February 22, 2015

Zambia: Government gets AfDB and World Bank loans for Water and hydroelectric power projects

Newton Sibanda
February 22, 2015

Zambia has contracted a loan of US$15 million from the African development Bank (AfDB) for implementation of a water supply and sanitation project in 16 districts of Western Province.

Chief Government spokesperson Chishimba Kambwili says government has prioritized the region in accordance with its pro-poor policies.

“The project will contribute to poverty alleviation and improve the health of Zambia’s rural population through the provision of sustainable access to water supply and sanitation,” he said.

Most African countries struggle to provide access to water and sanitation to their people

Most African countries struggle to provide access to water and sanitation to their people

The decision was made in order for Government to remain focused on its pro-poor policies,” he said.

The project, under the national rural water supply and sanitation phase two, will see 16 districts of Western Province have piped water.

And cabinet has approved the contraction of a loan of US$114 million from the World Bank and AfDB for the rehabilitation of the Kariba Dam which has developed cracks.

The rehabilitation will be undertaken by the governments of Zambia and Zimbabwe which co-own the facility.

Kambwili, who is also minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, said that that rehabilitation of Kariba Dam is vital to the economy of Zambia and the sub-region and should urgently be undertaken
to avoid potential emergency situations.

He said of the US$114 million, US$75 million is from the World Bank and US$39 million is from AfDB.

“Given the large reservoir capacity of the dam, its collapse would result in a catastrophe of huge consequences to economies in the sub-region,” Mr Kambwili said.

He said the funds shall be lent to the Zambezi River Authority to facilitate the commencement of the project.

A better water supply is essential for the future development of communities

A better water supply is essential for the future development of communities

Kambwili says the walls of the Kariba Dam have cracked posing a serious threat to humans and the economy.

He also said cabinet has approved the appointment of nine members of the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA) governing board.

The tenure of the previous board which was appointed in 2011 expired in October last year.

And Kambwili has defended Government’s borrowing saying it has the capacity to pay back.

“We are borrowing within our limits to pay back. World Bank or AfDB are serious financial institutions which cannot lend money anyhow,” he said.

February 17, 2015

Danish Government Boosts Safe Water Access in Zambia

Newton Sibanda
February 17, 2015

The Danish government has granted Kafubu Water and Sewerage Company (KWSC) a US$104 million grant to improve water supply in its areas of operation on the Copperbelt.

KWSC board chairperson Sydney Matamwandi says the loan obtained is in line with the firm’s objective of improving service provision to all consumers in area of operations through various projects.

“With the assistance from Government through the Ministry of Local Government and Housing, we have acquired a grant and soft loan of US$104 million from the Danish Government to achieve our objective,” he says.

He was speaking during the commissioning of Kamuchanga water supply project in Luanshya.

Having access to safe water and basic sanitation is vital to everyone's life

Having access to safe water and basic sanitation is vital to everyone’s life

KWSC supplies water and provides sanitation services in Ndola, Luanshya, Masaiti and Mpongwe districts on the Copperbelt. And the company in partnership with the Devolution Trust Fund (DTF) has commissioned water supply projects in Luanshya’s Kamuchanga and Mwaiseni townships at a cost of K1.5 million.

Matamwandi says the scope of work will include replacement of most equipment and network infrastructure for water and sewerage systems.

He further notes that the commissioned project is part of the firm’s commitment to ensure that water supply is improved.

Matamwandi says the plan for Kamuchanga is to intensify the programme of connecting more households within 30 meters from the laid water mains.

Speaking during the same occasion, Victor Muyemba, the Devolution Trust Fund (DTF) Manager said the project will benefit 18,000 residents in Kamuchanga and Mwaiseni townships.

Muyemba says that apart from financing the Kamuchanga and Mwaiseni projects, the fund has to date funded KWSC over K8 million for 10 projects in Ndola.

He, however, appeals to Government to avail more resources to the water sector to improve supply for low income urban residents.

February 11, 2015

Africa: Ministers Meet over Extreme Weather Hazards

WaterSan Perspective reporter in Cabo Verde
February 11, 2015

Ministers responsible for meteorology in Africa are meeting to coordinate and accelerate regional efforts to strengthen resilience to extreme weather hazards and adapt to climate change.

The Third Session of the African Ministerial Conference on Meteorology (AMCOMET) is being hosted by the government of Cabo Verde from 10th -14th February.

Climate change is behind the increasing frequency of extreme weather hazards in Africa

Climate change is behind the increasing frequency of extreme weather hazards in Africa

It focuses on improving weather and climate services which are vital to food security, water management, disaster risk reduction and health, as well as key economic sectors like transport, energy and tourism, among others.

“Every African country should be involved in the collective effort towards the transformative socio-economic development of the continent to build The Africa We Want envisaged in the African Union Agenda 2063,” says African Union Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture, Rhoda Peace Tumusiime.

Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, African Union Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture

Rhoda Peace Tumusiime, African Union Commissioner for Rural Economy and Agriculture

“National Meteorological and Hydrological Services are critical actors in supporting sustainable development. There is today increased awareness of the socioeconomic benefits delivered by weather and climate services,” says World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Secretary-General Michel Jarraud.

The ministers are discussing the Integrated African Strategy on Meteorology (Weather and Climate Services), one of its aims is to increase recognition and funding for NMHSs. They will approve a new regional climate centre for Central Africa to consolidate research and forecasting capabilities. They will also consider input from the meteorological community to a pan-African Space Policy and Strategy.

“Knowledge, research and innovation are all vital to the competitiveness of the African economy and to allow us to meet weather, water and energy challenges,” says Dr. Antero Veiga, Minister for Environment, Housing and Territorial Planning

“The recent devastating flooding in many parts of Africa, particularly Southern Africa, has highlighted once again how weather-related hazards undermine and disrupt social, political and economic development,” says Saviour Kasukuwere, Minister of Environment, Water and Climate of Zimbabwe and the outgoing Chair of AMCOMET. “There is no doubt that the vagaries of weather and climate will play a critical role in shaping Africa’s development agenda. This requires a collective approach, unity of purpose based upon the shared vision on climate proofing of our beloved continent, genuine partnerships and commitment.”

February 7, 2015

Cameroon: 26 Years after Lake Nyos Disaster, Memories Still Fresh

Aaron Kaah Yancho
February 07, 2015

On August 26th, 1989, Cameroon’s remote village of Nyos witnessed a strange scientific occurrence in lake water history.

A volcanic mountain cracked and sunk into Lake Nyos, causing a volcanic eruption that left over 2,000 people and animals dead in one night, leaving West Africa with the worst natural disaster of all times.

Lake Nyos after the disaster

Lake Nyos after the disaster

The Five for National Geographic Channel reported that the tragedy was a complete mystery as victims both young and old collapsed dead besides the many unconscious survivors that badly needed medical attention. The dead were swollen with rashes and burns all over their bodies.

On that fateful day, as the residents were getting set for sleep, a heavy down pour weakened the already fragile rock walls over the lake, forcing it to give way, killing people who were 25KM away from Lake Nyos. A survivor recounted how they heard big rocks falling into the lake area.

Gilbert Kihmah, a survivor described the atmosphere before the disaster as a mixture of gun powder and rotten eggs. But as dawn approached, the smell had escaped into the atmosphere. Kihmah recalls that there was overwhelming shock and anxiety in the air.

As the news spread, the whole nation began counting its dead and Africa faced a difficult crisis in modern day Lake history. Survivors like Fr. Antony Bangsi were weak and unconscious with an urgent need for medical attention. “In our unconscious state, death was unavoidable,” Bangsi said.

As the village of Nyos witnessed the death of 600 people in addition to more 500 deaths in the villages of Soa Mbum, Fonfuka and Buabua , this lake that provided a lifeline to these communities had become their worst enemy.

Unanswered Questions

This disaster has since left many unanswered questions about what could have led to this tragedy.

Scientific researchers, lake experts and volcanologists reasoned that although crater lakes near the equator like Nyos do not have seasonal and temperature changes, lake water circulates releasing carbon dioxide to the atmosphere at a faster rate as the world temperatures change.

Prof. Haraldur Sigurdsson, a volcanologist at the Rhodes Island University in South Africa said that these volcanic lakes are too deep and are sheltered by high imposing rocks. Therefore, water at the bottom of the lake hardly mixes with water at its surface. “Any carbon dioxide that accumulates at the bottom is trapped there”.

He adds that any massive rock falls into the lake triggers the carbon dioxide saturated water beneath to overturn. This, according to him is what happened on that day.

Prof George Kling, a lake expert at the University of Michigan in USA confirmed Sigurdsson’s theory and concluded that a dead densely cloud of carbon dioxide had spread over the lake.

Controversy Still Prevails

Today, controversy still prevails between Scientists, Lake Experts and Volcanologists whether such carbon dioxide in the lake could have been able to cause such unbelievable death and destruction.

The Cameroonian government took advice and installed self-powered vent tubes to prevent another deadly buildup of carbon dioxide at the bottom of the lake. An automatic alarm system was also installed at the lake’s gateway to alert residents of any potential dangers.

Degassing Lake Nyos to mitigate the effects of future disasters

Degassing Lake Nyos to mitigate the effects of future disasters

Impending Danger

Recently volcano logical research has being blowing a new alarm on a looming disaster over the Lake Nyos.

In 2005, the UN office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, and the United Nations Environment Program UNEP issued a joint report warning that the lake wall had seriously sagged and could crumble within a decade. The report recommended that the walls of the lake be solicited with concrete or some of the lake waters be released to ease the pressure on it.

An official with Cameroon’s Institute of Mining and Geological research which monitors the Lake has however refuted allegations of any dangers around this Lake. “But our government has the project under consideration, but it’s not a priority issue” He said on conditions of anonymity because he lacked authority to speak for or behalf of the Cameroon government.

If the lake wall collapses again it could kill far more people than the incident of August 1986 according to the Five for National Geographic TV channel. Carbon dioxide might travel as far as 50km to the Cameroon boarders with Nigeria. “The dead toll could be much more devastating and alarming,” the channel reported.

Engineers think that it’s no longer the Questions as to whether the worse will happen by the question is when that will be.

February 1, 2015

Malawi: Residents Count Losses, As Floods Wreak Havoc

George Mhango
February 01, 2015

Lilongwe is expected to achieve economic growth lower than 5.8 percent projected earlier for 2015.

President Peter Mutharika said in his state of the nation address regarding the current floods that preliminary assessment shows that the damage caused to the economy is estimated in million dollars, excluding the cost of the relief programmes.

The President of Malawi Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika

The President of Malawi Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika

Figures from Capitol Hill are enough evidence that business operations in Malawi have come to a halt due to heavy rains and floods. Problems of electricity, water and public infrastructure are huge and companies are feeling the pinch. While aid is being channeled to flood victims, the private sector is caught in untimely delivery or provision of goods and services.

The Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) has since said floods have adversely affected businesses. It further says agriculture and mining sectors have been affected most as they are likely to experience low productivity in the 2015.

MCCCI chief executive officer chancellor Kaferapanjira said the damage to water supply has culminated into water shortages in cities and towns, electricity blackouts have led to companies using fuel generators. The private sector body adds that floods have also jeopardised irrigation systems, food storage and processing facilities of the various companies.

He added that insurance companies are likely to spend more on insurance claims. Suffice it to say that they have an obligation to assist the need through relief items.

“Some of this donation has come in kind, for example, Carlsberg donated water worth K80 million kwacha the time the city had no water in Blantyre and they had to use Mulunguzi Dam because there was no water in town,” said Kaferapanjira.

Field observations and follow-up rapid assessments by an Inter-Agency assessment team that comprises government UN agencies and others have shown that livestock and farmlands have been affected. This is enough a sign to economists that output in the sector will be reduced.

In his state of the disaster address last week, President Peter Mutharika alluded that heavy rains and floods will, therefore, bring many negative socioeconomic effects to the Malawian economy. Mutharika said the growth for Malawi is largely driven by agriculture, manufacturing, electricity, water and mining sectors.

“In essence, this means that the problem of food insecurity among households is heightened to levels that will put a lot of pressure on the budget, to assist the households affected by the floods across the country. In this case, the budget in excess of K3.6 billion will be required for replanting. Concerns of further flooding are high as rains are forecast to continue for some months,” he said

Meanwhile members of the private sector have predicted doom for their business as companies and people will not be able to pay back credits or insurances fees timely or else such companies will have to pay out insurance claims.

Prakash Patil, chief executive officer of the General Alliance Malawi, an insurance company explains that despite such developments, they would assist their clients and victims.

“We are saddened by the floods and we join the concerned families by donating the amount through the VPs office so they buy basic needs,” he said

The Malawi Government said it is estimated that around 116, 000 farmers country-wide have been affected with 35, 000 hectares of cropland impacted.

The President said maize, rice, groundnuts, cotton, and fish has been lost. It is also estimated that a total of K2.9 billion worth of livestock has been lost.

He added that total food production of households will be reduced during the 2014/15 agriculture season unless farmers re-plant their fields, meaning that a special budget would be needed for replanting.

Weeks of very heavy rainfall have triggered widespread flooding in Malawi.

Weeks of very heavy rainfall have triggered widespread flooding in Malawi.

Meanwhile, Malawi’s Response Plan is seeking US$81 million to address immediate needs of people who have been affected by the floods and the United Nations funds totaling US$150,000 are being utilised to strengthen the operation and coordination capacity at district level.

It remains a fact that heavy rainstorms and floods hit 15 out of the 28 districts in Malawi such as Rumphi, Balaka, Karonga, Nsanje and Chikwawa, among other districts. The floods have killed at least people and rendered more than 638 000 people homeless.

However Lilongwe says, these numbers are expected to rise as more information is received and analysed, and rains continue to fall.

January 28, 2015

Opinion: Failing To Learn From Experience

Angella Naturinda and Lynna Abaho
January 28, 2015

Weather experts predict a continuation of the current hot and dry weather conditions in most parts of Uganda. This weather condition which started immediately after Christmas has come with several challenges such as food and water shortage, wildfire, siltation, soil erosion, pests and diseases which are causing devastating loss to farmers especially those in south western region.

For several decades now, the South Western part of Uganda has experienced such dry conditions during the month of January that stretch up to March. What is so surprising is that people in south western region are not learning from this annual experience.

Some of the worst affected people are farmers and residents of Kiruhura district found in the Ankole cattle corridor of Uganda.

Most of the people in Kiruhura are pastoralists and therefore the dry spell means that their livestock lack pasture and water. They are forced to move from their homes to the neighboring Lake Mburo National Park which is reserved for wild animals. This poises a danger to these domestic animals since they have to share pastures with the wild animals in the park. Livestock in the Ankole cattle corridor in Uganda make up about 17% of Uganda agricultural GDP.

Farmers worldwide are already feeling the effects of rising temperatures and more frequent droughts as a result of climate change

Farmers worldwide are already feeling the effects of rising temperatures and more frequent droughts as a result of climate change

The residents of Kiruhura are not the only ones affected since the dry spell affects most parts of the Western region and other parts of the country. The fact that the period this dry spell lasts is becoming unpredictable, it is now difficult for farmers in the region to plan for the planting season using the traditional knowledge.

Learning to Learning from Experience

There is need for farmers to form associations to enable members pull funds together to construct dams that can act as reservoirs for water to be used during the dry season.

Government should extend water schemes in villages and introduce piped water in such dry places. This complements the already existing dams and wells. Such piped water is safe considering the fact that it would be treated. The Ministry of Water and Environment should undertake this in conjunction with local governments.

Then they can also construct underground water tanks which are vital in water conservation because they are able to harvest and store water in larger quantities. Such water is also safer compared to the dirty water from wells which is shared by both animals and people.

The local people also need to take more caution since this is not a first-time happening therefore they need to make prior preparations before the dry spell.

January 27, 2015

Oxfam Aids Flood Victims in Malawi

George Mhango
January 27, 2015

With more rains expected in flood-stricken Malawi and camps for displaced people overwhelmed, Oxfam and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have launched an emergency appeal for more help to 42,000 desperate people.

Weeks of very heavy rainfall have triggered widespread flooding in Malawi.

Weeks of very heavy rainfall have triggered widespread flooding in Malawi.

The donation by Oxfam is one of the major ones an international organisation has provided to victims in the country.

Although heavy rains have ceased for now, there is a forecast that the downpour could continue for weeks, a development that Oxfam thinks needs continued care in areas of health, education and agriculture.

Figures of how many people have been displaced still need to be verified but one count suggests at least 174 000. The Malawi government estimates that in total 630,000 people have been affected.

The appeal will support emergency operations of the Malawi Red Cross Society which is already aiding thousands of destitute people in the worst-affected southern districts of Nsanje, Chikwawa, Phalombe and urban Blantyre. It targets the immediate needs of 7,660 households for nine months.

As weather experts forecast continued rainfall, authorities lament that women are the worst affected as they fail to access medical care due to poor road networks. Women and adolescent girls in some parts of Mangochi, Nsanje and Phalombe have slim chances of getting the support they need.

Some women feel there is need for more support towards their challenges. Last week, a woman delivered at her home, enough a sign that health care has been affected by poor road network. According to her, even the hospital where she could have gone for assistance was damaged by floods rendering it useless.

Oxfam organisation has since distributed pails for drawing water and bathing, laundry soap and bath soap, two pieces of wrap-around, sanitary pads and cloth and petroleum jelly to enable them maintain dignity in the camps until they return home. The assistance is valued at 76 million Malawi Kwacha.

The initiative from Oxfam follows surveys that women and adolescent girls have special needs during disasters which should not be ignored.

According to Oxfam country finance manager Felix Muyaso, the assistance was meant to bolster their livelihoods. Muyaso adds that they are yet to secure more funding so that more people could be assisted within the catchment areas of Mulanje, Phalombe and others across the country.

“Our operations also lean towards pregnant women and young people and during disasters they ensure that pregnant and adolescent girls have continued antenatal care and clean and safe delivery,” said Muyaso, adding that, “we are geared to assisting more families even in terms of winter cropping because we believe that one’s health and sanitation is paramount.”

Floods are a capricious part of life for many Malawians

Floods are a capricious part of life for many Malawians

In all the camps, the number of affected women and girls far outnumber those of boys and men such as Nkhudzi Bay Primary School in Mangochi, where out of 227 people, 141 are women and girls.

However, other flood victims have called for equal distribution of relief support as opposed to the current situation where more aid according to them is being channeled to districts in the South leaving out the north, east and central. And Oxfam officials say they are geared at making this problem history considering the $500 000 amount they are to set aside for winter cropping and other ventures.

Floods have elsewhere in the country claimed 176 lives, injured many and destroyed property.

President Peter Mutharika declared Malawi a State of Disaster and called for international and local assistance.

Mutharika has also announced that as one way of minimizing disasters, government plans to introduce a ‘first of its kind’ national disaster policy. But that announcement comes as a shock because the country already has a draft Disaster Risk Management (DRM) that, for the past six years, has stalled waiting for cabinet approval. The draft DRM policy, in what is a great paradox, has almost all the provisions which the President—while speaking to flood victims—said will be incorporated in the national policy.

January 24, 2015

New Guidance for Companies to Help Them Respect Human Rights to WASH Launched

WaterSan Perspective Reporter
January 24, 2015

The United Nations Global Compact’s CEO Water Mandate has launched the first comprehensive guidance for companies about how to meet their responsibility to respect the human rights to water and sanitation.

The Guidance For Companies on Respecting the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation: Bringing a Human Rights Lens to Corporate Water Stewardship will help companies translate their responsibility to respect the human rights to water and sanitation into their existing water management policies, practices, and company cultures.

Gavin Power, Deputy Director of the UN Global Compact and Head of the CEO Water Mandate officially launched this all-inclusive guidance during the UN-Water’s 2015 Annual International Zaragoza Conference in Zaragoza, Spain mid this month.

Gavin Power, Deputy Director of the UN Global Compact and Head of the CEO Water Mandate speaking during the conference

Gavin Power, Deputy Director of the UN Global Compact and Head of the CEO Water Mandate speaking during the conference

Speaking during the conference, Gavin insisted that ensuring that people have access to water and sanitation services is vital to ensure healthy communities and vibrant economies

“This guidance helps businesses effectively meet their responsibility to respect by understanding, responding to, and communicating to stakeholders their water-related impacts. Doing so is at the cornerstone of good corporate water management practice and is the basis for any company action to support the rights.”

The guidance, developed by the CEO Water Mandate and Shift, a leading center of practice on implementation of the UN Guiding Principles, aims to provide companies with practical measures on how to bring a human rights lens to their existing corporate water stewardship practices. Its development was informed not only by project partners with expertise in water resources and human rights, but also by business representatives, civil society organizations, and UN agencies.

With the formal recognition of the human right to water and sanitation in 2010 by the UN General Assembly and the Human Rights Council, and the adoption of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in 2011, there are increasing expectations that companies align their water management practices with their responsibility to respect human rights.

The Guidance for Companies on Respecting the Human Rights to Water and Sanitation is designed to be applicable to a broad range of corporate water users, and underscores the important nature of effective stakeholder engagement throughout the process.

Some of the representatives of the youths that attended the UN-Water’s 2015 Annual International Zaragoza Conference

Some of the representatives of the youths that attended the UN-Water’s 2015 Annual International Zaragoza Conference

Jason Morrison, Technical Director of the CEO Water Mandate and Program Director of the Corporate Sustainability Program of the Pacific Institute, added, “The guidance helps translate what respecting the human rights to water and sanitation means for both water and human rights practitioners in companies. Companies will now be able to properly implement the changes necessary to ensure those rights are respected. The collaborative, iterative process in which it was developed means the guidance is accessible and feasible for companies, while remaining meaningful for their stakeholders.”

“This guidance provides real-world examples and feasible steps for companies to help them understand and take action on the impact their operations have on peoples’ access to water and sanitation.
Water and sanitation are crucial issues to both the environment and human rights and this guidance provides companies with a way to take their existing water and sanitation programs and broaden or adapt them in order to meet their responsibility to respect the rights,” said Rachel Davis, Managing Director of Shift.

Companies have increasingly recognized their water practices have environmental impacts; they are now beginning to focus on understanding how their practices impact human rights. In response, businesses can look to the guidance to provide step-by-step direction for their responsibility to respect human rights via the key procedural elements of the UN Guiding Principles.

Launched in 2007 by the UN Secretary-General, the CEO Water Mandate is overseen by the UN Global Compact, and implemented in partnership with the Pacific Institute.

January 15, 2015

UN–Water Zaragoza Conference Opens

Watersan Perspective reporter
January 15, 2015

The UN-Water Chair Michel Jarraud has highlighted the central role of water in sustainable development of communities.

In his welcome video at the opening of the 2015 International Annual UN–Water Zaragoza Conference in Zaragoza Spain today, Jarraud stressed that, “water is at the core of sustainable development.”

He told over 300 people, mostly from the United Nations Agencies and programmes, experts, representatives of the business community, governmental and non-governmental organizations attending the conference that they should, “never lose hope for water and never give up.”

Other officials that delivered speeches during the formal opening session of the conference

Other officials that delivered speeches during the formal opening session of the conference

Jarraud described the 2015 as an important year for sustainable development. He was referring to the expiring of the Millennium Development Goals deadline in 2015 and the launching of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the end of the end of the same year.

The conference which lasts till January 17 was officially opened by the mayor of Zaragoza Juan Alberto Belloch Julbe.

Speaking during the same occasion, Leo Heller, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Water and Sanitation noted that a component of human rights should be included in all discussions related to SGDs.

There are 17 proposed SDGs and 169 targets. SDG six focuses on water and sanitation. It has eight targets.

Others five SDGs have seven targets directly or indirectly linked to water-related issues.

A high level summit to adopt the SDGs takes place in New York, USA in September this year.

January 12, 2015

Over 300 to Attend 2015 International Annual UN–Water Zaragoza Conference

WaterSan Perspective Reporter
January 12, 2015

More than 300 people converge in Zaragoza, Spain this week for this year’s International Annual UN–Water Zaragoza Conference.

The participants from United Nations Agencies and programmes, experts, representatives of the business community, governmental and non-governmental organizations will meet from 15 to 17 January 2015.

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They aim to draw conclusions based on existing practice and the exchange of views between governments and stakeholders. 2015 is the last year of the International Decade for Action ‘Water for Life’ so it is especially important for taking stock of and learning from achievements as well as planning the next steps.

The conference runs under the theme “Water and Sustainable Development” and will focus on how to bring the post-2015 international agenda on water and sanitation into action. It is part of the road map for World Water Day 2015, which will also focus on “water and sustainable development”.

The post-2015 international agenda for water will be decided this year. The UN-Water International Zaragoza Conference will therefore start the year focusing on how to bring the agenda into action; a practical event on tools for implementation (financing, technology, capacity development) and governance frameworks, for initiating the post-2015 agenda in water and sanitation.

In one of its posts, the UN Water says, “the Zaragoza Conference will provide a space for dialogue around some selected topics relevant to the implementation of the international agenda on water.
The Conference will focus on a practical examination of what the necessary transformations are and how institutional change, technology, capacity development and financing can help develop appropriate joint responses.”

Mai-Lan Ha, an official with Pacific Institute/CEO Water Mandate, who is one of the participants

Mai-Lan Ha, an official with Pacific Institute/CEO Water Mandate, who is one of the participants

Mai-Lan Ha, an official with Pacific Institute/CEO Water Mandate, who is one of the participants, says, “the Zaragoza conference provides a unique platform for the different sectors, public, private, civil society, and academia to share concrete practices that they are undertaking to help meet water related SDGs. The conference’s focus on tools and guidance will help give all actors a more concrete idea of how we can move the agenda forward.”

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