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
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
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
Water Mismanagement Plagues the World's Poor
Business Week, March 25
World Water Experts: Sanitation is a Life-Saver
Associated Press, March 20
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
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
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
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."
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
H2O.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.
GOOD: Drinking Water Video
This is a catchy educational video about the global water and sanitation
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.
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
"Let Clean Waters Flow"--A World on the Verge of Water Bankruptcy
Seattle Times, March 27
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.
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