It’s been almost 8 months since the World Bank Group convened the first Water Hackathon. The Water Hackathon brought nearly 1000 computer programmers in 10 cities around the world together to compete to build prototype solutions to challenges in water, including sanitation. We had worked to help governments, utilities, civil society groups, World Bank experts, and citizens define their specific water problems. Overall, more than 60 prototype solutions were built in response to the 113 water sector challenges defined. Some
Private sector participation provides a promising solution to sustainable management and financing of water services, but we must bear in mind that a true PPP is all about the last P, partnership. At the Training Day preceding the PPP conference here in Dakar, Jane Jamieson said that PPP is not a date, it’s a marriage – you have to wake up next to it for the next 15-20 years (or 5 years or less for those management or lease/affermage contracts in countries such as Benin, Uganda, and Mozambique). So how do we make sure that it is indeed a true partnership?
Cooperation in International Waters in Africa (CIWA) was launched by the Africa Water Resources Management Unit of the World Bank.
The idea is for CIWA to support and assist riparian governments in Africa to work together to address and unlock the constraints on growth and development posed by international waters. The program is supported by various Development Partners, including the UK’s Department for International Development, Denmark and Norway.
The Ministry of Water and Irrigation (MoWI) in Kenya has been selected as a second place winner of the United Nations Public Service Award (UNPSA) in recognition of its work to promote gender responsive public service delivery with the following motivation:
”Your institution’s outstanding achievement has demonstrated excellence in serving the public interest and I am confident it has made a significant contribution to the improvement of public administration in your country. Indeed, it will serve as an inspiration and encouragement for others working for public service.”
Last week I was a speaker at a Global Water Intelligence summit in Rome. The organizers asked the panelists to imagine a perfect water future in 25 years and then re-engineer what is necessary to get there. I came up with a long list for an ideal water future, and gradually whittled it down to my personal four:
As the 2015 endline for the Millennium Development Goals draw to a close, the process of developing the next goals is underway. The World Bank has been involved with the UN and others for some time, thinking of how to reshape goals for water and sanitation. In parallel, however, there is a call (led by the Governments of Colombia and Guatemala) to reshape these goals into
We hope you can tune in live tomorrow, April 20 at 2 p.m. EDT, as government ministers from 40 developing countries are meeting with UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake, UK International Development Secretary of State Andrew Mitchell, Chair of the United Nations Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Water and Sanitation His Royal Highness the Prince of Orange, and major donors and water and sanitation sector organizations, to discuss speeding up global access to water and sanitation.
The session on Human Right to Water has led to constructive debate and dialogue. More interestingly, discussion on whether the human right to water implies providing water for free is no longer part of the mainstream debate. We have moved beyond this dichotomy and are now focused on figuring out how to make it work, while recognizing the costs involved.
There were many take-away messages. We need to operationalize the definition of the human right to water, develop more specific indicators and targets for each dimension that makes up the human right to water, and work to ensure that targets and indicators are relevant for different country contexts. Questions such as How affordable is affordable?, How safe is safe?, and How available is available? will differ between countries.
In a session on Financing Water for All, Ian Banda, CEO of the Kafubu Water and Sewerage Company, said that poor people who are not connected to the network in the Copperbelt towns in Zambia pay their local vendor 10 to 12 times more for water than poor and rich people pay to the utility. Juergen, from the International Secretariat for Water, a Canadian NGO, found that charging for water is immoral.
Water is at the crux of several development challenges, from health impacts related to poor sanitation and drinking water, to food and energy shortages caused by poor water management. We’ve also heard leaders such as US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton describe water as a means for peace.
And investments in water are working. Last week, UNICEF and WHO announced that over 2 billion people gained access to safe drinking water between 1990 and 2010, meeting the Millennium Development Goal for increased access to water three years ahead of target. During this same timeframe, 1.8 billion people gained access to improved sanitation.