Top 10 Water Tweets of 2020

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With COVID-19 dominating headlines throughout 2020 and affecting nearly every aspect of our lives, it’s no surprise that the pandemic was a prevailing theme that resonates with the followers of @WorldBankWater.  The global health crisis has shaken the water sector and exposed the continued neglect of our water infrastructure and the gaps in access to water and sanitation services. 

As we look back at the tweets that got the highest engagement this year, we continue to be inspired by our Twitter community and their commitment to build a water-secure world for all.

Here are the top 10 tweets of 2020 from @WorldBankWater:

Kicking off our list is the central message from our flagship report released to mark World Water Day 2020 – Wastewater: From Waste to Resource. Smart investments in wastewater and other sanitation infrastructure are crucial to achieving public health benefits, improving the environment, and enhancing quality of life. Safely managed water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services are an essential part of preventing disease and protecting human health during infectious disease outbreaks, including the current COVID-19 pandemic.
 

Over 500 million women and girls around the world lack adequate facilities for menstrual hygiene management (MHM), and the coronavirus pandemic has further exacerbated the menstruation-related challenges that many of them face. Investing in menstrual health and hygiene has been a fundamental part of the Bank’s WASH projects and is being integrated into our COVID-19 emergency response interventions in WASH. It was an honor to have Mari Pangestu, World Bank Managing Director of Development Policy and Partnerships, be a champion in this call to action on Menstrual Hygiene Day.

World Toilet Day is a United Nations Observance that celebrates toilets and raises awareness of the 4.2 billion people living without access to safely managed sanitation. It is about taking action to tackle the global sanitation crisis and achieve Sustainable Development Goal 6: water and sanitation for all by 2030. As in previous years, our Twitter audience showed strong support for the World Toilet Day campaign led by UN-Water in November 2020.

By 2050, over half of the world’s population is projected to live in water-scarce regions.  Finding solutions to the global water crisis is a priority for the @WorldBankWater community, and wastewater may provide the key. 

World Water Week, the leading event on global water issues held each year in Stockholm, transformed in 2020 to “World Water Week At Home,” a virtual conference that allowed people to safely meet, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The World Bank convened and participated in 20 sessions, collaborating with partners to find solutions to pressing water-related challenges. 

Citywide Inclusive Sanitation (CWIS) aims to shift the urban sanitation paradigm to focus on the whole sanitation service chain and access for all, especially the poor. Together with other key partners, the World Bank has been at the forefront of the growing CWIS movement. In the last few years, our Twitter followers may have followed the CWIS updates with the hashtag #InclusiveSanitation. We are excited to see they also showed strong interest in the new CWIS web hub, where tools, resources, good practice documentation and other materials are collated to further support CWIS advocacy, design and implementation.

On #WorldToiletDay, the Citywide Inclusive Sanitation (CWIS) team at the World Bank Water Global Practice released a new guide, Connecting the Unconnected, that looks at the reasons why so many households still get left behind and remain unconnected to existing or new sewer networks.  The report also analyzes best practices in developing successful sewerage connection programs. Our tweets about the report were shared widely by social media influencers.

As COVID-19 began spreading rapidly across continents in early 2020, it was important to advocate for measures to help protect people from the virus. The Bank supported Haiti in launching a large-scale public awareness campaign, which promoted the use of face masks, physical distancing and good handwashing behavior.  This animated video, just one example from the campaign, resonated with our followers, and hopefully, helped encourage safe behaviors in Haiti and beyond. 

Agriculture is the lifeblood of Uganda’s economy. Irrigation can support Ugandan farmers in adapting to a changing climate with more variable rainfall, help feed a growing population, and provide employment opportunities for young people. That is why the World Bank is supporting the Ministry of Agriculture and 40 local governments across Uganda through the Micro-scale Irrigation Program as part of  the Uganda Intergovernmental Fiscal Transfers Program for Results (UgIFT). We invited our followers to stay tuned and watch this space for more updates on the program.

Rounding out our list of the year’s top tweets is a stark reminder that one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of a virus is also one of the simplest: handwashing with soap and water. On Global Handwashing Day, our Twitter followers showed appreciation for the seven World Bank Vice Presidents and two Global Directors who stepped forward to advocate for increased investments in hand hygiene for all.

In a year like no other in recent history, 2020 presented enormous challenges to the water and sanitation sector. How governments, utilities, and industries respond to the crisis will likely shape the future of WASH.  Our Twitter community makes us optimistic about that future, and we thank all of you for consistently bringing thoughtful, compelling, and action-oriented discussions to the platform as we strive to build resilient, sustainable and inclusive WASH systems around the world. We look forward to continuing the conversation in 2021.

Authors

Li Lou

Communications Officer, World Bank

Melody Ann Hill Kokoszka

Online Communications Producer

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