This week (18th-22nd July 2016) is Africa World Water week, where representatives from governments, regional institutions, international partners, the private sector and the scientific community, have come together to discuss solutions to the clean water and adequate sanitation problem present in many African countries. Attendees hail from 100 different countries, and there has been over 100 speakers all committed to improving Africa’s water situation. As of 2015, 256 million of all those living without access to an improved water source (39%) reside in sub-Saharan Africa (JMR 2015). Therefore, this year’s theme focuses on the 6th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG): ‘Ensure access to water and sanitation for all’.
One of the eight goal targets of this SDG is to “support and strengthen the participation of local communities in improving water and sanitation management”. Here at Pump Aid, our work towards this target in Malawi is centred on the empowerment of individuals and groups to take control of their water access by giving them the means to do so.
Our new self-supply programme enables individuals within the rural communities we work in to set up their own businesses in providing, installing and maintaining water supply in their own communities. This approach targets the ‘sustainable’ of SDG 6, avoiding the unsustainable approach of simply gifting a pump. Gifting a pump in a community often means no-one has responsibility over the resource, and should it break down, they either require more outside intervention, or it goes unused. With the self-supply model, this is no longer a problem, as by putting the power and ownership of the pumps into the hands of the people that use them, there can be real long-term, sustainable change for generations to come.
Pump Aid and Africa World Water Week have shared goals, to come up with effective, long-term solutions to the water and sanitation problems Africa face. We know that by putting programmes like our self-supply into action and working together with the organisations and governmental bodies attending this week, we can work towards achieving access to clean water and adequate sanitation for all.
You can read more about our new self-supply approach here.
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