Building Resilience: SOIL at World Water Week 2021

According to FAO, 2 billion people around the world live in areas plagued by physical water scarcity and another 1.6 billion face water scarcity due to a lack of the necessary infrastructure to bring water into their communities. As a result of the impacts of global climate change, the crisis is only anticipated to worsen. Half of the world is expected to be living in high-stress water areas by 2030. We see this reality every day in the communities in Haiti where SOIL works: water is expensive, hard to come by, and so often unsafe to drink. The lack of water resources and infrastructure have far reaching impacts on public health and also compound other issues like access to sanitation (and sanitation technologies that require water).

To address these critical global water issues, every year thousands of practitioners and change-makers from around the world gather at World Water Week – an annual global event for concretely addressing the planet’s major water issues.This event is hosted each year  by Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI), the leading policy institute for strengthening water governance for sustainable futures. This year, the week-long event, which focused on “Building Resilience Faster” was held entirely online, and SOIL had the opportunity to participate in some of the live sessions!

SOIL’s Executive Director, Dr. Sasha Kramer, and Development Director, Eliza Parish, participated in a lively session and panel discussion convened by The Nature Conservancy, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Imagine H20 and Rare called Let’s Shoot the Sh*t: Getting to the bottom of sewage. The session focused on the MAJOR problem of untreated sewage and innovative approaches to re-shape the conversation around the sewage crisis (and its devastating impact on our environment).

The highlight of our week was a session SOIL participated in with the Container-Based Sanitation Alliance (CBSA) and other conveners that focused on the catalytic importance of innovative financing solutions and planning tools for the sanitation sector. Dr. Kramer and SOIL’s Deputy Director of Research and Innovation, Claire Remington, participated in the session and shared more about our work alongside the Haitian Sanitation Authority to innovate new financing mechanisms for fragile states. Edwige Petit, Director of Haiti’s Sanitation Authority (DINEPA), was interviewed by Dr. Kramer for the session and discussed the results-based financing mechanism we have been working towards as well as the complexity of working in the sanitation sector in Haiti.

We hope you check out the full video of the interview above, or you can access it here.

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