April 7, 2009
Water Advocates eNewsletter - April 2009
Water Advocates eNewsletter, Vol 4, No 2, April 1, 2009
Dear Friends of Sanitation and Safe Drinking Water:
The last two months have been full of exciting developments in the water and sanitation sector. The Fifth World Water Forum occurred in Istanbul, Turkey. New legislation in Congress was introduced--The Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2009. And many efforts are underway to generate more support for sustainable, affordable and ample sources of safe drinking water and adequate sanitation.
Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH)-in-Schools Initiative Update ==================================================================
At least twelve USAID Missions in Sub-Saharan Africa are implementing programs to improve water, sanitation and hygiene in schools. The Missions are in Ethiopia, Ghana, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania and Zambia. A good example is USAID/Nigeria, which plans to expand their partnership with the Women Farmers' Advancement Network. This aims to provide sustainable access to safe drinking water, sanitation facilities and hygiene services to schools in Kano State.
There was also an important (and well-attended) formal session on WASH-in-Schools at the World Water Forum in Istanbul. Clarissa Brocklehurst from UNICEF lead the session on March 19 entitled "Taking WASH to Scale." Several presenters documented how improving water and sanitation in schools results in health improvements and how it helps keep children, especially girls, in school. Resources from the session are available by searching "WASH in Schools" at the World Water Forum website: http://content.worldwaterforum5.org/index.php/home.
New Congressional Legislation: Strong support for drinking water and sanitation continues on Capitol Hill, where legislation introduced in the Senate would put the U.S. in the lead among governments in responding to the Millennium Development Goals for water and sanitation. Companion legislation is expected soon in the House. Titled "The Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2009" (S624), the bipartisan bill introduced by Senators Durbin, Corker and Murray on March 17 seeks to reach 100 million people with safe water and sanitation by 2015 and to strengthen the capacity of USAID and the State Department to carry out the landmark Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005.
USAID: Dozens of USAID missions, notably in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia, are gearing up to utilize increased appropriations to implement the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act, after years of lacking the tools to help extend safe, sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene. USAID this past month announced a number of initiatives including: new strategic partnerships to extend water and sanitation access to the urban poor in Africa and the Middle East (with International Water Association), new multilateral revolving funds (in the Philippines), new collaborations (with Rotary International) and a new USAID Water Site http://tinyurl.com/newUSAIDwater.
Appropriations: Through the recently passed Omnibus legislation, Congress appropriated $300 million for Fiscal Year 2009, for "water and sanitation supply projects pursuant to the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005." As with last year's appropriations, forty percent of the funds are targeted for Sub-Saharan Africa. Priority will remain on drinking water and sanitation in the countries of greatest need. Report language suggests increased hiring of Mission staff with expertise in water and sanitation. It also recommends that $20 million of the appropriation be available to USAID's Global Development Alliance to increase its partnerships for water and sanitation, particularly with NGOs.
In Fiscal Year 2010, a broad spectrum of U.S. nonprofit organizations, corporations and religious organizations are urging $500 million to implement the Senator Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act, as part of an overall increase of foreign development assistance, a level also called for by InterAction and the "Transition to Green" Report.
Spotlight on the World Water Forum
The World Water Forum took place from March 16-22 in Istanbul, Turkey. Many organizations worked to highlight that water- and sanitation-related diseases remain the biggest global public health threat and to stress that something needs to be done now--less talk, more action. Half the hospital beds in the developing world are occupied by patients sick due to bad water, sanitation and hygiene practices. PATH, the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council, the UN Water Decade, the Water and Sanitation Program and Water Advocates worked together with Geneva-based Media21 to organize a workshop at the Forum for 40 journalists. They came from as far away as Albania and Yemen, along with several journalists from the U.S. The journalists were introduced to experts who talked about the vast array of technologies and programs that are being implemented now to solve this global health crisis. More media coverage of these solutions will generate more support and expand action. Here are a few stories that have already appeared:
++Water Mismanagement Plagues the World's Poor
Business Week, March 25
++World Water Experts: Sanitation is a Life-Saver
Associated Press, March 20
++Pulitzer Presence at 5th Annual World Water Forum
Pulitzer Center On Crisis Reporting, March
++Sexy Marketing Aims to Boost Toilet Use
National Geographic News, March 17
++The Coca-Cola Company Commits $30 Million to Africa
On March 16 the Coca-Cola Company announced that it would commit $30 million over the next six years to provide access to safe drinking water to communities throughout Africa. According to the World Health Organization, more than 300 million Africans lack access to safe drinking water. This causes serious health implications--at any one time up to half the region's population suffers from diseases related to unsafe drinking water and poor sanitation.
++International H2O Collaboration
Rotary International and USAID have launched an alliance that will initially address water and sanitation needs in the Dominican Republic, Ghana and the Philippines. While specific funding levels are still being determined, an estimated minimum of $2 million per country will be sought for alliance projects.
++Over $10,000 Raised on YouTube by charity:water
On March 22, to commemorate World Water Day, YouTube featured a video from charity:water, which used a call-to-action overlay to encourage YouTube users to donate money to build wells and provide clean, safe drinking water for those who don't have it. The effort raised over $10,000 in one day.
++Ryan's Well Achieves 500th Project
Ryan's Well reported in their World Water Day newsletter that they have reached their 500th water project.
++IKEA Social Initiative Adds $48 Million to UNICEF's Child Health Program
This IKEA donation to UNICEF announced in February will include funding for water and sanitation programs.
++Pakistan Will Receive $300 Million Loan to Improve Water and Sanitation
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced in February that it will provide a loan of $300 million to improve water and sanitation services in six cities in Pakistan.
++Yemen to Start Large Water Program
Scheduled to start this year, Yemen's Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation (MPIC) is working to mobilize resources for an integrated program to tackle the country's water crisis. The World Bank has provided $90 million for the program and other donors, including Germany, Netherlands and the UK, are also contributing. The program will be managed by the government and they are contributing $250 million.
++ADB Commits More Funding for Sanitation
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has called for regional governments and the private sector to do more to help the 1.8 billion people in Asia who lack access to adequate sanitation. ADB's annual average lending pipeline for sanitation increased from $300 million from the period 2003-2007 to $710 million for 2008-2010.
++Mozambique to Receive Support for Water
USAID and Coca-Cola announced in February that they will together commit over $1.5 million to improve safe drinking water systems in Mozambique.
++Declaration on U.S. Policy and the Global Challenge of Water
On March 18, co-chairs E. Neville Isdell (Chairman of Coca-Cola) and former Senate Majority Leader William H. Frist joined the CSIS Global Strategy Institute for the release of the Declaration on U.S. Policy and the Global Challenge of Water. The declaration emphasizes the centrality of water to U.S. interests and calls for the United States to play a stronger role in addressing water as one of the most important "strategic" challenges of our time. Please consider adding your name to the Declaration.
++Senator Richard Durbin Keynote Address on Water
In the Senate Russell Caucus Room on March 17, Representative Earl Blumenauer, Patti Simon (widow of the late Senator Paul Simon) and Senator Richard Durbin--who provided the keynote address--forcefully highlighted safe water and sanitation's central role in worldwide health and development. The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Global Health Policy Center and Global Strategy Institute held a follow-up discussion on water, health, development and the pending "Senator Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2009."
++Secretary Clinton: "Women of the World Need Safe Water"
In an unprecedented letter of concern to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, prominent women urged enhanced U.S. leadership to reduce the burden on women from inadequate drinking water and sanitation in developing countries. She received the letter between International Women's Day (March 8) and World Water Day (March 22) to emphasize this critical linkage.
++United States Participates in World Water Forum
In Istanbul, Turkey at the World Water Forum, the United States lead ministerial discussions on financing and engaged in a number of high-level events focused on increasing access to drinking water and sanitation.
++GOOD Magazine Videos Garner Over 1 Million Views
Love them or hate them, the GOOD magazine videos, produced in partnership with PSI and others are making news and bringing mainstream attention to the global safe drinking water and sanitation crisis. The Psycho Shower Scene (Dirty Version) gets the point across that dirty water kills. That video alone already has over 500,000 views.
++APHA and IPWR Announce Partnership
The American Public Health Association (APHA) and the Institute for Public Health and Water Research (IPWR) announced a new partnership on March 22 focused on water and its importance to protecting health. Through the partnership, APHA and IPWR pledge to mutually support each other's efforts on the critical issue of water and its impact on and relationship to public health in the United States and throughout the world.
++Indian Sanitation Innovator Awarded 2009 Stockholm Water Prize
Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak, founder of Sulabh Sanitation Movement in India, has been named the 2009 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate.
++Safe Water Network Launches Rainwater Harvesting Program
Safe Water Network and partners are working to deliver measurable improvements to the ancient practice of rainwater harvesting. Launched in India in March, the project will bring safe water to approximately 10,000 individuals throughout 40 villages.
EVENTS AND OPPORTUNITIES
++Philadelphia Global Water Initiative (PGWI) Annual Meeting
PGWI will hold its third Conference on April 3-4 at the Philadelphia College of Physicians. This Conference will focus on the connection between water and sanitation and public health. Cassandra Partyka [email@example.com] is accepting registrations and can answer any questions that you have.
++CGI U Outstanding Commitment Awards Announced
President Clinton announced at the Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) meeting on February 14 that the Pat Tillman Foundation and the Wal-Mart Foundation are sponsoring the 2009 CGI U Outstanding Commitment Awards. To apply and review criteria, please see the application. Students and student groups can apply for water- and sanitation-related commitments if they meet the criteria. The deadline is April 3.
++InterAction 7th Annual Photo Contest
If your organization is a member of InterAction, please enter your water/sanitation/hygiene photos in this contest. Deadline is April 15.
++Water Exhibit at Chelsea Market
Please join charity:water for an exhibit at Chelsea Market in New York City which highlights the global water crisis and the sustainable solutions being used to save millions of lives each day. The exhibit ends on May 31.
++Water Scholarships for Commonwealth Residents
Water, Engineering and Development Center (WEDC) announced in February that 15 distance learning scholarships are available for a Water and Environmental Management MSc starting in January 2010. The deadline is May 1 and there are certain restrictions.
++Attend the Rotary Water Summit
The Water and Sanitation Rotarian Action Group (WASRAG) is holding its second Water Summit on June 19 at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham, England.
++Sign a Petition to President Obama
Sign a petition to President Obama to make the resources available so all children can have the most basic of life-sustaining elements: access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene.
++Sign a Petition to Increase Development Assistance
Increases to poverty-focused development assistance could save thousands of lives and promote economic growth worldwide. For instance, investing in safe drinking water and effective sanitation can reduce diarrheal diseases that kill 5,000 children a day.
++WTO Seeks Executive Director in Singapore
The World Toilet Organization (WTO) is looking for an executive director to lead the organization into the next phase of growth and development.
++Truman Award 2009
The purpose of the Truman Award is to recognize young professionals working in the field of international development. If you know young professionals working on water and sanitation issues, please nominate them.
++Help Global Water Challenge Recruit Members
Global Water Challenge is recruiting members to their Facebook cause. Can you help them?
++New UN World Water Development Report
The 3rd United Nations World Water Development Report: Water in a Changing World (WWDR-3) was just released in March at the World Water Forum in Istanbul. This is the tri-annual report from the World Water Council.
++WHO: Water Safety Plan Manual
This workbook describes in clear and practical terms how to develop and implement a water safety plan.
++Water Rights and Wrongs
A young people's summary of the United Nations Human Development Report 2006, Beyond Scarcity: Power, Poverty, and the Global Water Crisis, is available for free download in English, French, Spanish, Arabic and Basque.
++Climate, Oceans, and Human Health: The Saga of a Cholera-Chaser
This 2009 National Academies' Gilbert F. White lecture in the geographical sciences was given by Dr. Rita Colwell of the University of Maryland. The "case of cholera" begins on slide 28.
++Sanitation and Cleanliness for a Healthy Environment
This booklet addresses the different sanitation and hygiene needs of women and men. It gives communities information about how sanitation improvements can be made by better use of indigenous skills.
++Hand Washing Reduces Mortality Risk in Newborns
A recent study in Nepal has demonstrated a significant reduction in neonatal mortality due to maternal and birth attendant hand washing.
++Water: The New Reality
A special publication on water from The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), The Johns Hopkins University.
++New Report by Peter Gleick and the Pacific Institute
The World's Water 2008-2009: The Biennial Report on Freshwater Resources was launched in February. Among other topics it describes the global water crisis as the failure to meet basic human needs for water which leads to diseases like cholera and typhoid.
WEBSITES AND MULTIMEDIA
++1H2O.org: The Water Website
The Knight Center for International Media at the University of Miami School of Communication has a new journalist website devoted entirely to water and sanitation. Joseph B. Treaster runs the website and attended the World Water Forum in Istanbul. There are many reports about the World Water Forum on the site.
++International Committee of the Red Cross Water Video
Good video about how emergency response groups are getting into long term water and sanitation programs.
++The Adventures of Super Toilet
From WaterAid comes the heroic tale of Super Toilet and allies in the fight against Vinnie the Pooh.
++GOOD: Drinking Water Video
This is a catchy educational video about the global water and sanitation crisis.
++Strategic Partnerships in the Water Sector
USAID and the Global Development Alliance highlight some of the partnerships in the water and sanitation sector.
++How Much Would Clean Drinking Water Cost You?
Interactive website calculates how much money you would lose each year if you didn't have access to water and sanitation.
++The India Water Portal
The India Water Portal is an open, inclusive, web-based platform for sharing water management knowledge amongst practitioners and the general public. One section contains teaching aids on water for schools.
++WSUP--A New Video on Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor
Working in poor urban areas, WSUP is an innovative organization that brings together local and global expertise to provide sustainable water and sanitation solutions for poor communities.
WATER AND SANITATION COVERAGE IN MEDIA
++World Forum Looks to Replenish Ideas
Washington Diplomat, March
++India Failing to Control Open Defecation Blunts Nation's Growth
Bloomberg, March 4
++A Lion in Our Village--The Unconscionable Tragedy of Cholera In Africa
New England Journal of Medicine, March 12
++Senator Launches Push for U.S. Foreign Aid for Clean Water
Chicago Tribune, March 18
++Q&A: Women's Special Water Needs Find Voice
Inter Press Service, March 21
++African Entrepreneurs Pioneer New Ways to Improve Sanitation
Voice of America, March 26
++"Let Clean Waters Flow"--A World on the Verge of Water Bankruptcy
Seattle Times, March 27
A Portrait of Success--Mickey Sampson
This past month, just before World Water Day, the water and sanitation community tragically lost Mickey Sampson, age 43, of RDI Cambodia. Mickey's life is a portrait of success that should be recognized internationally. Through his leadership, RDI Cambodia became one of Southeast Asia's most innovative water and sanitation organizations. It provides an array of interventions that have impacted the lives of hundreds of thousands of Cambodians.
Mickey's philosophy was not to hand out help to Cambodians but rather to use education, incentives and social marketing to foster genuine demand for water and sanitation products. RDI Cambodia's successes include a world-renowned ceramic water filter factory which in 2009 will provide an additional 30,000 families with safe drinking water. Mickey and his team also produced the nation's most popular children's television program which entertainingly teaches about water and health, including arsenic poisoning. RDI Cambodia also reaches adults with these messages through popular karaoke videos (as was highlighted by NPR and National Geographic News--see media links below). Ecosan toilets, rainwater harvesting and rope pumps were other successful ways he met the country's water needs.
Another impressive achievement was the establishment of a laboratory which tests water quality. It is the most active laboratory in Cambodia for arsenic testing. Over 10,500 wells have been tested. Mickey was constantly upgrading the laboratory and working tirelessly to get new equipment donated so that Cambodians would have safer water to drink.
Both the ceramic water filters and rope pump projects have been studied by third parties and the results show high levels of sustainability, an indication that RDI Cambodia's approach is replicable.
Mickey was a good friend of Water Advocates and we were grateful to have known him. Thankfully, the work that Mickey started continues through the organization he founded, RDI Cambodia. He is an inspiration to many in the water and sanitation field.
Our hearts go out to Mickey's wife, family and co-workers during this difficult time.
More information on RDI Cambodia can be found here:
Ceramic Water Filter Factory
General Information on RDI Cambodia
Media Coverage of RDI Cambodia
As always, we encourage your feedback, comments and stories for upcoming issues. Thank you for reading. Remember a PDF version of the eNewsletter can be found on our website http://www.wateradvocates.org/enewsletter.htm.
Water Advocates Staff
For more information please contact John Sauer, Director of Communications, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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About Water Advocates
Water Advocates is the first US-based nonprofit organization dedicated solely to increasing American support for worldwide access to safe, affordable and sustainable supplies of drinking water and adequate sanitation. Our purpose is advocacy, not implementation of projects. We provide an additional voice for those around the world with no access to adequate drinking water and sanitation.
Water Advocates does not seek funding for itself from the general public. Instead it encourages Americans to sponsor water projects directly, to donate to water nonprofits of their choice, and to encourage government officials to augment foreign development aid for efficient drinking water and sanitation programs.