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Event 12Nov.09 Side-event at Africa Water Week - SIWI and UNO-IDfA/UNW-DPAC: Getting action on Africa’s water and sanitation crisis. The hard questions…and how climate change impacts the answers.

The process

  • Presentation of the event and opening thoughts: Michael McWilliams, Communications Director, SIWI
  • Reflections on how best to communicate the urgency to act in the context of climate change:

Josefina Maestu, Coordinator-Director UNO-IDfA / UNW-DPAC

  • Interactive talk-show style discussion, moderated by Josefina Maestu, UNO-IDfA / UNW-DPAC

-          Mike Muller, Member Global Water Partnership (GWP) Technical Committee

-          Hammilton Wende, journalist

  • Open floor: Moderated by Michael McWilliams, SIWI

-          Questions, challenges, and ideas  from audience

-          NGO insights:  Michael McWilliams, SIWI



When the African Union heads of state adopted the Sharm el Sheikh Declaration on Water in June 2008, they strongly endorsed the need to make water and sanitation a priority at both the national and pan-African levels. However, climate change will most likely drive much of Africa far off track from the Millenium Development Goals for drinking water and sanitation.


Public health, economies, and many human lives are now falling into much graver risk.


What is needed - right now - is the political will to act and the knowledge to move effectively and efficiently.  The nations and peoples of Africa need to ask some hard questions...and get answers that don't dodge the problem.


In this session, a veteran environmental journalist will pose such questions to a knowledgeable expert in the water and development fields.  Communicating the urgency to act is a key role of media, but expert information is often quite complex. The answers may not come easy... but this discussion will help make them clear.  An official from the UN will moderate the process. Then, the audience will get its chance to give the answers the real-world grounding they need, with some additional insights from NGO research and policy work.


This session grows out of the recommendations of the recent UN media consultation on Climate and Water held last month in Zaragoza, Spain. 

Contact information Ulrike Kelm (email:
Event type Seminar
File link n/a
Source Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI)
Geographical coverage Sweden
Address Stockholm
Organizer United Nations Office to Support the Water Decade (UNO-IDfA)/United Nations -Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC) : and SIWI
Target audience International
Duration 11:30 to 13:00
Period 12/11/2009
Status Confirmed
Working language(s) ENGLISH