Have you ever heard of World Water Week?
Ya, we figured it was a longshot.
Well, World Water Week is an annual global event organized by the Swedish International Water Institute in Stockholm. From leaders and experts to business and civic communities, over 3,000 people gather to address the planet’s water issues in concrete ways.
This year’s conference theme was
“Water for society:
For us at Water for Good, we know how “Including all” is difficult when the easily forgotten countries face great challenges in being represented at world-class conferences. We have always been faced with the challenge of getting the people of the Central African Republic the attention they deserve. It seems the rare news coverage the country gets is when violence breaks out.
Fragile countries, like the Central African Republic, is where 72% of all people living in extreme poverty reside. Trends are showing that 80% of the world’s poorest will live in fragile contexts by 2030. Secondly, only 18% of fragile countries, where the vast majority of the poor live, are on track to meeting acceptable water access goals by 2030. The information above is found in the OECD’s report, which also makes mention of large segments of populations, refugees, slums, but also populations in areas where data is insufficient or non-existent.
people cannot be systematically included in national programs, to track progress, or to intervene appropriately. So lack of data reflects a hole or weakness in the system.
During its routine maintenance visits, one major way Water for Good includes the poor and isolated is by electronically tracking their water point data and monitoring how communities engage on a financial level with the ongoing maintenance of their wells. The data allows for planning and budgeting, not just through Water for Good’s programs but on a national level. THIS DATA PUTS THE MOST EASILY FORGOTTEN ON A MAP.
While at WASH, our team had the privilege of meeting with the Minister of Hydraulics who comes from Vakaga, one of the most vulnerable regions in the Central African Republic. He challenged us not to forget his community and to include them in our plans. THIS WAS A GOOD REMINDER THAT “INCLUDING ALL” IN THE CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC REQUIRES A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF COMMITMENT AND EFFORT.
We also enjoyed getting to know a new partner of ours, Water Mission, and now have a better understanding their approach to community development, water access, and how they have designed good implementation tools and techniques from their years of experience. The task providing lasting access to all is not something we can do alone.
Along with other organizations, Water Mission and Water for Good participated in a common session that sought to contribute to the development of innovative performance-based mechanisms to reliably finance enterprises that provide services to rural and remote populations. The feedback we received from the audience was more than encouraging. Many appreciated the fact that talking about including all is not enough, it takes planning and doing, and the only way to do so is to build plans based on reliable data.
1 OECD: State of Fragility Report 2018