Vitens Evides International
Currently, over 660 million individuals around the world do not have access to clean, potable water. However, the Utretch, Netherlands-based organization Vitens Evides International (VEI) aims to change this. VEI partners with local companies to deliver clean water to individuals in transitioning and developing countries. Their work has already reached the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, as they have entered into productive partnerships with companies in Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, and Mozambique, among others.

Notable Partnerships

Upon entering into a WOP (water-operator partnership) both the local company and VEI get to work implementing technologies and strategies to help improve water quality and accessibility. One of VEI’s most successful partnerships came in 2008, when they partnered with local company SAWACO in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. VEI was able to successfully fix the issue of water system leakage in the city and improve clean water distribution. They were also able to train individuals in the community on how to maintain a functional, efficient water purification and distribution system, ensuring that the work done by this particular WOP had long-lasting impact.

Another notable partnership came in 2015 when VEI worked with FIPAG, a local water supply company in the city of Maputo, Mozambique. Their combined efforts to install new drinking water distribution centers and improve household connections to these centers has helped bring clean, potable water to many people residing in Maputo.

The Statistics

VEI’s yearly statistics are impressive. In 2018, they worked on over 40 projects in 20 different countries and helped over 300,000 individuals gain access to clean water. The number of individuals that have gained access to clean water as a result of VEI’s work has grown in 3 consecutive years; as such, VEI is aiming to help another 350,000 individuals gain access to clean water by 2020. The company has a strong vision and driven leadership at the helm. Given all of this, it seems VEI is set up for future success.

Sustainable Development Goals

VEI’s work helps to achieve UN Sustainable Development Goal #6, which is to ensure all individuals have access to clean water and sanitation. Accomplishing such a goal will help achieve a number of other Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) as well; having access to clean water helps to alleviate poverty and promote educational opportunities (SDG’s #1 and #4) as individuals will be able to spend more time working or obtaining an education and less time looking for water. In addition, individuals with access to clean water will be far healthier, which will contribute towards the achievement of SDG #3.

Future Impact

As mentioned above, VEI is looking to continue to make a positive impact on the lives of thousands of people across the developing world. They have recently secured partnerships with companies such as STUCO (Aruba) and WEB (Bonaire), as well as DWASA (Bangladesh). Each of these partnerships promises to contribute to the end goal of providing clean, potable water to everyone around the globe. Such a future may now be closer than ever.

Kiran Matthias
Photo: Flickr

In a recent address, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and General Assembly President John Ashe stated that a framework of accountability is essential in the development of post-2015 goals and their success. President Ashe expressed that such a mechanism “must be inclusive, transparent and based on mutual respect; it must promote mutual learning; it will need to contain feedback and/or inputs from the national to the regional and global levels; and it must fully utilize the new potential of data and technology.”

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also recognized the possibility of failure if a system of accountability is not put into place, or if it is not implemented properly. “Any framework for accountability must apply to all, taking into account their different capacities and responsibilities. Accountability mechanisms and platforms should be nimble and decentralized.”

Established by the UN in 2000, the Millennium Development Goals were an attempt to increase development and meet the needs of a global community. The goals include:

1. Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger

2. Attaining universal primary education

3. Promoting gender equality

4. Reducing child mortality

5. Improving maternal health

6. Combating diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria

7. Ensuring environmental sustainability

8. Establishing a global partnership for development

The target date for the completion of these goals was set for 2015, and with less than two years left until the deadline, the UN and other global partners have begun discussing a post-2015 development agenda.

The Secretary General also stated in a report that four fundamentals must form the foundation of the post-2015 agenda: a far-reaching vision of the future firmly anchored in human rights and universally accepted values and principles, a set of concise goals and targets aimed at realizing the priorities of the agenda, a global partnership for development to mobilize means of implementation and a participatory monitoring framework for tracking progress and mutual accountability mechanisms for all stakeholders.

UNESCO released a document summarizing their own concerns of the future of the Education for All (EFA) goals after 2015. Their stated “thematic priorities” include:

1. Establishing early childhood care and education as the foundation of learning

2. Enhancing youth and adult literacy

3. Recognizing the central role of teachers for delivering quality education

4. Increasing emphasis on skills for life and for work

5. Strengthening of education for sustainable development and global citizenship

In their statement on the operationalization of a post-2015 agenda, UNESCO also recognized the need for an accountability framework that is flexible enough to account for different educational priorities across countries and adapt to changing global situations.

As development of the agenda has progressed, it has become clear that the intention is not to abandon the Millennium goals in favor of more easily attainable markers, but to continue their pursuit through more effective means.

– Kristen Bezner

Sources: UNESCO, UN General Assembly Report, UN News Centre
Photo: UN News Centre

Motorbikes Role in Reaching the UN's Millennium Development Goals
UNICEF donated 73 motorbikes to nonprofit organizations to help them better and more effectively monitor and implement their water and sanitation projects in Sierra Leone. These projects are to build or revamp wells and sanitation spaces in communities, schools, and health centers.

By giving these nonprofit organizations access to motorbikes, UNICEF is hoping to help reach the UN’s Millennium Development Goals by 2015. The motorbikes are thought to help by accelerating the efforts being made to improve access to water and, thus, contribute to the push for anti-poverty that the Millennium Development Goals are in place for.

As of now, only 57 percent of people in Sierra Leone have access to clean drinkable water with access to such water in rural areas being much rarer than in more urban areas. Accordingly, only 48 percent of people have access to clean water sources in rural areas, whereas 76 percent of those living in urban households have access. A significant amount of water consumed in rural areas is sourced to surface water, which is vulnerable to a multitude of waterborne diseases. This makes it imperative to improve water conditions and provisions and rural areas. The motorbikes will help make this possible by enabling NGOs to bring life-saving facilities to areas that are very remote and hard to access. They will also cut down on the amount of time necessary to get from local to local, allowing for NGO members to monitor their projects faster and easier.

Earnest Sesay, Director of Family Homes Movement, one of the NGOs that received motorbikes from UNICEF,  said “On behalf of the implementing partners of UNICEF WASH, I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation for this donation. With these motorbikes, the hurdles of reaching out to remote communities will be a problem of the past.”

– Angela Hooks

Source: AllAfrica