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WECF awarded twice at the International Energy Globe Awards in Euro parliament, Brussels

Safe Water Project in Romania and Energy Project from network partner UNISON were awarded at the International Energy Globe Event (the World Awards for Sustainability) which recognizes projects that 'make careful and economical use of resources and employ alternative energy sources'.

27.05.2008 |Chantal van den Bossche

Margriet Samwel and Claudia Tulei receive Energy Globe Award for Romania

A WECF project ‘A new approach for safe sanitation and water protection in rural Romania’ has today been awarded national winner for Romania for the International Energy Globe Awards (the World Awards for Sustainability) at the Euro parliament. WECF’s network partner UNISON from Kyrgyzstan received the same price for their project ‘Promotion of the Development of Energy Service Companies in Kyrgyzstan’.

The International Energy Globe Awards (the World Awards for Sustainability) have been awarded annually since 1999 to recognize projects that 'make careful and economical use of resources and employ alternative energy sources.' The winners, in the categories of Earth, Fire, Water, Air and Youth, are selected by a panel including members from the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, World Bank and the European Renewable Energy Council. Today’s event was opened with a key speech by Mikhail Gorbachev, who stated that we are only at the beginning of what is becoming a real global movement; with one billion people on earth not having access to clean drinking water and 80 percent of infections an diseases linked to a lack of clean drinking water, this society needs to move forward.

Safe sanitation

WECF was awarded for its new approach to safe sanitation and water protection in rural Romania. Winning this price is very important for WECF, as putting safe and affordable sustainable sanitation on the EU political agenda is one of its main missions. A lack of safe sanitary facilities, causing water pollution and disease is still a daily practice for 20 million Europeans within the European Union. In some EU member states almost 40% of the population do not have access to safe sanitation.

Awarded project

In Romania 66% of the rural population is not connected to a water supply system and only 10% of rural households are connected to a sewage system. For this reason the international women’s and environmental network WECF initiated the project Safe Drinking Water to create a flagship model for clean drinking water supply, safe sanitation and water protection even in remote regions. In the Romanian project village, Garla Mare, the pollution stemmed from animal and human excreta and from pesticides. After initial water tests, which revealed high pollution of well water with fecal bacteria, nitrate and pesticides, solutions were developed and numerous activities based on these results such as water filters in schools and dry urine diverting toilets were implemented and so the sanitary situation of several households and public buildings was improved.

Energy Globe Award Gala

The Energy Globe Event will be concluded tonight with an international ENERGY GLOBE television gala and gala dinner in the Plenary Hall of the European Parliament. Held under the auspicious of European Union Parliament President, Hans-Gert Pöttering, it will be a homage to initiatives and creatively implemented ideas from around the globe. Such notables as former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Mikhail Gorbachev – who will receive a lifetime achievement award for his sustained dedication to environmental issues – former Minister of the Environment of India and chair woman of the Energy Globe Award Maneka Ghandi and acts such as Italian superstar Zucchero, pop icon Dionne Warwick and Canadian singer/songwriter Alanis Morissette will be celebrating the achievements of environmental initiatives from around the world.

Right to safe and affordable sanitation

The right to safe and affordable water and sanitation is one of the main missions of WECF, Women in Europe for a Common Future.  WECF is a network of more than 100 organisations in 30 countries. WECF mobilizes women to find affordable solutions to the environmental health problems in their communities and encourage women to participate in decision-making.