No matter where they are, public water and sanitation service providers are increasingly suffering the effects of challenges exacerbated by health and climate crisis in an already underfinanced sector. And yet, WASH professionals, utilities and others engaged in not-for-profit Water Operators’ Partnerships (WOPs) keep demonstrating their resilience and serving as crucial actors to provide basic services within their communities.
Sharing knowledge and experiences plays a key role and is now more important than ever. To GWOPA’s mission to encourage and facilitate these exchanges, we now add the WOPcast initiative, a GWOPA podcast series presented by UN-Habitat’s Chief of Communication, Susannah Price, where water and sanitation professionals reflect on the challenges and successes in the sector – from gender mainstreaming to implementation of partnerships.
Episode 1: SWOP it! Sanitation Operators’ Partnerships
Globally, one out of two persons lack safely managed sanitation in 2021. Five years into the SDGs, the world is not on track to achieve SDG6.2. Achieving universal coverage by 2030 will require a quadrupling of current rates of progress in safely managed sanitation services (WHO, UNICEF, 2021).
The first ever WOPcast episode focuses on why advancing sanitation is critical, and the potential the WOPs peer-to-peer learning approach has to improve sustainable sanitation services.
- Dennis Mwanza, Senior WASH Advistor, RTI International
- Jonathan Kampata, Managing Director, Lusaka Water and Sanitation Company, Zambia
- Mwansa Nachula Mukuka, Lusaka Water and Sanitation Company, Zambia
- Sasidharan Velayutham, Assistant General Manager & Head of Strategic Operations Planning, Indah Water Konsortium (IWK), Malaysia
Episode 2: Women in Water and Sanitation Utilities and WOPs
Women and girls carry the heaviest burden of responsibilities around water collection and caregiving. Access to these basic services directly affects the health, education, income and safety of women and other vulnerable communities. Moreover, less than one in five water workers are women, according to the World Bank. Women are also underrepresented in technical and managerial positions.
This WOPcast episode focuses on gender mainstreaming in water and sanitation utilities and WOPs, to show that utilities can only improve their performance and achieve SDG6 and the Human Right to Water and Sanitation if they include the gender perspective, both in their service provision and their organizational structure.
- Sarah Keener, Senior Social Development Specialist, The World Bank
- Valeria Suárez, Coordinator, WOP-LAC Secretariat
- Hadi Toure, Water Expert, Young Expert Programmes, Project Coordinator of the WOP between (SOMAGEP-SA and Waternet