Wednesday, 8 October 2003: UNDP,
with support from Sweden, will work with communities in five countries
on innovative ways, such as using wind and solar energy, to improve water
supplies and sanitation.
The small grant Community Water Initiative, launched at the Third World Water Forum in March, is getting underway this month in Guatemala, Kenya, Mauritania, Sri Lanka and Tanzania.
The pilot phase, running through next year, will support two or three small-scale projects in each country. Funding from Sweden will provide up to US$20,000 for each project.
The project aims to promote progress towards Millennium Development Goal 7, including the provision of sustainable water supplies and halving the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water.
For participating communities in Tanzania, the initiative will improve the supplies through techniques such as rainwater harvesting and use of wind and solar power for irrigation.
A community in Guatemala will use power from solar panels to pump potable water to more than 100 households. Another project there will help raise awareness about improving local management of water supplies and support legislation to improve community access to clean water.
"We look forward to working with the Community Water Initiative so that the varied experiences of the UNDP small grants programmes can be enriched further and their impacts broadened", said Nehemiah Murusuri, national coordinator for Tanzania.
At the Stockholm Water Symposium in August, UNDP partners enthusiastically welcomed the initiative as a valuable contribution towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals. Khethiwe Mhlanga, national coordinator for Zimbabwe, noted that the initiative will "fill in an important gap and respond to real needs".
In carrying out the initiative, UNDP will work closely with local, national and international partners such as WaterAid of United Kingdom, which has a proven track record in effective community water and sanitation work.
Support for the initiative is part of Sweden's broader assistance to the UNDP Water Governance Programme, including efforts to ensure women's role in water resource management activities.
For further information please contact Lara Yacob (email@example.com), UNDP Water Governance Programme, or Victor Arango (firstname.lastname@example.org), UNDP Communications Office.