Thursday, 15 March 2012

Impressions from the World Water Forum in Marseille

Olivier Germain is End Water Poverty's new Campaigns Advisor, here he tells us all about his impressions of the 6th World Water Forum in Marseille!

The World Water Forum can be a daunting place. 20,000 participants, huge exhibition halls filled with hundreds of colourful stalls, and a cacophony of sounds from animated discussions and slick corporate videos, to press conferences and the splashing sound of funky water fountains. Amid all this, is a pod, known as the Butterfly Effect area, the site where NGOs from across the world hover and promote their joint solutions to have a sustainable impact on water and sanitation. This is where I meet civil society representatives from Asia, Africa and Latin America, debating how to work more effectively together and with common messages. From small NGOs to larger national coalitions, the place is buzzing with ideas, preparations for sessions and plans on how best to get leaders to listen to our demands. This hub also provides the ideal launching point for End Water Poverty’s World Walks for Water and Sanitation, as people joined up to add their voice to demand for more action in delivering water and sanitation to those currently lacking access to these vital services. Although the size of the forum, the diversity of displays, and the flood of information can appear overwhelming, the opportunity to meet face to face with partners and like-minded organisations is certainly one to cherish.

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