Tuesday, 20 March 2012

End Water Poverty at the World Water Forum

Sarah Blakemore is the International Campaignator Coordinator at End Water Poverty

Last week the End Water Poverty team were at the World Water Forum in Marseille. We joined up with the Butterfly Effect, a coalition of NGOs from across the world working together during the forum to push for progress on water and sanitation. We were there to organise a side event to discuss the future of Water and Sanitation after 2015 and take part in a World Water Forum ‘Walk for Water and Sanitation’.

The walk was to kick off ‘The World Walks for Water and Sanitation’, focusing attention on the hundreds of thousands of people walking together across the globe this week. Our rallying cry of ‘TAPS AND TOILETS!!’ or ‘DES ROBINETS ET DES TOILETTES!!’ echoed around the busy conference centre and we carried buckets and banners with slogans calling on world leaders to take action to end the water and sanitation crisis.

Later in the week we organised a side event on the theme of ‘Should Water and Sanitation be in the new MDGs?’ The event was designed to be interactive and give members a chance to discuss how we can ensure that water, sanitation and hygiene are given the attention they deserve in the post-2015 framework; find out how civil society can feed into the post 2015 debate; what lessons we can take from the MDGs; and to establish key action points for water and sanitation beyond 2015. We talked about the human right to water and sanitation, equity and inclusion, political prioritization, cross sector working and the importance of focusing on sanitation as being the most off-track target .

For me though, the best part of the trip was meeting so many members in person. It was great to sit down face-to face with people I had previously only known as a Skype photograph, an email or a voice on the phone and make plans for how we would continue to work together in the future.

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