The tour ran from June 19 - 25 and was organized at the invitation of the German Federal Foreign Office, represented by the German embassies in Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago respectively and under the leadership of Dr. Horst Vogel, Head of the CATS Program.
Given the limited time available, it focused geographically on two areas, namely the City of Hamburg and the Ruhr Valley.
Hamburg is the second largest city in Germany and the second largest port in Europe connected to the North Sea by the Elbe River. Its population is over 1.7 million people.
The Ruhr valley is a polycentric urban area in the West of Germany. With a population of eight and a half million people, it is the largest urban agglomeration in Germany.
Participation from the Eastern Caribbean focused on CAWASA (Caribbean Water and Sewerage Association) and comprised Messieurs Christopher Husbands, President and General Manager of NAWASA (Grenada), Bernard Ettinoffe, immediate past President and General Manager of DOWASCO (Dominica), Vincent Hippolyte, Treasurer and Managing Director of WASCO (Saint Lucia), and Ignatius Jean, Executive Director of CAWASA.
In addition, Mr. Jermaine Jackson, Water Production Manager of the National Water Commission of Jamaica participated as well as Ms. Ilena Vega Guzmán, Laboratory Coordinator & Chemical Director of the National Institute of Water Supply and Sanitation in Costa Rica.
The information tour was carried out in cooperation with the CATS program and, thus, included many destinations and partners that collaborate with and through the CATS program such as members of the “Strategic Alliance Water Loss Reduction”, for example Hamburg Wasser and the Hermann Sewerin Ltd. with whom topics such as municipal water supply and waste-water disposal including biogas production and sewage sludge incineration and gas and water leak detection were discussed.
Other dialogue partners were the Hamburg Univ. of Technology, Institute for Sewage Management and Water Protection, with whom current issues and projects in the field of sewage management and water protection were discussed.
Other private partners included Jos. Hansen & Sons Ltd. and WILO SE. With both of these, the focus was on the potential and possibilities for development partnerships regarding the provision of energy-efficient water pumps.
Throughout the short tour it was strikingly obvious that there are plenty of opportunities and good reasons for cooperation, for example at the Water-Energy Nexus and in the field of Water Governance.
However, as always, the challenge is and remains to successfully source the required funds!
Author: Dr. Horst Vogel, GIZ/CATS Representative