By Apurva Sahu
It’s already 4th day of SWWW! Just one more day. I am so excited to share what i have listened to, seen, and discussed. I feel delighted to be an ADB Youth Partner at SWWW 2013.
Keeping in with the central theme of the WWW 2013, the session on partnership for financing sanitation services in poor urban areas stressed the importance of cooperation, and shared knowledge and experience. Mr. Patrick from the IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre shared their experiences on WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) services that should last long. They also presented the WASH calculator IRC developed. This app will help all professionals working in the WASH sector to plan better and evaluate sanitation and water services using cost and service level data. They added that this app was created with new grants from Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Further in session, Mr. Guy Norman (Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor) raised the topic of public finances vs. private financing in the WASH sector. He also shared their experience on sanitation levy or sanitation tax to be implemented in water utility bills for the development of waste and sanitation sector in the poor and slum areas of the city. They showed a video to make delegates believe in the idea, and put forward the point that citizens actually like this idea of sanitation levy/tax. This will not only provide better sanitation services to the poor, but also create better environment.
During the same session the idea of an Eco School was also offered. The purpose of the school would be to train students on environmental and water related issues. It was also proposed that these topics should be included in the curriculum for schools. Such policies may also help in behavioral changes.
In the afternoon session, young professionals were involved in the intergenerational dialogue on “Water, Food and Energy Nexus” with the senior professionals. Among the panelists were Ian Makin (ADB), Sunita Narain (CSE) and the 2005 Stockholm Water Laureate to initiate the discussions.
Towards the end of the discussion, Sunita informed the juniors to beware of jargon being used, and be critical about whatever they listen to and see.