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Uganda hosts Africa Water Conference

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NEW VISION 24 FEB 2020

KAMPALA-The African Water Association (AfWA) with different members across Africa as well as France and Spain is convening its 20th meeting in Kampala starting 24 Feb and ending on 27.

The overall theme of AFWA 2020 is “Breaking new grounds to accelerate access to water and sanitation for all in Africa.”

The theme is particularly relevant to the water and sanitation sector in Africa, as most of the African countries are now faced with immense water and sanitation challenges and need to share ideas and resources and collaborate to find solutions has never been more urgent.

The African Water Association International Congress and Exhibition (AfWA ICE) will bring together a diverse range of practitioners, scientists, development partners, and industry representatives.

The AfWA ICE is organised by the National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) on behalf of Government of Uganda in association with local partners and AfWA executive office.

The Managing Director of NWSC, Dr. Eng. Silver Mugisha, who is also the current Vice President of AFWA for the Eastern Region is the Congress President.

According to Samuel Apedel, the Public Relations Manager, National Water and Sewerage Corporation, AfWA is a professional association of establishments, enterprises and utilities. The utilities offer services in areas of drinking water, sanitation and environment in Africa.

He also said AFWA conference is the largest gathering on the water and sanitation sector in Africa. AfWA is also celebrating 40 years of existence and positive impact on water and sanitation sector in Africa.

“There are 94 members of AfWA drawn from utilities; affiliate and individual members include France and Spain,” he told New Vision in an interview.

Apedel also said the AFWA holds an international Congress and Exhibition every two years to enhance the exchange of ideas. The last Congress (19th AFWA) held in Bamako, Mali in February 2018.

As most African countries are now faced with immense water and sanitation challenges, this theme is particularly relevant to the water and sanitation sector.

Never before has the need to face the challenge-to share ideas and resources; to look for new breakthroughs and innovations; to cooperate between nations, between generations and between disciplines-been more urgent.

Presentations 

Some of the key presentations will be made by professors from IHE Delft (Netherlands) and also initiatives supported by USAID.

Dr Klaas Schwartz, Associate Professor of Urban Water Governance is expected to deliver two presentations: Pre-paid Meters, Water operator partnerships.

Dr Jan Willem Foppen, Associate Professor of Hydrology, is involved in a number of activities:

His insights and experiences of the adaptation and application of transition management approach to support change towards sustainable water and sanitation management in informal settlements, Groundwater quality in urban areas – findings and recommendations from Kampala, Accra and Arusha, the opportunities and challenges of safe and sustainable water points.

Dr Giuliana Ferrero – Senior Lecturer in Water Supply Engineering on Evaluation of integrative solutions for water supply and sanitation in small towns.

Dr Uta Wehn – Associate Professor of Water Innovation Studies on how communities of practice foster innovation on

AfriAlliance Innovation Bridge Event: Innovations for Climate Challenges in Accelerating Universal Access to Water and Sanitation in Africa:

IHE Delft Rector, Eddy Moors will give a keynote speech at the Congress on Wednesday, Prof Damir Brdanovic and Rector Eddy Moors will attend the signing of an MoU with NWSC covering the sponsorship of 10 scholarships to match the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) scholarships for the MSc in Sanitation at IHE Delft.

Under the USAID initiatives include; Symposium: Focus on SDGs and New Breakthroughs. Part 1: Status of SDG 6 in Africa: Are We on Track? Panelist: Jeff Goldberg, USAID Water Office Director

USAID papers among others will include Applied Research and Learning to Unlock Sanitation Markets in Uganda: USAID Uganda Sanitation for Health Deputy Chief of Party Jonathan Annis will present on enhancing sanitation service delivery and social marketing for sanitation.

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