Thursday, 10 March 2016 01:00

Sustainable access high on the agenda at AfWA Congress

The African Water Association held its 18th Congress in Nairobi, Kenya where the focus was on sustainable access to water and sanitation.

Participants principally from Africa gathered for the four-day event (22-25 February 2016) and took stock of the opportunities and challenges offered by the new 2030 development agenda. The GWOPA Secretariat was honoured to be invited to provide a keynote speech during the Plenary Session on Governance and Performance Improvement Tools, during which the potential for WOPs to scale-up effective practice in African utilities was warmly received.

The Congress also provided an occasion to interact with donors active in the region and GWOPA took advantage of this space to present the Performance Improvement Plans developed through WOPs to participating donors. Feedback was positive and it was agreed that follow-up on funding these plans should be given due attention.

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Druring the Congress, a session was held on low-income support units in urban utilities, in which the Head of the GWOPA Secretariat, Dr. Faraj El-Awar, participated, co-organized by WaterAid and the Africa Water Association. The session focussed on the release of a handbook and a series of 3 case studies focussing on low-income Customer Support Units. The case studies focussed on Bangladesh, Malawi and Uganda and summarized the process of introducing pro-poor units within the operatos. WaterAid highlighted their hope for ‘further support to introduce Low-income Customer Support Units through peer-to-peer partnehsips between similar utilities’. WaterAid along with the Africa Water Association is seeking to initiate these pilots under GWOPA’s WOPs model and it is hoped that these partnerships will enrich the wider Alliance.

Anne Bousquet, GWOPA’s regional coordinator for Africa, participated in a session co-organized by GWOPA and WOP-Africa, where the new WOP-Africa initiative on faecal sludge management WOPs was presented. A representatives from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Doulaye Kone, chaired this session and emphasized the potential for WOPs in the region and the possibility of scaling up sanitation WOPs.

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Additional Info

  • Title: African Water Association
  • Description Resume: The overarching goal of AfWA’s International Water Congress series is to identify, showcase and debate practical experiences and examples of service provision in developing countries that ‘work’, and critically, ‘work at large scale’.

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