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Meeting Global Water Needs In Rural Areas

Water is vital for life. Our continents are surrounded by water, yet throughout the world, more than 2 billion people lack access to clean, safe water for drinking, cooking, washing, and other needs. The global water crisis is critical and many groups, including Water Mission and REAL-Water, are joining together to address this need. 

Last week, Water Mission’s Senior Director of Program Development, Lara Lambert, had the opportunity to present on behalf of Water Mission and REAL-Water at the All Systems Connect 2023 International Symposium. This unique opportunity showcased Water Mission’s research and learning around integrating climate resilience and systems strengthening into our water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programs. Held in The Hague, this international event brought together key stakeholders to explore how connecting across boundaries and promoting systems leadership can help us achieve social justice and improved national systems.

Attendees of the event learned about challenges and opportunities
for creating sustainable WASH solutions in rural areas.

REAL-Water, which stands for Rural Evidence and Learning for Water, is a five-year USAID initiative in which Water Mission and other WASH-focused organizations are engaged. This implementation research program explores three interrelated aspects of rural water supply development: water provider performance, water safety, and water resources. The goal is to develop and evaluate strategies for expanding access to safe, equitable, and sustainable rural water services for people globally.  

Lara and Carol Matere, Water Mission’s Community Development Manager who has been significantly involved in the REAL-Water work in Kenya, just wrapped up the annual REAL-Water management meeting in Kumasi, Ghana. It was a successful gathering that focused on our research ahead. The team was able to share preliminary results from current research activities, deepen collaboration between members, and think creatively about further research opportunities for years three through five. 

Lara’s presentation discussed climate resiliency in WASH programs and how to strengthen the local environment to better sustain WASH systems. This presentation, titled Broadening the definition of “resilience”: approaches to WASH and climate systems strengthening, being co-facilitated by other notable organizations, enhanced other research presented during the larger session. 

Water Mission’s Executive Vice President of Programs Seth Womble and Program Design Specialist, Kausha Dierker participated in the symposium as well. 

Lara and Carol spent time with the REAL-Water management team at their annual meeting prior to the Symposium.

“This is a unique opportunity for Water Mission to demonstrate how we are incorporating evidence and research in our WASH programming and share the outcomes of these initiatives,” commented Lara. “Sharing our learnings on an international stage and connecting with key partners and funders from all of our focus countries allows Water Mission to remain relevant and innovative in sustainable WASH programming while ensuring that all key stakeholders are at the decision-making table.” 

REAL-Water research is primarily being conducted in Ghana, India, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, with new expansions into Madagascar and Zambia. Other implementing and academic partners include Aquaya, Aguaconsult, Atree, KNUST, Rural Water Supply Network, and Safe Water Network. 

Partner with us on our mission to honor God by developing, implementing, and sharing best-in-class safe water solutions that transform as many lives as possible, as quickly as possible. Click the button below to give safe water today. 

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