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Congress sessions will take stock of current water and sanitation operators’ issues, showcase good approaches, and offer recommendations for how operators can tackle challenges through peer-to-peer partnerships.

Each theme will be addressed through a combination of roundtables, dialogues, and sessions based on offer and demand received through the call.

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Fighting COVID together – are utilities getting the support they need?

#ManagingCrises · #AccessForAll

Tuesday 19 October — 16:00 – 18:00 (CEST)

Languages: English, French, Spanish

In times of a pandemic that hits everyone, everywhere, water operators around the globe are making unprecedented efforts to ensure the continuity and expansion of services. Their efforts range from extending distribution networks, communicating about good hygiene to provision of mobile service stations and procuring the critical materials. They often require immediate organizational and operational adjustments: from the setup of crisis units and development of emergency strategies to adaptation to a permanently evolving, uncertain situation. Most urgent measures involve not only expanding service to vulnerable communities, but also halting disconnections and keeping staff safe. This Congress session intends to capture all the most relevant and efficient operators’ responses to the effects of the pandemic such as limited access to safe WASH services, ruptures in supply chains and interruptions of services, or a decline in quality of response due to restricted or no movement of utility staff.

The Session will also assess the secondary effects of the pandemics. As most of the measures applied to address the primary effects of the pandemics, are adding substantial financial burden on water and sanitation operators, these can compromise their ability to sustain its public services in the long term. While working hard to secure continuous services, water operators are being affected with a loss of revenue that threatens its future operational and capital expenditures, which will almost certainly result in less investments.