Day 1 – Rain does not stop play

Nearly 500 delegates and exhibitors took part in Day 1 of the RWSN Forum. In the Opening Session, Mr. Ian Arebahona from the Ministry of Water and Environment in Uganda was the MC and ably kept everyone to time. Professor Richard Carter, of WaterAid and Chairman of RWSN, set out the opportunities and challenges for rural water supply. Dr. Peter Harvey, of UNICEF, explained the global figures for rural water supply coverage, showing that great progress has been made in the last decade but that there is no room for complacency and too many people still remain unserved. Dr. Kerstin Danert, of Skat, then introduced the Forum and role of RWSN.

In the unlikely case that anyone had dozed off, a troupe of Ugandan drummers processed into the Plenary Hall and shook everyone up in great style before the Forum was officially opened by the Honorable Maria Mutagamba, the Minister for Water and Environment.

Lunch was accompanied by good food, more drumming and heavy downpour, but the rain was not enough to dampen the spirits of the delegates who busy re-established old friendships and made new ones.

After the food recharged bellies and the rain recharged the groundwater Munyonyo, the afternoon was arranged into two batches of 5 parallel sessions. Such was the huge number of contributions that we received it was the only way to fit everyone in!

So this afternoon’s topics were:

  • Managing Handpump Water Supplies
  • Post Construction Support and Partnership for Sustainable Rural Water Services
  • Exploring Self Supply Potential
  • Sustainable Groundwater Development (1 and 2)
  • Deliverying Water Supply and Sanitation in Post Conflict Countries
  • Private Sector Participation
  • Rural Water Supply Cinema
  • Experiences in Accelerated Self Supply

Here are some initial comments from the #RWSN6 twitter tag:

maravandenbold Mara van den Bold

 Recommendations on comparing 2 self supply approaches in Mali (WaterAid & UNICEF): better targeting and better monitoring #RWSN6 #yam
harerik Erik Harvey

 Great potential for small scale private sector in the “self-supply” water markets eg low cost rain water harvesting & wells #RWSN6 #yam
mtwestra Mark Tiele Westra

 Koij kumaru, WEDC: if given the choice, people like to have their own hand dug well. #RWSN6
  • What points stood out for you today? What was your highlight?

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