02/24/2005: H2O for People
Water For People (WFP), an international humanitarian organization, today announced the successful launch of its Phase II "Water For Africa" partnership with the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Office of International Activities and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. The partnership was formed to help bring safe and sustainable drinking water to the urban poor in African cities.
Water For People is currently hosting and facilitating an Eastern and Central African Peri-urban Project (ECAPP) workshop this week in Kampala, Uganda. Thirty participants, including heads of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) from Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia will share, learn and determine how to build on the success of the three-year "Water For Africa" Phase I, which focused on building local competencies and hygiene awareness. The initial approach aimed at filling the knowledge gap that exists between organizations trying to address water and sanitation issues related to the urban poor. Phase II is designed to stimulate thinking, to minimize the duplication of efforts and to deepen the relationships between Northern and Southern NGOs. Phase II also provides for more tangible pieces including some hardware.
One of the top priorities for the representatives from WFP is to examine how a Northern NGO becomes a real partner with a Southern NGO. The workshop will provide opportunities for participants to collaborate and explore interests and needs up front before the actual work is implemented in hopes that this higher level of partnership will generate positive, sustainable outcomes.
With the urban poor increasing at an alarming rate in absolute and relative terms, for approaches to achieve success, they must reach beyond the mere transfer of resources. Unlike rural work, the scope of urban projects encompasses the complexities of tenuous relationships, tremendous population density and a serious strain on local governments and infrastructure.
In PHASE II, WFP decided to hire an African evaluator to ensure representation and observation from a southern perspective. In developed western countries the purpose of education is to inform people about environmental issues as they relate to water and waste management. In the developing world, education is still connected to public health issues.
----US News Wire
Karen on 02.24.05 @ 05:28 AM CST