GWOPA/UN-Habitat Sessions at the 9th World Water Forum in Dakar to Raise Utilities’ Voices and their Contributions to the SDGs

The most recent and biggest WOP Programme at the global scale to date, the EU-WOP Programme, funded by the EU and managed by GWOPA/UN-Habitat, will be presented during a special session at the Forum

The 9th edition of the World Water Forum kicks off on Monday 21st March in Dakar, Senegal and runs until the 26th March. As key stakeholders in the water and sanitation arena, UN-Habitat, the Global WOPs Alliance (GWOPA) and partners are organizing a few dynamic and informative sessions at the Forum to talk the walk in water and sanitation.

GWOPA’s sessions will raise utilities’ voices and showcase their contributions to ensuring safe drinking water and sanitation worldwide. The sessions also aim to prove how GWOPA’s network is helping these service providers through solidarity-based peer partnerships to build their capacity and improve their performance that lead to better and more sustainable services.

On the first day, the 21st of March, GWOPA will host a session titled “The Power of Peer Partnerships: EU-backed Mentorship for Utility Improvement” at 14.00 – 15.30 GMT in Room 12 EXPO. During this session, the GWOPA Secretariat team will present the EU-WOP Programme, an EU-funded program that aims to increase the performance of utilities with the support of twenty-two international Water Operators’ Partnership (WOP) projects with peer partners in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Representatives from the European Commission will explain what they see in these peer partnerships and how they are helping meet the enormous financing gap in the sector. The interactive session will feature first-hand accounts from the water and sanitation service providers in these partnerships on how they are working together to achieve their goals and overcome challenges with innovative solutions. Financiers will also discuss how WOPs are helping utilities tap into finance for needed investments, and how the WOPs approach is changing the game for water and sanitation cooperation.


The following day, 22nd of March, the world celebrates the United Nations World Water Day. UN-Water is holding the event “Groundwater: Making the Invisible Visible” to mark and celebrate the day, which this year focuses on the vital role of groundwater in water and sanitation security. This session will be held in the Plenary Session Room Teaser 1 at 08:00 GMT.

Later on that day, at 13.30, UN-Habitat and the Islamic Development Bank are having a session called “SS47: Citywide Inclusive Sanitation for Promoting Inclusive and Sustainable Urban Sanitation Systems: Lessons Learnt from IsDB & UN-Habitat” in Room 202 CICAD. The session will share how the Citywide Inclusive Sanitation (CWIS) approach can ensure everyone benefits from safely managed sanitation, support knowledge sharing between peer sanitation operators, and help authorities establish stronger, safer and more inclusive sanitation service delivery systems.

The GWOPA Secretariat, hosted in the city of Bonn since 2020, will be present at the German Pavilion of the Forum. On Wednesday 23rd of March at 10.30 GMT, GWOPA and GIZ will hold a networking event at the Pavilion to connect WOP practitioners and inform about the 7 active partnerships of the German Utility Platform.