make the case using water actions to bring about and trigger transformative gender equality: • “Networks could highlight positive case studies, develop position papers and show how equal access to and control of water resources has led to more sustainable results. An existing positive example is RWSN, which has a “Gender and inclusion” subtheme.” (p65) Elsewhere in the evaluation report, RWSN is used as an exemplar for SDC networking to learn from, including on “active peer-to-peer exchange through the online platforms.” (p43); the importance of in-kind contributions from members from the network to drive vibrancy (p.43); and the value of our events, notably the 7th RWSN Forum in Abidjan in 2016 (p52). The overall and detailed findings of the evaluation show that SDC Global Programme Water (GPW) is effective and efficient and it is great to see that many, if not all, the recommended changes are being addressed in some way through the formulation of its GPW Strategic Framework 2021-2024, was shared with partners for comment earlier this month. Thank you to the GPW team for the continued partnership to achieve our shared goals of achieving universal access to safe drinking water, sustainable water management and poverty eradication. | »

18.03.2020

Coronavirus/COVID-19 – Resources and Guidance for Rural Water/WASH professionals Updated 30.03.2020

Achieving universal access to safe drinking water is a good thing for many reasons, but for one of the biggest is improving health and wellbeing, and this is why water supply is generally grouped with sanitation and hygiene to form the WASH (or WaSH) sector. The current pandemic sweeping across much of the world has clearly demonstrated that access to safe water and improved sanitation is still not enough – without good hygiene behaviour, individuals put themselves, their families, and everyone they encounter at risk. There is a lot of information available on the internet, but not so much that is that is directly relevant for those working in rural areas of low/middle-income countries. However, here are some suggestions of places to start (we will add to this list as we compile more - please send us any recommendations to ruralwater@skat.ch or via Twitter): | »

16.01.2020

Would you like to be mentored? Would you like to be a mentor? Aimeriez-vous devenir le mentor d’un jeune professionnel? Aimeriez-vous avoir un mentor?

In 2020, thanks to the financial support of the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) and World Vision, RWSN is launching a mentoring programme, aimed at matching young professionals under the age of 35 with more senior professionals in the water sector. The aim of this scheme is to help develop the new generation of water experts, and to ensure the knowledge and experience acquired by senior members of the RWSN community is not lost. This follows our first RWSN mentoring programme in 2019, where we matched 240 young professionals with senior experts from our network. The requirements for being a mentor or a mentee are as follows: - Mentees: mentees (junior professionals) should be under the age of 35 at the time of signing up for the mentoring scheme. There is no level of experience required. Students are welcome to take part. - Mentors: There is no age requirement for mentors (senior professionals), but they should have a minimum of 5-7 years of professional experience in the water sector. We are looking for a range of mentors with different levels of experience and a variety of skills, so don’t hesitate to apply even if you feel that you may not be ‘senior’ enough. - We strongly encourage women to sign up both as mentors and mentees. There are not enough women in the water sector, and in our network in general – and we would like this to change! As always, feel free to contact the RWSN Secretariat for more information, and please share this opportunity with young or senior colleagues who may be interested. | »

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