Watch the session
Plenary Session

Reducing Inequalities: Inclusive utilities, inclusive services

Tuesday, 23 May 2023
09:00 — 10:15
Plenary Room
GWOPA is the Convener for the session.

The recent UN 2023 Water Conference alerted us that the world is way off track to meeting SDG 6 to ensure “Available and safely managed drinking water for all” by 2030. In 2020 there were still 3.6 billion people without access to safely managed sanitation and 2 billion without access to drinking water. Persistent disparities in access between countries, between urban and rural communities, and between income groups still leave far too many in need of access to safely managed water and sanitation services behind. Within cities, the poor in informal settlements commonly pay ten times more than their wealthier neighbors for water and lack safely managed sanitation facilities.

Utilities are essential in delivering government commitments to the human right to access safe drinking water and sanitation. They can play an important role in helping marginalized groups overcome their barriers to access.

The session will hear from utilities, governments, financiers, and regulators working together to address these inequalities. They will help explain why serving the poor is harder than serving the rich: more expensive, technically challenging, and less rewarding in the short term, but how, with know-how, resources, and incentives, they are making it happen. 

Practitioners will share practical experiences of making services more inclusive. In addition to efficiency-focused improvements that ensure utilities are financially sustainable, how can explicit approaches address the gaps? How can dedicated service units for informal settlements, equipped with specialized staff, dedicated policies, and innovative technologies, help accelerate the achievement of the right to access to water and sanitation for all?  And what technical and financial innovations, from remote sensing to smart meters, are helping utilities reach the hardest to serve?

The session will also showcase how employment diversity can contribute to inclusive service provision. It will discuss how recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce can help ensure that services are designed and delivered with the needs and perspectives of all members of the community, ensuring that perspectives from informal settlements and other communities are represented.


Keynote Speaker

Pedro Arrojo

Special Rapporteur

HRC-SR Water & Sanitation-ARROJO AGUDO



Kit Dyer

WASH Specialist UNICEF



Ms. Faustina Bauchie 

Head of Ghana Water Low Income Customer Support Unit

Faustina is currently the Chief Manager of, the Low Income Customer Support Department. She was the substantive LICSU Manager from 2005 until her current role. She is credited with transforming a one-person desk unit into a fully-fledged department that has contributed immensely to infrastructure development in several marginalized and disadvantaged urban communities in Ghana. Faustina employs a multi-stakeholder approach in realizing her goals and has a firm conviction that everyone, irrespective of where they live, should have access to safe, reliable, and affordable water services.


Eugenia Giotto 

The Director of Gender of AySa

Eugenia Ghiotto is the Head of the Gender and Diversity Department of AySA. She is a
psychologist and specialist in public policies on gender violence who also worked extensively in this field in Argentia.


Jurike Winarendri

Project Consultant at WaterworX – VEI

Jurike Winarendri is from Indonesia. She has been working as a project consultant in WaterworX Semarang for around 2 years. She is working on several projects – on Customer Relations, she is responsible for coordinating surveys and providing technical assistance for local stakeholders. She is also supporting a project of Water for Life to provide clean water for low-income families in Semarang, Indonesia


Klaas Schwartz Klaas Schwartz

Senior Lecturer, IHE Delft Institute For Water Education


Lungi Zuma

EThekwini Municipality

Lungi Zuma is acting Strategic Executive at eThekwini Municipality’s Water and Sanitation in Durban, South Africa. Lungi provides strategic technical service and co-ordination function related to the Unit’s research and innovation activities, she manages the Unit’s partnership agreements with external institutions


— Session Programme