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Opinion Pieces Discuss Issues Surrounding World Water Day

The Hill: We can do better on water
Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.)

“…The national and global need for increased investment in water infrastructure is desperate and urgent. We have the resources to take action — what’s been lacking is the urgency to pull the pieces together. This World Water Day, let’s focus our attention on solving these challenges in the coming months to spare unimaginable and unnecessary human tragedy” (3/22).

Devex: The clean water and sanitation crisis: How we can do better
John Hewko, general secretary of Rotary International and the Rotary Foundation

“…The impact and sustainability of WASH initiatives can be improved by rigorous monitoring of each intervention, the adaptation of projects to meet local needs and ensure broad participation in the planning and execution phases, and the understanding that technologies are only as strong as the accompanying maintenance, expertise, and training required to keep them functional. … Engaging with stakeholders through the lens of sustainability, and with the solid data to back it up from robust assessments, will bring more clean water and adequate sanitation resources to the 2.5 billion people who deserve more from the development community” (3/22).

The Hill: Water: The one symbol shared by all religions
Brian McLaren, senior fellow with Auburn Seminary and board member and leader of Convergence Network and Center for Progressive Renewal, and Susan Barnett, founder of Faiths for Safe Water and Impact Communications

“…Americans fund and support access to global WASH (Water/Sanitation/Hygiene) work through their houses of worship, faith-based and non-governmental organizations. But long-term success is impossible without the funding, leadership, and influence of the U.S. government. It’s not just imperative that funding for the Water for the World Act be robust, every global health and development policy and piece of legislation must contain provisions for sustainable clean water and sanitation. … At a time of tight budgets, this approach is smart, logical, and cost-effective…” (3/22).

Devex: We all have a role to play to achieve water security
Nitin Paranjpe, president of the Home Care Business of Unilever

“…Communities, businesses, and governments all have an interest in ensuring that we manage this scarce resource sustainability and equitably. It is critical for those who lack access to water today, but it is also essential if we want our communities and economy to thrive in the future…” (3/22).

Devex: Sanitation for all: Scaling up is hard to do
Jan Willem Rosenboom, senior program officer for the water, sanitation, and hygiene strategy at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

“…[A] project that aims to change behavior should be designed on the basis of knowledge about those drivers in the local context. … Also, comparing trends in sanitation access and use prior to and after an intervention can provide important information about the additive effect of the intervention … Finally, flexible, guiding sanitation policies are likely to be more appropriate than fixed prescriptive policies. … Government investment in effective knowledge exchange and outcome monitoring are likely to be more useful in supporting the design of effective [WASH] programs than prescriptions about specific approaches used throughout the country…” (3/22).

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