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Human right to WASH ‘glaring omission’ in OWG ‘zero draft’

By Jamillah Mwanjisi

A child washes himself in Kallyanpur a slum in BangladeshA child washes himself in Kallyanpur, a slum in Bangladesh. Sanitation remains the most offtrack of all the MDGs: 2.5 billion people still lack access to improved sanitation. Photo by: Kibae Park / United Nations / CC BY-NC-NDThe U.N. Open Working Group on the Sustainable Development Goals is holding this week its 12th and penultimate meeting in New York. Thirty representatives from U.N. member states are discussing amendments to the so-called “zero draft” document, which they will submit to the 68th U.N. General Assembly in September as a formal SDG proposal document.

But as many water and sanitation NGOs — including the 270-member End Water Poverty campaign coalition and a group of some 300 NGOs that have submitted a cosigned letter — believe, and as U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Human Right to Water and Sanitation Catarina de Albuquerque has noted, there remains a glaring omission in the document: the human right to water and sanitation. In its current guise, the document’s preamble fails to mention the human right to water and sanitation alongside other named rights. And while prior meetings suggested human rights would be “mainstreamed” into the SDGs themselves, it remains unclear what this means when the targets and indicators do not fully reflect the standards of the human right to water and sanitation, or the principles of human rights generally.

Momentum builds to achieve more MDGs by end of 2015: UN report

UN Secretary General Ban Ki moonUN Secretary General Ban Ki-moonWith many MDG targets met and aid monies hitting record highs, other lagging targets need fi nal push to seize on results and available solutions

Millions of people’s lives have improved due to concerted global, regional, national and local eff orts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which serve as the foundation for the next global development agenda, according to a new report launched recently by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

With many MDG targets already met on reducing poverty, increasing access to improved drinking water sources, improving the lives of slum dwellers and achieving gender parity in primary school, Th e Millennium Development Goals Report 2014, says many more targets are within reach by their 2015 target date. If trends continue, the world will surpass MDG targets on malaria, tuberculosis and access to HIV treatment, and the hunger target looks within reach. Other targets, such as access to technologies, reduction of average tariff s, debt relief, and growing political participation by women, show great progress

USAID Announces Water Desalination Prize Competition

On March 21 this year, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Swedish International Development Agency, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of The Netherlands announced the launch of the Desal Prize for innovations in brackish water desalination. The Desal Prize is part of the $32 million Securing Water for Food: A Grand Challenge for Development. The U.S. Bureau for Reclamation is providing support in the design and implementation of the prize.

Millennium Development Goals and Post-2015 Development Agenda


The eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) – which range from halving extreme poverty to halting the spread of HIV/AIDS and providing universal primary education – have been a milestone in global and national development efforts. The framework has helped to galvanize development efforts and guide global and national development priorities. While three of the eight goals have been achieved prior to the final deadline of 2015 progress has been uneven within and across countries. Thus further efforts and a strong global partnership for development are needed to accelerate progress and reach the goals by 2015. To learn more about the work of ECOSOC and the United Nations on the MDGs, click on the panel in the upper-right hand corner.

Achim Steiner Briefs European Environment Ministers on UNEP’s Role in the Post- 2015 Process, In light of the Upcoming Inaugural UN Environment Assembly (UNEA)

European Ministers of Environment met in Greece

UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner R with Greek Minister of Environment Energy and Climate Change Yiannis Maniatis L at a meeting ofUNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner (R) with Greek Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change Yiannis Maniatis (L) at a meeting of European Ministers of Environment in Greece

European Ministers of Environment met in Greece at an informal Council Meeting where UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner, delivered a presentation entitled “UNEP’s Role as the Leading Global Environmental Authority in Post-2015 Processes in Light of the Upcoming First UNEA”. In his address, Mr. Steiner briefed the EU ministers about the upcoming UN Environment Assembly, given the EU’s long-standing support for the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), and its advocacy for the inclusion of environmental aspects in the Post-2015 development agenda.

Davis & Shirtliff Launches Grundfos Sub-factory in its Nairobi’s Industrial Area Premises

Assembling a borehole submersibleAssembling a borehole submersible pumpEast Africa’s leading water equipment supplier, Davis and Shirtliff has launched its Grundfos subfactory, an in-house assembly plant of the world famous Grundfos SP borehole pumps to reduce waiting time for out of stock pumps and improve market availability. “We can now assemble at least 10 pumps a day, unlike before when customers had to wait up to 16 weeks for pumps which were out of stock,” said Mr Alec Davis Group CEO, during the inauguration ceremony held at the Davis and Shirtliff head offices at Industrial Area, Nairobi.

“Grundfos has partnered with Davis and Shirtliff to ensure that our customers’ access products within the shortest time possible while maintaining the global quality of our products,” said Mr. David Githendu, Grundfos Regional General Manager. The Grundfos submersible pump will now be assembled in 2 hours at the factory, and then shipped to clients in the region.

BGU Researchers reveal that Organic Agriculture can pollute groundwater

New Study Indicates that Liquid Fertilizing Techniques throughNew Study Indicates that Liquid Fertilizing Techniques through Drip Irrigation Result in Comparatively Lower Groundwater Pollution RatesResearchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU), using specialized monitoring technology, have determined that intensive organic agriculture can cause significant pollution from nitrate leaching into groundwater.

Public demand has led to the rapid development of organic farming in recent years to provide healthy food products that are free of chemical additives and to reduce industrial and groundwater pollution worldwide.

But, according to the paper published in the Hydrology and Earth System Sciencesjournal, intensive organic matter using composted manure prior to planting resulted in significantly higher groundwater pollution rates compared with liquid fertilization techniques through drip irrigation.




Current Issue: Africa Water & Sanitation & Hygiene December 2018 Vol.13 No.6