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Plenary Session

Holistic Approaches to Urban Sanitation and Water Management

Tuesday, 23 May 2023
17:15 — 18:15
Plenary Room
GWOPA is the Convener for the session.

This session will highlight the cross-sectoral nature of water and sanitation, including the many interdependencies and co-benefits with other sectors such as health, environment, and energy and waste management. 

Speakers will look at more holistic approaches and solutions to the current challenges in urban sanitation and water management that go beyond the water and sanitation sector alone.  They will look at approaches that embrace urban water security as part of the full water cycle within a watershed, encompassing the different water sources and a range of water uses, including water for drinking and hygiene, the productive use of water in agriculture and industry, and water for biodiversity. 

The panel will highlight the importance of dealing with the whole chain of sanitation—from capture, storage, transport, treatment, and reuse/disposal. Discussions will cover the need to invest in both severed and non-sewered technologies to link city planning with services such as water and sanitation and to better integrate them into national development policies, legislations, and strategies by ministries of planning and finance. 

The session will call for increased coordination both horizontally across sectors and vertically across different tiers of authority and spatial scales, from local water users to water and sanitation operators, the private sector, civil society, planning and finance authorities, and local, subnational, and national governments. 


Keynote Speaker

Satoko Kishimoto

Mayor and former GWOPA ISC Member



Cecilia Njenga

Director at UNFCCC Intergovernmental Process and Collective Progress



Alyse Schrecongost 

Senior Program Officer at Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation


Mr. Ibra Sow

Chairman, PASA

Mr Ibra Sow, is a vaccum truck operator for faecal sludge management by trade. He started off as a vacuum truck driver in 1996. From his first owned truck in 1998, today he manages a company of about forty trucks with 75 permanent employees and more than a hundred day laborers. He has been the president of the association of sewers in Senegal since 2007 and the president of the Pan-African association of sanitation actors (PASA) since it’s inception in 2019


Ms. Jennifer Williams 

Executive Director – Faecal Sludge Management Alliance

Jennifer Williams is the Executive Director of the FSM Alliance. The FSM Alliance is a global member network focused on bringing together those who work in faecal sludge management (FSM) or non-sewered sanitation. Jennifer has been in the WASH sector for over 10 years and has a background in sociology and political science.


Mr. Benjamin Gestin 

Directeur général at Eau de Paris


Benjamin Gestin has been serving as CEO of Eau de Paris, the drinking water utility of the city of Paris, since 2016. Member of the French senior civil service, he advocates for better synergies between public policies and for a more systemic approach to the challenges cities and territories have to face in regard to climate change.


Mr. Graham Alabaster 

Chief, Geneva office at UN-Habitat


Ms. Kobie Brand

Deputy Secretary General: ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability

Kobie Brand is the Deputy Secretary General of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, Regional Director of ICLEI Africa & Global Director of ICLEI’s Cities Biodiversity Centre. Kobie has more than 25 years of practical & managerial experience in Environmental Management & Urban Development, with expertise ranging from biodiversity, climate change, and coastal management to urban sustainability & planning.

— Session Programme