SDC Water Blog

Jun 13
EECA RWTD 2019 - Day 3, 13.06.2019

The morning started with a session about Best Practices to Address Sustainability. Therefore, we had three presentations. Started with the one about the Regional Capacity Development Network, followed by one about the MEG Project and Performance based approach with partner water utilities in Albania, and discussions.

In case clinics we discussed potential solutions for challenges the case-givers are facing. The cases were from SCO Tadjikistan about reform process and donor coordination, from SHUKALB Albania about capacity development, from Oxfam Tadjikistan about asset management and from EPSN Moldova about inclusion and leaving no one behind.


In the afternoon we got informed through presentations from SECO and SDC the newest evolutions and strategies. In the following, we elaborated future activities of the Sub-RésEAU of Eastern Europe and Central Asia in a group work.

Jun 12
EECA RWTD 2019 - Day 2, 12.06.2019

Second day of the Regional Water Team Days was focused on field visits and validation.
The participants were familiarised with the context with introductory presentations on the preparation and implementation of infrastructure projects, policy dialogue and accompanying measures, followed by the guided tout to Bihac Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP)


To discuss key challenges and solutions regarding sustainability of wastewater infrastructure a structured dialogue with the Mayor of Bihac and local governance officials was organised.

In Cazin we visited a decentralized wastewater treatment system, constructed wetlands. The Mayor of Cazin as well as the director of Public Utility Company and their associates provided us with all the interesting background knowledge.


On the way back to Bihac we stopped at the Ostrozac Castle and learned a lot about its history.

Jun 11
EECA RWTD 2019 - Day 1, 11.06.2019

Today the Regional Water Team Days of the Sub-RésEAU Eastern Europe and Central Asia in Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina, started.


Objective of these RWTD is to learn and share experience and evidence-based knowledge on topic of common interest and to plan activities of the EECA Sub-RésEAU.
Thematic focuses are:
Topic 1. Wastewater Treatment
Wastewater treatment is a key component of Swiss projects in the Western Balkans and Central Asia.
Topic 2. Water and sanitation as entry point for improved governance
Provision and improvement of concrete services such as water can be an important “entry point” for
building capacities of local public administration for planning, budgeting and management.

Day 1 focused on understanding the thematic focuses: wastewater treatment and water and sanitation as entry point for improved governance.
Introductory inputs were provided on Swiss cooperation overview in the region - why water and wastewater as entry points for good governance, Exploring the mutual reinforcing link between water and governance and Mapping key challenges for sustainable wastewater treatment plat operation.
The following inputs were seven case studies, presented through poster presentations.


In the afternoon, we started the group work in two thematic groups for wastewater treatment and local governance. For the first phase, each of these thematic groups was split into two regional groups in which the main challenges, requirements and stakeholders were analysed. The results were compared and discussed interregionally, before being presented in the plenary.

The day ended with a voluntary visit to the museum and a joint dinner next to the Una river.

May 29
Africa RWTD 2019 Niger – Day 3, 29.05.2019

The focus of the last day laid on the development of the Sub-RésEAU Africa. Therefore, Hanna Capeder gave an introduction about the RésEAU itself with its structure and instruments. She shared the learnings of the other Sub-RésEAUs.

In poster presentations we got to know each other’s work better and set a ground for the development of the Sub-RésEAU Africa. This was conducted in the form of an open space. Therefore, participants proposed important topics they would like to tackle. The four main topics New technologies, peace and water, youth and water in institutions were identified and corresponding groups were formed. In a mapping, the current situation was pointed out and the groups made concrete action plans, which were presented in the plenary.

We are looking forward to see many of these action set into place. At this point, I would like to thank all the participants for their contributions, and all the people that made this first Regional Water Team Days of the Sub-RésEAU Africa possible.


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Le focus de la dernière journée été sur le développement du Sous-RésEAU Afrique. C'est pourquoi Hanna Capeder a présenté le RésEAU lui-même avec sa structure et ses instruments. Elle a partagé les leçons tirées des autres Sous-RésEAUs.

Des présentations de posters nous ont permis de mieux connaître le travail des uns et des autres et de jeter les bases du développement du Sous-RésEAU Afrique. Elle s'est déroulée sous la forme d'un espace ouvert. Les participants ont donc proposé des sujets importants qu'ils aimeraient aborder. Les quatre thèmes principaux - Nouvelles technologies, paix et eau, jeunesse et eau dans les institutions - ont été identifiés et des groupes correspondants ont été formés. Dans un mapping, la situation actuelle a été mise en évidence et les groupes ont élaboré des plans d'action concrets, qui ont été présentés en plénière.

Nous attendons avec impatience que bon nombre de ces mesures soient mises en place. A ce stade, je voudrais remercier tous les participants pour leurs contributions, et toutes les personnes qui ont rendu possible cette première édition des Regional Water Team Days du Sous-RésEAU Afrique.

May 28
Africa RWTD 2019 – Day 2/ Deuxième journée, 28.05.2019

The second day of the Africa RWTD was dedicated to a field visit to get a practical insight into how leaving no one behind is implemented in practice, and how it could be improved. Therefore, we visited an Urban Water Supply and Sanitation project implemented by the World Bank in the peri-urban area of Niamey.

The first stop was a school and kindergarten, where the project constructed latrines, including with disabled access. The participants then went on to the Koubia sludge treatment plant, the first and only sludge treatment plant of Niger. Finally, we visited a sample of public water points and social connections to the water network.

 

In honour of Menstrual Hygiene Day, Madame Coulibaly Rahila, director of school health from the ministry of secondary education in Niger, initiated a discussion about menstrual health in Niger. Some of the conclusions of the discussion were that it is important to break the taboo around menstrual health, and that it is the responsibility of all; government, schools and parents, fathers in the same way as mothers.

 

In the afternoon, the field visit was discussed in three groups that focused on different aspects of leaving no one behind within the visited projects, such as:

1. How were vulnerable groups identified, and who are these groups?

2. What are the obstacles and opportunities for vulnerable groups to participate in planning and decision-making in the context of the project?

3. What instruments have been put in place to enable vulnerable groups to participate in planning and decision-making? And how successful have these efforts been?  

This day ended with a Water Cinema, during which five participants shared interesting videos of their projects and initiatives.

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La deuxième journée des Regional Water Team Days de la région Afrique a été consacrée à une visite de terrain afin d'avoir un aperçu pratique de la façon dont le thème de la rencontre « Ne laisser personne de côté » est mis en œuvre dans la pratique, et comment il pourrait être amélioré. Nous avons donc visité un projet d'approvisionnement en eau et d'assainissement urbain mis en œuvre par la Banque mondiale dans la zone périurbaine de Niamey.

Tout d'abord, nous sommes allés dans une école et un jardin d'enfants, où le projet a construit des latrines, y compris pour les handicapés. Les participants se sont ensuite dirigés vers la station de traitement des boues de Koubia, la première et unique station de traitement des boues du Niger. Enfin, nous avons visité un échantillon de points d'eau publics et de connexions sociales au réseau d'eau.

En l'honneur de la Journée de l'hygiène menstruelle, Madame Coulibaly Rahila, directrice de la santé scolaire au ministère de l'enseignement secondaire du Niger, a lancé une discussion sur la santé menstruelle au Niger. Certaines des conclusions de la discussion étaient qu'il est important de briser le tabou entourant la santé menstruelle, et que c'est la responsabilité de tous : gouvernement, écoles et parents, pères de la même manière que les mères.

Dans l'après-midi, la visite sur le terrain a été discutée en trois groupes qui se sont concentrés sur différents aspects du thème « ne laisser personne de côté » dans le projet visité, tels que :

1. Comment les groupes vulnérables ont-ils été identifiés et qui sont ces groupes ?

2. Quels sont les obstacles et les possibilités pour les groupes vulnérables de participer à la planification et à la prise de décision dans le contexte du projet ?

3. Quels instruments ont été mis en place pour permettre aux groupes vulnérables de participer à la planification et à la prise de décisions ? Et dans quelle mesure ces efforts ont-ils été couronnés de succès ? 

Cette journée s'est terminée par un « cinéma de l'eau », au cours duquel cinq participants ont partagé des vidéos intéressantes sur leurs projets et initiatives.

 

May 27
Africa RWTD 2019 – First Day / Premier Jour, 27.05.2019

Aujourd'hui les premiers Water Team Days de la région Afrique et le lancement du Sous-RésEAU Afrique ont démarré. Pour cet atelier de trois jours, 26 participants de 9 différents pays se sont rencontrés à Niamey, la capitale du Niger. Après le tour de table avec tous les participants, on a plongé directement dans le cœur du sujet principal de cet atelier sur le thème Ne laisser personne de côté avec une large perspective de Esther de Vreede de Simavi et sa présentation sur "Les dynamiques de l'exclusion dans le secteur de l'eau, hygiène et assainissement (EHA) : perceptions autours du monde". Taibou Adamou Maiga, de la Banque Mondiale en Niger nous a introduit au contexte de l'EHA et la pauvreté en Niger. Kabirou Ibrahim Dan Bariah du Parliament Mondial de la Jeunesse pour l'Eau a partagé la perspective et la vision des jeunes.

Différents outils pour identifier les plus vulnérables, et déterminer les barrières et les facteurs d'autonomisation, ont été partagés et analysés lors d'une session 'place du marché'. Lors de la session 'café du monde' quatre groupes de participants ont discuté des différentes dimensions liées au thème « Ne laisser personne de côté » comme l'environnement favorable, l'abordabilité, l'autonomisation et l'efficacité.

Les participants ont pu continuer à échanger pendant l'apéro dinatoire à la fin de cette première journée.

English version

Today the first Africa Regional Water Team Days started and with it, the launching of the Africa Sub-RésEAU. For this three-day workshop, 26 participants from 9 different countries came together in Niamey, the capital of Niger. After the first round of introductions, we jumped directly into the main topic of Leave no one behind with a broad overview presented by Esther de Vreede (Simavi) on "The dynamics of exclusion in the WASH sector: insights from around the world". Taibou Adamou Maiga from the World Bank introduced us to the context of WASH and Poverty in Niger. Kabirou Ibrahim Dan Bariah from the World Youth Parliament of Water brought in the perspective of the youth.

Tools to identify the most vulnerable and to determine barriers and factors to empower vulnerable groups were presented and analysed in a market place session. In the World Café, we discussed the different dimensions of Leaving no one behind such as the enabling environment, affordability, empowerment and efficiency.

Participants continued to exchange during the cocktail reception at the end of this first day.

May 17
Aguasan Workshop 2019 - Day 5, 17.05.2019


The last day of this year’s Aguasan workshop started as the other days with a recap of the day before. Followed by the presentations of the group work. In six rounds, the learnings and outcomes of the group work was shared and discussed within small groups.

In the following development of synthesis and recommendations, we tackled the questions: What inclusive business approaches work for advancing the HRTWS and what learnings do we draw from the workshop for the wider sector community?

The pitching competition was the highlight of the day. The six young entrepreneurs presented their businesses, why it is important that they win the 5’000 CHF and what they would use it for.

Ricardo Enrique Alba Torres with EKO GROUP H2O+, which builds rainwater-harvesting tanks out of PET bottles in Colombia. (https://ekomuroh2o.wixsite.com)

Jennifer Colpas with Tierra Grata, which tries to improve the access to energy, water and sanitation in rural Colombia. The group work was about their compost toilets. (www.tierragrata.org)

Christelle Kwizera, from Water Access Rwanda provide through Inuma groundwater kiosks purified reliable water to the rural population. (https://www.warwanda.com/inuma)  

Mwila Lwando, from Live Clean Initiatives that develops and operates public toilets and shower facilities in peri-urban Zambia. (www.livecleanzambia.com)

Daniel Nolan, Untapped that provides technical support, IT tools, business model expertise and asset financing to help local organisations providing clean water. (https://www.untapped-inc.com/)


Jesselina Rana and Shubhangi Rana presented their project Pad2Go that tries to make menstruation hygiene products accessible for all. They provide sanitary pad vending machines and raise awareness about menstrual health through trainings of men and women in Nepal. Pad2Go convinced the participants as well as the Steering Committee to win these 5’000 CHF. They will invest them in 30 new sanitary pad vending machines and in their awareness raising campaign. (https://www.facebook.com/pad2go.np/


May 16
Aguasan Workshop 2019 - Day 4, 16.05.2019


This morning we had twice a session of two presentations in parallel. In the first round, Selma Hilgersom from Simavi gave a practical insight on their work on how they try to reach the last mile with water vending machines and other driving innovations in rural Tanzania. At the same time, Tania Marinela Garcia Mendez from SDC Colombia shared their experience with community water management as an inclusive business initiative in the provision of water and sanitation services in the ASIR SABA project.

In the following two people from Helvetas gave their presentations, Samir Adriano about the provision of water and sanitation services through artisan associations in Mozambique. Lucien Blaser pointed out how they address the absence of sanitation through local entrepreneurs in Haiti and the challenges they face due to political regulations.

The group work of the entire workshop was continued by comparing the current business model of the young entrepreneurs with the canvas business model. For the rest of today's official program, the presentations of the group work were prepared for tomorrow.

As the weather finally was sunny and a bit warmer people enjoyed their free time at the lake side in Spiez and other nice places of Switzerland.

May 16
Aguasan Workshop 2019 - Day 3, 15.05.2019

The day started with two interesting presentations given by Hester Foppen from Agua for all about “Utility led distribution of filters” in Ethiopia and by Abu Rehan working for SDC in Pakistan about the “Multi-Stakeholder Water and Sanitation Sector Committee for improved governance of corporate governed utilities”.

After a short session groups, all participants left to Bern to meet the Equal Opportunity Officer of Agile (organisation of people with handicap) Mr. Herbert Bichsel. He described the situation and laws about access to public water and sanitation services for handicapped people in Switzerland. These views were complemented with the insight of Jojo Linder from Kompotoi. Among small composting toilets, Kompotoi rents and sells toilets that are accessible by wheel chairs.


The trip continued to Lucerne. Thomas Schmied, the supervisor of public wells at the City of Lucerne welcomed the participants with refillable water bottles. The participants had the chance to fil in their bottles with fresh and potable water at every public wells while listening at the historical evolution of the public water supply of the city (some wells are dating since 1417!). 


Lior Etter introduced the concept of Wasser für Wasser. This initiative is promoting drinking tap water in Switzerland and integrates donations into everyday life through the collaboration with restaurants selling tap water. With the donations, they enable access to drinking water and basic sanitation in urban areas of Zambia and Mozambique.

This interesting day was ended with a tasty, seasonal and regional dinner in Quai41, a restaurant that gives job opportunities to people with mental illnesses and other handicapped.

May 14
Aguasan Workshop 2019 - Day 2, 14.05.2019

The day started with the recap of the first day in form of “Aguastan News”, pointing out the highlights. After this, we continued on where the first day ended, with finalizing the HRTWS check and ecosystem due diligence in the group work.

We could enjoy an interesting panel on de-risking WASH investments through building functional ecosystems with representatives of Rightholders (Binayak Das, Water Integrity Network), Dutybearers (Tania Marinela Garcia Mendez, SDC Colombia), Private sector (Adriaan Mol, BushProof), NGOs (Olivier Normand, International Secretariat for Water) and the UN (former Special Rapporteur for the HRTWS).


The Aguasan Community of Practice (CoP), had their quarterly meeting in parallel to the podium. Therefore, the next session was a speed dating between the CoP and workshop participants, which enabled a lot of networking and many business card exchanges.

The afternoon was full with presentations. It started with Bjoern Struewer, Founder & CEO at Roots of Impact about financing strategies for inclusive WASH businesses such as impact subsidies. Erik Simanis could give a talk about the approach of TIL Ventures on reality check at the Base of the Pyramid via skype. Adriaan Mol from BushProof fascinated with his learnings as a serial impact entrepreneur on last mile distribution of renewable energy, sanitation and safe drinking water and failures and successes of their businesses. Mikael Dupuis from Uduma/ Odial Solutions Group gave a practical insight on sustainable models for rural water services in Burkina Faso and Mali.


After showing the video about the SDC Trend Observatory, the workshop day ended with a market place with more than 10 posters.

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