The Colorado Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Symposium will be held on March 19-20, in the Discovery Learning Center on campus. While the symposium is free, participants are asked to register through our website. The two day Symposium provides a platform for enlightening, encouraging and challenging discussions about global WASH issues and solutions and will draw together students, faculty and researchers, Coloradan non-profits and internationally prominent development practitioners engaged in the WASH agenda.
As World Water Day approaches on March 22, the need for access to better water supply and sanitation in the developing world is clear. Over 780 million people use unsafe drinking water sources and almost 40 percent of the world’s population – 2.5 billion people – practice open defection or lack improved sanitation facilities. Inadequate access to safe water and sanitation services, coupled with poor hygiene practices, kills and sickens thousands every day, and leads to impoverishment and diminished opportunities for thousands more. Vulnerable groups, including children, are at greatest risk of illness from diarrhea and other water-related diseases. According to UNICEF, almost 3,000 children die everyday from diarrheal disease due to poor water and sanitation. World-wide, a broad range of players are tackling the WASH challenge – how to sustainably improve access to water and sanitation to billions of the world’s poorest people.
Panels at the symposium will be held on “hot topics” in WASH including:
• Innovative approaches in urban and rural sanitation
• Local non-government organizations’ (NGOs) WASH programs and challenges
• Engaging the private sector for market-based approaches
• Novel approaches to the sanitation value chain
• Sustainable solutions in rural water supply and sanitation
A “lightening” round of the Coloradan WASH non-profits will provide an opportunity to brainstorm and network.
The event is being organized by a group of graduate students across disciplines at CU-Boulder interested in WASH. The Engineering Excellence Fund and the Latin America Studies Center is supporting the event, which will include specialists in water and sanitation issues in Latin America.
Information about other World Water Day events and how to make every day World Water Day can be found at WASHadvocates.org and UNwater.org.