Early in July, the Well Aware team in Kenya joined water service providers from all across Kenya gathered at the Lake Naivasha resort for the Water & Sanitation Conference, hosted by the Water Service Providers Association and focused on the theme of unlocking the potential of women and youth for sustainable water and sanitation services. This in itself is a major milestone, as women and youth are two primary groups that encounter water, sanitation, and hygiene challenges on a regular basis, if not daily.
Over the 3 days, we heard from 102 speakers and panelists all with the mission to facilitate an empowering environment for water service providers through capacity building, advocacy, networking, partnerships, and promotion of best practices efficient, effective and sustainable water and sanitation services.
Apart from speakers and panelists, the conference also hosted 50 abstract presenters who talked about a wide range of topics, such as:
- promoting good governance in water and sanitation through inclusion of youth and women
- strengthening the role of women leadership in the management of water and sanitation
- leveraging big data and information in water and sanitation by youth and women for accelerated access to water and sanitation
Excluding all the speakers, panelists and abstract presenters I would not be doing this piece justice if I didn’t mention the best part of the conference. Yes, the networking aspect of the conference is one fact I believe every participant appreciated. From this, we all gained more knowledge from each other, gained different perspectives on water and sanitation issues, and walked away with fresh ideas to implement in our own programs.
All in all, after the close of the conference I can’t wait to put to work all the information I have gathered out in the field with our partner communities to unlock the potential of women and youth for sustainable water and sanitation services.