From the 18-21 January, the European Commission Directorate-General for International Partnerships and the Government of Slovenia, with the support of the Government of Portugal as the Presidency of the Council … Read more
In 2021, the Global Water Partnership (GWP) is organizing an interactive online series called the “Transboundary freshwater security governance train”. The series of online engagements sessions will be conducted in … Read more
The 2020 Asia Water Development Outlook (AWDO), the just released flagship publication of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), introduced governance as a chapter and applied the OECD Water Governance Principles across AWDO’s five key dimensions of water security.
Among the Water Governance Principles, the 9th principle focuses on Integrity and Transparency. Based on a survey undertaken by OECD which provides a snapshot of governance gaps in the Asia Pacific area, AWDO underlined the low adoption of integrity practices and tools among the member states. It further establishes that less than 20% of the countries in the region have implemented relevant international conventions or institutional anti-corruption plans.
Poor integrity in water governance and management is a major barrier for achieving water security and resilience, which have been stated to be objectives of key sectoral stakeholders, including the ADB for the Asia Pacific region. For the first time, AWDO has specifically called for “mainstreaming integrity and transparency practices across water policies, water institutions, and water governance frameworks that are key for greater accountability and trust in decision-making, and effective implementation of water policies”. WIN welcomes AWDO’s initiative of highlighting the urgent need to strengthen integrity within the water sector processes among member states.
WIN has worked with numerous development sector partners, donors, and government agencies to promote integrity and good governance in water and sanitation. We have also established a set of Integrity Tools and practices, useful in strengthening institutional integrity, improving performances and taking measures that prevent corruption. Applying these tools in collaboration with government agencies and water utilities in the Asia Pacific region, has led to valuable lessons and practices that can be scaled up within countries and in the region.
Addressing integrity concerns requires each stakeholder to equally collaborate; otherwise, it can be very challenging to establish good governance. We encourage ADB and other regional partners to support the implementation of the AWDO recommendations on good governance, especially on integrity among the member states.
Shared by Algeria, Libya and Tunisia, the North Western Sahara Aquifer System (NWSAS) is North Africa’s largest groundwater reserve, supporting the lives and livelihoods of 4.8 million inhabitants. A vital water … Read more
When Nakuru Rural Water Service Company (NARUWASCO) and the Dutch NGO WaterWorx picked Total Mau Summit in Nakuru as the base for the Total Mau Summit ‘Water for Life Project’ in December 2017, Ms. Alice Rutto, had no idea it would change her life. Now, Alice and the other residents of Total Mau Summit in Nakuru County, Kenya, no longer have to walk long distances every day in search of clean water from the Silibwet Spring, or pay unscrupulous water vendors exorbitant prices to access the precious commodity.
Alice explains while showing us the spring:
‘We used to line up here to fetch water from the spring for hours, and in the dry season, sometimes fights would occur because we didn’t have enough water. But now, with this water project, we can now look to the future and also focus on other things.’
Alice is one of more than 15 million people in water-scarce Kenya on the fringe of water services, dependent on sometimes distant wells, ponds, water bowsers and water vendors or rainfall for farming or personal use. With the introduction of the ‘Water for Life’ project which supplies water to 17,000 people along the Nakuru – Eldoret highway A104, she benefits not only from the safe drinking water and improved health, but far more.
It all started when Alice was recruited as part of the 25-member Task Force team of men and women mandated to assist in monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the project. The Centre for Social Planning and Administrative Development (CESPAD), WIN, and NARUWASCO supported the Task Force with training on integrity and transparency and helped them acquire the-know-how to monitor the project.
Her new role forced her to grapple with longstanding gender disparities. According to Alice, management is traditionally seen as a man’s job; therefore, the women here found limited access to the information on water management. Nevertheless, when it comes to water issues, women feel the pinch the most as they are the ones who are directly impacted.
Alice increasingly saw the importance of women’s role in protecting water sources. She slowly found her voice in the team and eventually ended up leading implementation. Today, Alice is the main guard of the Silibwet Spring. She monitors the construction of the water storage tank, ensures that the materials listed in the bill of quantities are what is provided, and educates the community on the importance of protecting the stream from over-exploitation. Alice is also campaigning for yard taps to be placed in strategic locations and negotiates with farm owners to allow for their installation and use.
Like many other women who have recognised their critical role in the sustainability of water projects, she now ensures that more women in the Total Mau Summit area are stepping up and getting their voices heard. Recently, she formed a group of community members living near the spring to restore the riparian land and to stop the drawing of spring water, especially during the dry season. This group is mainly made up of women, but also includes former members of the Task Force. With the trust and relations built in the trainings with WIN, they are now able to lobby for more infrastructure from NARUWASCO and the county government.
‘Before this project, if you had have asked me what I thought of water management issues, I would have sent you to the MCA,’ says Alice. ‘I never, in a million years, would have thought I would be on the frontline of solving water issues. As long as I had enough for me, my family and my farm, I was ok. I did not realise how powerful I was; how my voice was relevant and needed. I would watch as people exploited the spring, and I would grumble to myself but leave it to someone else to solve the problem. Now I know it was and always will be my problem. If anyone exploits or contaminates the spring, I am responsible for it; and it will be a problem I will pass on to my children if I do not solve it now. Now, I have a voice and a platform, and I will use it. I will get other women to use it too. Water issues are women’s issues. The moment we accept that and rise up to the challenge, that will be the moment, we begin to achieve SDG 6’.
The Task Force was disbanded with the completion of the ‘Water for Life’ project in December 2019. But Alice, along with her team members, now know how to hold themselves, the community, NARUWASCO and the county government accountable for equitable water supply in the small town of Total Mau Summit.
Alice and other women in Total Mau Summit now have more time to focus on other income-generating activities. Alice’s farm is thriving, and she has more time to deliver her products to the market. For sustainable development of the Nakuru county, Alice urges the government and non-profits to involve more women in technical skills training so that they do not have to look for technicians to repair water pumps or fix a broken water pipe. These skills, she says, will help reduce delays and will give these women, most of whom do not have formal education a sustainable source of income to improve their livelihoods.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Land and Water Division recently launched the new website of the project “Knowing water better: Towards fairer and more sustainable access to natural resources … Read more
Freshwater – including both surface and groundwater – is essential to public health, food security, livelihoods, and healthy and resilient ecosystems. Yet, approximately 2.2 billion people globally continue to lack … Read more
The Water Integrity Network’s General Assembly online meetings included official GA Members such as the OECD,GIZ, SIWI, Sida, Transparency International and a dozen other kindred key global players. These were held from the 18th to the 20th of November and highlighted the progress made in 2020, while offering preliminary showings in vital, new and continuing projects for 2021.
On the ground projects
Despite the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020 WIN was able to continue work on the ground:
In Bangladesh, with three utilities and numerous school WASH programmes.
In Kenya, with local partners to deliver a Training of Trainers for 18 people, and 16 partners trained on the Integrity Management Toolbox (IMT) for Small Water Supply Systems (SWSS).
In Mexico, a further Training was done with the IMT for SWSS, and an integrity assessment tool for water utilities was successfully piloted.
Further projects were delivered in South Sudan, Honduras, Uruguay and Benin.
Executive Director Barbara Schreiner explained that, our Annual Plan and Budget for 2021 will continue to allow us to remain stable in staffing, and delivertargets as expected. WIN may be able to add to existing work-plans if fundraising in the pipeline is successful.
WIN’s former Board Chair and now first Honorary GA Member, Mr. Ravi Narayanan, is stepping down, and was thanked for his years of leadership, which started from the very beginnings of WIN:
“It wasn’t so long ago that corruption was not a word that was spoken in polite society. This changed when WIN was born. I’m very happy to be leaving WIN in such good hands, despite the large challenges we face.”
– Ravi Narayanan, 2020
We would like to heartily welcome Dr. Letitia A Obeng, the newly elected Chair of the Water Integrity Network (WIN). Letitia is a Water Supply, Sanitation and Water Management professional with 40 years’ experience. She served with the World Bank in managerial and director positions on water management and sustainable development. Letitia has served in leadership roles in WaterAid America, the International Water Management Institute (IWMI), and the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute. She holds a PhD in public health and water resources engineering from Imperial College, University of London.
The General Assembly unanimously elected the additionalMembers:
Dick van Ginhoven, Secretary of Supervisory Board,(2nd term)
Peter Conze, Member of General Assembly and member of Supervisory Board (1st term),
IWMI General Assembly Member Nov 2020 – Nov 2023 (re-election)
The Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (Water Convention) is a unique legal and intergovernmental platform which promotes sustainable use of transboundary waters. Originally … Read more
More than three billion people live in agricultural areas with high to very high levels of water shortages and scarcity, and almost half of them face severe constraints. Furthermore, available … Read more
USAID Water Security, Sanitation, and Hygiene Highlights from 2020
During a tumultuous 2020 that witnessed the emergence of the most deadly pandemic to sweep the globe in more than 100 years, USAID and partners have proven flexible and resilient in delivering safe water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) to the world’s most underserved and at-risk populations. Recognizing the importance of good handwashing hygiene and uninterrupted water service in containing the spread of COVID-19 and safely reopening economies, the Agency went above and beyond throughout the year to ensure that communities across the globe had the necessary information, strategic guidance, and WASH services they needed to protect themselves.
But the story of USAID’s WASH programming achievements cannot be viewed solely through the lens of COVID-19. This past year, the Agency expanded its evidence base to inform and strengthen current and future WASH programming. We released an expansive Water and Development Technical Brief Series and completed the research on a series of Ex-Post Evaluations that turned a critical eye toward long-closed WASH activities and examined the reasons why some interventions proved sustainable — and why some did not.
As we continue to learn, we also reflect on what has proven so impactful to date: USAID support since FY 2008 helped more than 53 million people gain access to sustainable water services, and 38 million people gain access to sustainable sanitation services. But our work is far from done. Between FY 2018 and 2019 alone, the Agency provided $835 million to support WASH activities in more than 50 countries. This year, USAID continued to make progress toward achieving its key development objectives under the U.S. Government Global Water Strategy. To accelerate our progress, we launched a private sector partnership with the global sanitation company LIXIL to help scale-up and speed access to affordable, sustainable WASH solutions around the world.
Don’t just take our word for it — let us show you the many ways USAID is helping transform lives. Scroll down to see how the Agency and its many partners have been busy harnessing the incredible power of WASH to enhance the quality of life, build more resilient and self-reliant communities, and create a healthier, more livable world for all, while protecting the environment.
Natural systems play a vital role in supporting employment. According to a new report by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), some 1.2 billion jobs … Read more
Agriculture has been the engine of overall economic growth in developing countries, whereby agriculture significantly contributes to national GDPs, rural employment levels, household food security and trade balance. The crisis … Read more
Despite clear international law on the human rights to water and sanitation, and widespread recognition of these rights, people living in informal settlements (slums) typically lack access to essential services. They pay more per litre for precarious, potentially unsafe water than residents in wealthier areas, and have limited access to toilets; relying on shared latrines, self-dug pits or overflowing chemical latrines.
Lack of integrity and corruption contribute to the failure to deliver services, reinforcing existing inequalities in access to water and sanitation, diverting resources from where they are most needed, and reducing the quality and availability of services.
A new paper from the South African Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI) and the international Water Integrity Network (WIN) discusses these issues based on research conducted by SERI in Siyanda, Marikana and Ratanang, three informal settlements in South Africa, and by partners in Mukuru, an informal settlement in Nairobi, Kenya.
The paper shows how an integrity focus can help to achieve human rights obligations and how a human rights focus improves integrity and reduces opportunities for corruption.
According to WHO and UNICEF dramatic gains in water and sanitation are possible in just a few years when civil society, private companies, governments and multilateral organizations pull together. Meeting … Read more
A Special Session of the General Assembly in response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Pandemic is hosted 3-4 December 2020, at the United Nations headquarters, New York. Today UN-Water issued … Read more