Are Water User Associations working?


I recently had a meeting with a local NGO here in Coast Province called Community Link International. They are a small and embryonic team, primarily made up of Margaret and Musyoka, with a couple of part time field staff. They’ve been registered as an NGO for about a year, but can collectively draw upon a couple of lifetime’s experience within development.

After graduating with a Sociology degree, Margaret spent time working for Amref in Lodwar, UNICEF in Nairobi and the Aga Khan Foundation in Mombasa, as her career progressed over the last 20 years. Musyoka chose a different path, spending 15 years in government before joining Margaret a few years ago at Aga Khan on a USAID funded WASH program. Together they have a lot to say –  about what they’ve learnt over the past 20 years, and about where they think the focus should be in future WASH policy.

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Just because I’m 8 years old doesn’t mean I can’t do this


Winn Murray is an 8 year old boy in Macon, Georgia who is changing lives … not only in Africa where his fund raising efforts will bring clean water, but right in his home town.  In fact, Winn’s simple but bold act of caring has inspired  7 more schools in Macon to get involved.  In fact to date, we’ve sent out over 1,000 wristbands that proclaim “I’m Giving Water!” to these schools … wrist bands just like Winn and his classmates wore in early March when they carried water for a day to raise awareness and support for clean water.

You can support Winn’s Fundraiser here »

Michelle Gowan, Winn’s REACH teacher, shared with us, “This year, our curriculum focus has been infusing technology into our discussions of scarcity of food, energy and water around the world. When we studied the inequitable distribution of resources around the world, my class decided to purchase a goat to send to an African family. They collected about $130 by doing extra chores and we donated the goat through World Vision. When I began my lessons on water, I really had no intention of building a well because it was difficult enough for us to get enough to buy a goat!”  But Mrs. Gowan wasn’t counting on Winn!  He decided to do something.  The issues of unclean water resonated with him, and he started his own hometown revolution. (more…)

World Water Day – a time for reflection


 

Today is World Water Day (http://www.worldwaterday.org/), the annual global day of events that grew out of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The focus changes every year, with the theme this year  titled ‘Water for Cities’. The last 20 years has seen a massive shift in population trends, to the extent that in 2008 the rural / urban population split was 50 / 50 for the first time. Movement to urban centres in search of employment and with high ideals (more…)

What is this ‘sustainability’ thing, anyway?


 

Ever wondered what sustainability means? People use it a lot in our line of work, usually when thinking about the IMPACT development work has. I thought I’d try and go for a definition today as I sit here thinking about how to get more of it! Interested? Have a read of this and tell me what you think!  (more…)