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WECF confirmed as co-leading partner for UNECE’s work program on water supplies and sanitation

At the sixth meeting of UNECE/WHO-EURO Working Group of the Parties to the Protocol on Water and Health, WECF was appointed as a co-leading partner of the work program of the Protocol on Water and Health, in the area “Small Scale Water Supplies”, alongside Germany and the Czech Republic.

10.07.2013 |WECF

WECF partner Anara Chotonbaieva from KAWS, Kyrgyzstan, at the 6th UNECE's meeting

WECF participated at the sixth meeting of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)’s Working Group of the Parties tot the Protocol on Water and Health, which happened in Geneva on the 3-4 July, 2013. On the occasion, WECF has been confirmed as one of the co-leading partners of the work program of the Protocol on Water and Health, in the area “Small Scale Water Supplies and Sanitation”. The two other co-leading partners are Germany and the Czech Republic.

The Protocol on Water and Health aims to provide safe drinking water and sanitation for the inhabitants of 54 countries in the EU, Eastern Europe, Southeastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia (however, so far only 26 countries of the region are Parties to the Protocol).
Rural areas of these countries have been going through a decline in access to safe water and sanitation, thus running the risk of failing to achieve the UN’s Millennium Development Goals. In order to tackle this problem, the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will provide loans for projects in water and sanitation infrastructure. A Compliance Committee composed of numerous individuals (including one of WECF’s partners)  will identify compliance problems and their possible solutions. The goal is to set targets for each country and guarantee long-term commitment to an implementation strategy, thus making sure that the loans are used effectively. 

WECF’s role as a co-leader of the work group on Small-scale Water Supplies and Sanitation is to study local needs and good practices and, based on them, develop policy guiding documents. These documents will provide examples of how to make the regulation, management and surveillance of small-scale water supplies and sanitation more effective.

WECF also co-led together with Romania the expert group for the development of the Guide on Public Partcipation which is now open for comments (in English and Russian) at the UNECE website until 20 July.

WECF was represented at the meeting by its Executive Director, Sascha Gabizon, and its coordinator of Gender and Rights in Munich, Anke Stock. They called for a moratorium on shale gas, which can be a risk to drinking water, and presented the Guide on Public Participation in water governance. Some of WECF’s partner organizations were also present: MAMA-86 (Ukraine), KAWS (Kyrgyzstan), AWHHE (Armenia), Socio-EcoFund (Kazakhstan) and Eco-Tiras (Moldova). Each of them presented challenges in the area of water and sanitation in their countries.

Now, the next step is to raise funding for organizing a pre-meeting of civil society organizations before the Meeting of the Parties, which will be held in November, in Oslo.

More information can be found on the PWH website

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