WaterAid at Stockholm World Water Week
WaterAid America Board Member Roberto Lenton and President & CEO Patricia Dandonoli were among 2500 experts from over 140 countries convening at Stockholm World Water Week in August.
The annual conference discussed pressing issues in the water and sanitation sector, with special attention devoted this year to the much overlooked topic of sanitation.
Poor sanitation causes huge problems across the developing world. It isa leading cause of infant mortality, hampers children's education,undermines productivity and is hugely degrading to women.
WaterAid's presentations at the conference included:
- WaterAid UK's Chief Executive Barbara Frost participated in the Stockholm Water Prize Laureates seminar, delivering a presentation titled 'The science is clear, the economic arguments are sound - so why is it that the MDG for sanitation will not be reached?'.
- In the session 'Responding to the Evidence? Aid and the Sanitation Blindspot' WaterAid presented research from Madagascar and Zambia showing how the aid system can better respond to public health imperatives and get the Millennium Development Goal for child mortality back on track.
- WaterAid, BPD Water and Sanitation and IWA convened the seminar 'Impending disaster or strategic opportunity? Small town sanitation – it’s a big issue', which addressed sanitation needs in small and mid-sized towns,the destination of the bulk of current patterns of rural-urban migration.
- WaterAid's side event 'Realizing the potential: sanitation as a preventive health intervention' brought together experts from the health and sanitation sectors to consider the evidence showing that sanitation is an extremely effective health intervention.
- The seminar 'Water and sanitation advocacy: How can we convince you?', presented jointly with the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC), brought together campaigners to talk about the successes attained and the challenges faced in trying to change behaviors around sanitation.
Patricia Dandonoli commented:
WaterAid America Board Member Roberto Lenton, former WaterAid Chief Executive Jon Lane and Barry Jackson giving a presentation on the Global Sanitation Fund at Stockholm.
"Poor sanitation causes huge problems across the developing world. It is a leading cause of infant mortality, hampers children's education,undermines productivity and is hugely degrading to women. WaterAid's participation at Stockholm enabled us to explore with other key players the reasons why this vital sector is so overlooked politically.
"Our presentations on subjects such as the need to develop effective sanitation infrastructure in small towns, and the current neglect of menstrual hygiene, were important contributions to the sector's understanding of the key challenges that need to be addressed to improve poor people's lives."
Barbara Frost, Chief Executive of WaterAid in the UK, added:
"This week has given us many opportunities to share ideas with colleagues, in particular to hear experiences from those working at the local level in South Asia and Africa. It's clear to me that solving the sanitation and water crisis is not just about science or economics but also about the power of communities to make their voices heard at all levels."
Read Barbara Frost's Stockholm World Water Week blog
Visit the Stockholm World Water Week website