Total Results: 79 • Page 1 of 4
“Groundwater may be out of sight, but it must not be out of mind.” This year’s tag line of the World Water Day points to the fact that despite its size and importance, groundwater is often overlooked and “out of our minds”. Right below our feet there are vast amounts of water, but most of the time we do not think about them. As society we tend to overlook it as a potential source of water for different purposes, and we also forget how fragile it is to be contaminated.
In low-income settings, the use groundwater is often limited by lack of resources (technology for drilling, energy for pumping, and supply chains to keep these systems operational). Nevertheless, several hundred million people across the globe have been providing water for themselves (“self-supply”), mostly from groundwater:
- In South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific, more than 760 million — or 31% of the population —rely on self-supply for their drinking water.
- In Sub-Saharan Africa, some 46 million rural people and 125 million urban people rely on private groundwater sources, equivalent to 7% and 33% of the rural and urban population, respectively.
These people tapped into groundwater sources by their own means, usually without support by governments, donors, NGOs or development banks. For more than a billion people worldwide self-supply is the best (and often the only) option to access water – and with coordinated efforts and stronger support structures, many more people may benefit.
On the occasion of World Water Day 2022, Skat Foundation and a group of like-minded organizations (WaterAid, SIWI, IRC, Ask-for-Water, University of Sydney) jointly developed a fact sheet on groundwater and self-supply, and how the two topics are related. We invite you to read the document, share it widely, and – most importantly – act on it. Here is the list of actions we are proposing:
• WASH professionals: Recognize the role of individual households in upgrading WASH service levels, support the collection of evidence on the multiple impact of self-supply, support initiatives of market intelligence, capacity building, exchange, and learning.
• Government entities: Recognize the role and importance of self-supply (e.g.,
include self-supply in monitoring efforts, recognize it in policies and standards),
build expertise in institutions, establish an enabling environment for local private
sector actors to thrive, and build capacities.
• Academia: Include technologies and approaches adequate for individual household
supply (or small groups) in research projects, include self-supply as an approach,
investigate enabling and hindering factors for WASH entrepreneurs to establish a
business and thrive, look into the multiple benefits generated by self-supply.
• Funding agencies: Include self-supply components in projects, focusing on kickstarting
market-based mechanisms, promotion, capacity building, market
intelligence, research and evaluations.
• Implementing agencies (NGOs, UN agencies, etc.): Integrate self-supply
components in projects of WASH, rural development, market development and
livelihood improvement; pilot and showcase technologies that can be taken up by
individual households and small groups.
For more information, please check out the fact sheet on groundwater and self-supply or the RWSN website on self-supply.
The Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN) is a global network with over 13,000 members in 168 countries. It is an informal organisation that does not exist legally. The Secretariat is hosted by Skat Foundation, in Switzerland, which collaborates with volunteer Theme Leaders, who lead networking and knowledge exchange activities around six thematic areas. The network is governed by an Executive Steering Committee (ExecSC), which comprises representatives from the African Development Bank, IRC, SDC, Skat Foundation, UNICEF, WaterAid and the World Bank.
RWSN is currently reviewing and revising its governance. The objective is that by the end of 2022, RWSN has a clear governance document that sets out the rules and protocols of how the network operates.
We are looking for a consultant or consultants to undertake a short assignment to find answers to the following questions:
1. How can Regional RWSN “chapters” or “hubs” be incorporated into RWSN’s overall global governance?
2. How can the structure and processes of the RWSN Executive Steering Committee be more reflective of the key principles?
Please follow the link below to download the full call
Dear RWSN members [en français ci-dessous, en español abajo],
We hope you all had a great start to 2022. The year is already going in full swing, and we would like to share some RWSN updates and upcoming events with you.
My name is Tommy Ka Kit Ngai and I am the Head of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene at WaterAid UK. At the RWSN Executive Steering Committee on 27 January, I was honoured to accept the role of RWSN Chair for the remainder of WaterAid’s tenure. I have been a RWSN member for about 10 years and have always been encouraged by the unwavering commitment of fellow RWSN members to collaborate and support each other in bringing sustainable and reliable water supplies to all rural people. Collectively, we have a world-leading, immense pool of knowledge and experience in rural WASH. I am thrilled to be here. I look forward to learning from and working alongside with all of you.
Thank you, Louisa Gosling and SDC
• It is with much sadness that Louisa Gosling stepped down as Chair of RWSN due to health issues as of December 2021. We thank her so much for her great leadership and passion for the network, and in particular, she worked tirelessly with the Leave no One Behind theme and has been a great advocate of RWSN over the last ten years. We wish her strength and good health in her next chapter.
• The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) has supported this network since the beginning when we were founded as the Handpump Technology Network in 1992. Thanks to their steadfast partnership, RWSN has grown from a mailing list of a few dozen engineers to a diverse, global network of nearly 14,000 individuals and more than a hundred organisations in 167 countries. The RWSN Strategy, Roadmap and ongoing governance review are setting the network on an exciting new path and we will share more details in future updates. SDC’s strategic orientation is shifting and with it our modality of collaboration. We thank the SDC Global Programme Water for providing exceptional support over the last 30 years, and to Dr Daniel Maselli in particular who has been a great ally and guide over the last few years. Switzerland remains committed to improving global water security and we look forward to continuing our partnership in new ways.
Welcome to Ndeye Awa Diagne, Dr. Amita Bhakta, WHO and USAID - and “Data for Action”
• Ms Ndeye Awa Diagne (“Awa”) has joined the RWSN executive committee. Awa is a Water and Sanitation Specialist at the World Bank in Washington DC, with 10 years experience, including 6 with the World Bank and 2 at the Société Nationale des Eaux du Sénégal. Her current responsibilities include managing the Bank’s internal community of practice on rural WASH. Linkedin
• New Leave No One Behind (LNOB) theme co-lead Dr. Amita Bhakta. Amita is a Freelance Consultant in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH); Website: Amita Bhakta – Hidden WASH; LinkedIn
• Welcome to our new RWSN project partners, USAID, who are funding REAL-Water, a five year research programme on rural water headed by Aquaya Institute with KNUST Ghana, ATREE, Safe Water Network, Aguaconsult and Water Mission.
• We are delighted to be collaborating with WHO as they prepare to finalise and publish “Guidelines For Small Drinking-Water Supplies: Policy Guidance And Supporting Tools”. Look out for more updates later in the year!
• Finally, the RWSN Theme “Monitoring and Mapping” will be changing its name to “Data for Action”; the change will be effective over the course of this year.
• On 22nd March we celebrate World Water Day. This year the theme is “Groundwater: making the invisible, visible”. You can take part in the celebration and raise awareness on groundwater by checking the website: https://www.worldwaterday.org/. There are many materials available for download to share with your community and networks, raising awareness on groundwater. RWSN also has a wealth of resources related to Groundwater, see below.
• 9th World Water Forum, Dakar - RWSN is delighted to be hosting French/English Session 2A4 on Rural Water Supply Management Models in Room 3 at 9am on 22 March. For those coming to the Dakar, we look forward to welcoming you to this great session, with interesting case studies from Morocco, Madagascar, Senegal, Ghana and Uptime and panellists including the Director General of Water from the Government of Spain. https://www.worldwaterforum.org/
RWSN resources related to Groundwater
• Does your organisation drill boreholes, or perhaps fund others to drill? If so, check out the wealth of materials on borehole drilling on the RWSN website: https://tinyurl.com/waterdrilling
• Do you want a quick, and easy introduction to borehole siting, supervision, procurement and drilling itself? If so, then watch these very short animated films (available in English and French): https://vimeo.com/channels/drilling
• Want to know about how to unlock the potential of groundwater in Africa, then check out this short film: https://vimeo.com/582160363
• Are you looking for ways to support access to groundwater at a low cost? Then you should find out if manual drilling is an option? This is a good place to start: https://www.rural-water-supply.net/en/sustainable-groundwater-management/manual-drilling
• Want to learn about professional drilling from other RWSN members and partners? There is an archive of presentations and webinars available here: https://vimeo.com/channels/1432819
• Do you have questions or concerns about using solar-powered water systems to pump groundwater? This is a good place to start: https://www.rural-water-supply.net/en/sustainable-groundwater-management/solar
New Groundwater Publications from RWSN and in collaboration with others
Dr Kerstin Danert, co-lead of Sustainable Groundwater Development Theme has been extremely busy over the last year and involved in lead and co-author roles on several key publications that will be published over the next month:
• “RWSN Groundwater Pumping Survey 2021: Summary of RWSN Member Responses.” Available in English on the RWSN website now in English and French version is forthcoming. https://rural-water-supply.net/en/resources/details/1043
• “Achievements and Lessons Learned in the Implementation of Groundwater Regulation in Zambia” / “Réalisations et enseignements tirés de la mise en oeuvre de la réglementation des eaux souterraines en Zambie” A collaborative publication with the Water Resources Management Authority of Zambia and UNICEF. Available here: https://www.rural-water-supply.net/en/resources/details/1040
• “Stop the Rot: Action research on handpump corrosion and component quality in Sub-Saharan Africa”. A three-part RWSN research report will be available from the RWSN website by the end of March.
• “Groundwater: making the invisible, visible”. Available on 22 March from https://www.unwater.org/publication_categories/world-water-development-report/
• Poverty reduction & Groundwater, International Association of Hydrogeologists, Strategic Overview series, 2022. Available soon at: https://iah.org/education/professionals/strategic-overview-series
Groundwater Solutions Initiative for Policy and Practice (GRIPP)
The GRIPP partnership, led by the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), will strengthen, expand and connect current groundwater initiatives. It will support the Global Framework for Action developed by the Groundwater Governance Project funded by the Global Environment Facilityand implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) together with UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme (UNESCO-IHP), the International Association of Hydrologists and the World Bank. Building on IWMI’s three decades of research, it will embed sustainable groundwater practices at the heart of natural resource management and the SDGs.
Other groundwater resources:
• Global Groundwater Sustainability: A Call to Action
• GRIPP (2019) Groundwater: critical for sustainable development, IWMI
• UN-Water (2018) Groundwater Overview: Making the invisible visible, IGRAC
• IAH (2019) Climate Change and Groundwater, Strategic Overview Series IAH (2017) The UN-SDGs for 2030 Essential Indicators for Groundwater, Strategic Overview Series
Other events of interest for Water and Sanitation:
• 17 February - [Webinar] Water Finance Coalition meeting: Asia - 09:00-10:30 CET | Africa and Latin America - 15:00-16:30 CET [registration]
• 22-23 February - [Event] World Water-Tech Innovation Summit, London, UK
• 28-February - 03 March - [Event] Middle East and North Africa Climate Week 2022, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
• March - FAME 2022: Alternative World Water Forum (AWWF), Dakar, Senegal
• 03-05 March - [Event] UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA): Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development 2022, Kigali, Rwanda
• 08-10 March - [Event] UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC): Latin America and the Caribbean Regional Forum on Sustainable Development 2022, Santiago, Chile
• 10-11 March - [Virtual Event] Colorado WASH Symposium
• 15 March - [Event] Water Summit for Global Development 2022 : Catching up with urbanisation, Delft, the Netherlands [abstract deadline: 09 Jan 2022]
• 15-17 March - [Event] UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA): Arab Regional Forum on Sustainable Development 2022, Beirut, Lebanon
• 21-26 March - [Event] 9th World Water Forum: Water Security for Peace and Development, Diamniadio (Dakar), Senegal
• 22 March - [Event] World Water Day: Groundwater: making the invisible visible
• 28-31 March - [Event] UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP): Asia-Pacific Forum on Sustainable Development 2022, Bangkok, Thailand
• 30 March - 01 April - [Virtual Event] 2022 OECD Global Anti-Corruption & Integrity Forum
RWSN Chair and secretariat
In January 2021, Ask for Water GmbH and Skat Foundation, under the Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN), launched a 15-month initiative called ‘Stop the Rot’. It set out to document the scale and extent of rapid handpump corrosion and the use of poor quality handpump components in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and bring about actions to address them. These two interlinked issues contribute to poor handpump performance, rapid handpump failure and poor water quality, all of which can ultimately lead to abandonment of the handpump sources who return to contaminated, or distance sources. These issues are recognised as problematic by some water sector practitioners in as well as a few organisations, but in general, have been poorly documented. Nearly al
The Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN) is a global network of more than 13,000 rural water professionals in 168 countries. The Secretariat is hosted by Skat Foundation, St. Gallen Switzerland and holds the international design specifications for public domain handpumps including the India Mark II, India Mark III and Afridev. Nearly all public domain handpumps in Sub-Saharan Africa are manufactured and imported from India, and therefore the India Mark II/III manufacture fall under the jurisdiction and quality standards of “Deepwell Handpumps” of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).
To date, the study has prepared the following three draft reports, and is finalising a Handpump Survey of RWSN members undertaken in 2021:
1 Danert (2022) Stop the Rot Report I: Handpump Reliance, Functionality and Technical Failure, Action Research on Handpump Component Quality and Corrosion in Sub-Saharan Africa, Ask for Water GmbH, Skat Foundation and the Rural Water Supply Network
2 Other reports in the series:
3 Danert, K. (2022) Stop the Rot - Report II: Rapid Corrosion of Handpumps, Action research on handpump component quality and corrosion in sub-Saharan Africa, Ask for Water GmbH, Skat Foundation and the Rural Water Supply Network
4 Danert (2022) Stop the Rot Report III: Handpump design and quality – with Zambia case study, Action Research on Handpump Component Quality and Corrosion in Sub-Saharan Africa, Ask for Water GmbH, Skat Foundation and the Rural Water Supply Network
On the occasion of World Toilet Day (19 November 2021), the Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation, Mr. Pedro Arrojo Agudo, is organizing the Fifth Human Rights Youth Challenge together with the Permanent Mission of Spain, the Permanent Mission of Germany, UN-Water, Franciscans International, International Rivers, Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN), World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Ulsan International Development Cooperation Center (UIDCC) and ONGAWA.
Youth aged between 19 - 24 are invited to produce and submit a video (v-log) or any other digital content on: “the human rights to water and sanitation of peoples living close to the nature" including, but not limited to, indigenous peoples, peasants, farmers, fisherfolks, hunters and gatherers, livestock rearers, and traders.
The deadline for submission is: 15 February 2022. For more information on the challenge:
English, Français, Español.
Skat Foundation, Water Mission and Aguaconsult are members of a consortium led by The Aquaya Institute that has been awarded a five-year, $18.9 million Cooperative Agreement from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for the Rural Evidence and Learning for Water (REAL-Water) program. REAL-Water will evaluate strategies for expanding access to safe and sustainable rural water across the developing world.
Eight out of ten people without basic water services live in rural areas. Achieving the Sustainable Development Goal of safe and affordable drinking water for all by 2030 requires a thorough understanding of rural water supply challenges and solutions.
The Rural Evidence and Learning for Water (REAL-Water) program will support research on three primary topics:
1. Professionalization of rural water service delivery
2. Strengthening of water quality monitoring in rural areas
3. Improved planning for water resources
REAL-Water will support policy makers, development partners, and service providers to make strategic decisions and implement best practices for water management through implementation research. It will also ensure coordination with related USAID programs that contribute to the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) and Water Resources Management (WRM) knowledge base, in alignment with the USAID Water for the World Implementation Research Agenda.
REAL-Water is an initiative of the Center for Water Security, Sanitation and Hygiene (CWSSH) in USAID’s Bureau for Resilience and Food Security with support from the Office for Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition in USAID’s Bureau for Global Health.
Autonomisation des femmes par le biais d’activités d'approvisionnement en eau en milieu rural : Un guide pratique par et pour les praticiens du Réseau d’approvisionnement en eau en milieu rural (RWSN) combine les apports et les exemples des ingénieurs avec le langage et l'expertise des spécialistes des thématiques de genre, et vise à faire le pont entre ces deux mondes. Le guide est le résultat d'un processus de co-création avec les membres du RWSN (atelier virtuel, e-discussion, édition d'une première version du document) et d'une consultation avec des spécialistes des thématiques de genre tout au long du processus pour s'assurer que le produit final équilibre à la fois les concepts clés et le jargon des spécialistes, ainsi que les contributions et les besoins des praticiens. Le guide est désormais disponible en anglais, français et espagnol.
The Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN) is a leading global knowledge network on water and development.
RWSN needs to be ambitious, responding to real needs at local and global levels; reaching as many rural water practitioners as possible; connecting, inspiring, and motivating; building capacity and knowledge; connecting people for joint learning and action; and supporting and amplifying the innovative and transformative work of our members.
This is an invitation to all those interested in rural water supply, and connected issues, to help us shape the future of the network over the next 10 years.
In 2021, for the third consecutive year, RWSN is running its mentoring programme for the water sector. Hundreds of our members have already participated in the RWSN mentoring programme in previous years. This year, it will be run slightly differently as we are using an online platform for mentors and mentees to be able to find each other directly, and we are expanding the “mentee” category to include all women in the water sector.
How does the RWSN Mentoring Programme work? Our mentoring scheme connects a mentor and a mentee in the water sector and is expected to last at least 6 months to help mentees at the beginning of their career or during a career transition. Mentors and mentees find each other via our online platform, and then maintain communication through Skype, WhatsApp, email, messages etc.
What are the benefits of the RWSN Mentoring Programme? To get an idea of the benefits of participating in the RWSN Mentoring Programme, you can watch this video where some of the 2019 RWSN mentees and mentors shared their experience, and read the blogs from some of our mentors and mentees from the class of 2020: Byamukama Arinaitwe (Uganda) and Engineer Oria-Usifo Ehi Ekiado (Nigeria); Joshua Azaki (South Africa) and Dr. Vassiki Sanogo (USA); Janvier Ngabo (Rwanda) and Nura Boru (Ethiopia); and Amanda Mugwambi (Zimbabwe) and Susana Sandoz (Canada).
Who is the RWSN Mentoring Programme for?
The 2021 RWSN Mentoring programme is open to all RWSN members and free of charge, thanks to the financial support of SENSE Foundation. If you are not yet a RWSN member, you can join RWSN here.
• Mentees: Young professionals under the age of 35 and women of all ages are eligible to be mentees. In the past, the mentoring programme aimed at matching young professionals under the age of 35 with more senior professionals in the water sector. This year, backed by popular demand and feedback from participants last year, we have expanded the mentee category to include not only young professionals but also women of all ages working in the water sector. There is no minimum level of experience required. Students are welcome to participate. Mentees who have participated in the RWSN mentoring programme previously in 2020 and 2019 are not eligible to participate as mentees again in 2021 (but they can participate as mentors if eligible).
• 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. Mentors are welcome to participate in the RWSN mentoring programme as many times as they want.
• We strongly encourage women to sign up both as mentors and mentees, as they are currently under-represented in our membership and in the sector more broadly – and we would like this to change!
Interested and want to join as a mentor, mentee, or both? Read our guidance document first (in English, French or Spanish) to check that you understand your role and are eligible, and then sign up through our online platform (register at the bottom of the page). You may find these guidelines helpful to navigate the online platform. The number of participants of the RWSN Mentoring Programme is capped at 300 this year, on a first-come, first-served basis – so sign up early to avoid disappointment!
• As primary providers, managers, and users of water, women are in an ideal spot to help drive productive change in the design and maintenance of water and sanitation systems, distribution, and policymaking.
• When women are included in decision-making on water, sanitation and hygiene issues, services tend to be more accessible and sustainable
• Water and sanitation are the important entry points to build national and local government capacity to meet the needs of women and girls.
• En tant que principales pourvoyeuses, gestionnaires et utilisatrices d’eau, les femmes occupent une position idéale pour contribuer à un changement productif dans la conception et la maintenance des systèmes d’approvisionnement en eau et d’assainissement, de la distribution et de la définition des politiques.
• Lorsque les femmes sont incluses aux prises de décisions sur les questions d’eau, d’assainissement et d’hygiène, les services sont généralement plus accessibles et durables.
• L’eau et l’assainissement constituent des points de départ importants pour donner aux gouvernements nationaux et locaux la capacité de satisfaire les besoins des femmes et des filles.
• Como principales proveedoras, administradoras y usuarias de agua, las mujeres se encuentran en un lugar ideal para ayudar a impulsar un cambio productivo en el diseño y mantenimiento de los sistemas de agua y saneamiento, la distribución y la formulación de políticas.
• Cuando se incluye a las mujeres en la toma de decisiones sobre cuestiones de agua, saneamiento e higiene, los servicios tienden a ser más accesibles y sostenibles.
• El agua y el saneamiento son un importante punto de entrada para desarrollar la capacidad del gobierno nacional y local para satisfacer las necesidades de mujeres y niñas.
This four-part series will share lessons learned from USAID partners focusing on innovative advances in approaches to operation and maintenance (O&M) of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure. Speakers will discuss their program's approaches to engineering, environmental, financial, and political-economy challenges, and aim to draw out important lessons that are more widely applicable. During this webinar series, attendees will learn more about:
Recent initiatives, advances, and thinking around community-managed WASH infrastructure and O&M
Innovative, locally-developed and sustainable solutions and new O&M resources such as guidelines and training courses
The ways in which O&M links with interventions focused on resilience, food security and integrated water resource management (IWRM)
Designing O&M systems that consider its impacts on women and youth
9:00 - 10:00 AM EST | Tuesday, March 2, 2021
USAID Lowland WASH Ethiopia
9:00 - 10:00 AM EST | Tuesday, March 16, 2021
Groundwater Management Institute, Southern African Development Community (SADC)
9:00 - 10:00 AM EST | Tuesday, April 6, 2021
Chris Hani District Municipality, South Africa
9:00 - 10:00 AM EST | Tuesday, April 20, 2021
Nobo Jatra Resilience Food Security Activity, Bangladesh
Skat Foundation is looking for a part-time co-moderator of the RWSN online platforms from the Global South. The post will be a consultancy or paid Internship position in the RWSN Secretariat. If your application is successful you will receive a contract up to 31 July 2021 (containing about 1-2 days per week) which could be extended until the end of this year and beyond if performance is good.
We are delighted that RWSN has been accepted as UN-Water Partner at the recent online meeting of the partnership on 30th September. For our network we see this as an important step for the following:
(1) Keep informed on SDG (6) progress and how rural is (or is not) being tackled across the United Nations family of organisations
(2) It provides a pathway for informing UN processes and organisations about rural water issues, for example the annual World Water Development Report, and the corresponding World Water Day & Week in 2022 will focus on groundwater, which is a topic that RWSN has much to contribute. Being a UN-Water partner we can now contribute to that drafting and consultation process that sets the agenda for water sector.
(3) It strengthens our existing relations with RWSN’s UN partners, particularly UNICEF, WHO and UNHCR, but also may open up new opportunities for rural water across the UN family that we hadn’t previously collaborated with.
Finally, we would like to encourage RWSN members to share examples of rural water supply work through the SDG 6 Action Space as inspiration for other organisations and networks. The official hashtag tagline for sharing SDG 6 actions is Let’s get #Goal6 on track!.
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 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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter):
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.
Word from the Chair: Kelly Anne Naylor, UNICEF
While we are making progress, we are not at the last mile nor the finish line yet- Rural water champions are needed now more than ever!
Fundamentally, rural water supply is about ensuring the human right to water, leaving no one behind. While global trends show a trend towards urbanization, people living in rural areas continue to make up the large majority with no services at all and overall lower levels of service. Greater attention and deliberate action to close the gaps on inequalities between rural and urban and rich and poorest populations, and better address threats that a changing climate and water scarcity pose to rural water supply.
Beyond a human survival need, we need to make a stronger case that safe, sustainable and affordable water supply is an essential part of vibrant rural economy and standard of living. On recent field visits in Chad, Yemen, Niger, Mauritania, Ethiopia, and Myanmar, I saw firsthand how innovations in solar pumping for piped water supply networks are catalysts bringing not only higher levels of service through household water connections- eliminating long distances and waiting times at water points, but also creating quality jobs, local entrepreneurship, and power supply to communities- benefits far beyond the water itself.
After three years as RWSN chair, my term is coming to an end. This has been a dynamic time in the network with development of the RWSN strategy 2018-2023, updated Governance document, new initiative on Young Professionals, and continued active engagement with network members through webinar series, publications, and e-discussions. It has been an immense pleasure to work so closely with the highly talented and committed RWSN Secretariat team- Sean, Kerstin, Meleesa, Sandra, Elodie. Also, I would like to express sincere appreciation to Skat Foundation for being stable and continuously supportive hosts and to SDC for the long-term partnership and financial support to RWSN. The Steering Committee and Theme leaders truly bring together some of the greatest professionals in the rural water community that serve the sector in a spirit of collaboration, technical excellence and of course fun!
Last but not least, I want to Thank You – the members of RWSN who are the beating hearts of rural water supply, serving courageously in countries and communities around the world, working with dedication and passion to progressively advance the quality and scale of rural water services for the most vulnerable population. As the baton will pass to a new chair in 2020, THANK YOU once again for sharing this rural water journey and I am looking forward to actively participating in RWSN as one of over 10,000 rural water champions- la lutte continue!