The improvement of sanitation, the problem addressed by the We Are Water Foundation on the occasion of the World Toilet Day
- The Foundation has organized several events with experts who have debated about the main challenges posed by this problem in different places around the world
- At the Roca Barcelona Gallery, the meeting has been attended by the ambassador of India, the architect Anupama Kundoo and Xavier Torras, Director of the Foundation
- ‘The problem of sanitation: between shyness and poverty’ has been the title of the event hosted at the Roca Madrid Gallery
- The Foundation, together with its sponsor and driving force Roca, has signed a collaboration agreement to supply in very favourable conditions up to 40,000 sanitation plates in the province of Andhra Pradesh, as part of the project of the Government of India “Clean India”
The lack of access to suitable sanitation and the millions of people that suffer this problem around the world are the reason for the celebration on the 19th November of the ‘World Toilet Day’, established by United Nations in 2013.
“The improvement of sanitation” is the challenge fostered this year for this day. The We Are Water Foundation, who has this principle as one of its main goals, has celebrated the ‘World Toilet Day’ with different events at the Roca Galleries in Lisbon, Madrid, Barcelona, London and Shanghai, as well as events in other countries where it is present.
The meeting “Sanitation for all. Gandhi´s dream and the challenge of India” has taken place at the Roca Barcelona Gallery, a round table moderated by Ramón María Moreno, Director General of Casa Asia and presented by Xavier Torras, Director of the We Are Water Foundation. Apart from H.E. Mr. Vikram Misri, ambassador of India, also Maria Vallés, Corporate Development Director at the Vicente Ferrer Foundation, the Indian architect Anupama Kundoo and Gour Saraff, Director General of the India-Europe Chamber of Commerce attended. All of them provided their vision on this issue based on their experience.
Anupama Kundoo stressed that “it is important to share practical ideas between different people to promote sustainable development” and the ambassador of India, Mr. Vikram Misri, added that “to supply toilets is not the end of the story, we also need to change the mentality of people”. Xavier Torras, from his perspective as Director of the We Are Water Foundation, pointed out that “the challenge India is facing is enormous and the success of the programme Clean India will depend on its success at different levels: from the creation of infrastructures to education”.
At the Roca Madrid Gallery the meeting with the title ‘The problem of sanitation: between shyness and poverty’, has taken place, in collaboration with iAgua, and with the attendance of representatives of different institutions such as Belén García, manager of ONGAWA (Engineering for Human Development); Gonzalo de Castro, senior executive at CAF; David Escobar, partner at iAgua; Liana Ardiles, Director General of Water at MAGRAMA (Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Environment) and Xavier Torras, Director of the We are Water Foundation.
The event, moderated by iAgua, has started with a few words from Xavier Torras, who has pointed out that “the Bill&Melinda Gates Foundation and the We Are Water Foundation are collaborating to end this problem”. For her part, Belén García has stressed that “half of the hospital beds in developing countries are occupied by people with diseases caused by the problem of sanitation”. The representative of CAF has mentioned that “if the private sector does not participate with the people in these problems, then we will never obtain the desired results”. Finally Liana Ardiles has commented that “there is no water policy, no water governance without the participation of all”.
The Roca Galleries in Lisbon, London and Shanghai, have also organised round tables to commemorate the “World Toilet Day”. In Lisbon, the centre of attention of the meeting has been the problem of sanitation in urban cities in the 21st century. In London this issue has been addressed from the architectonic point of view and finally, in Shanghai a meeting has been held on the new advances in the fields of water use and conservation with green initiatives.
Signing of the collaboration agreement with the Vicente Ferrer Foundation, Madrid
In the context of the ‘World Toilet Day’, the We Are Water Foundation has signed a collaboration agreement to supply, together with its sponsor and driving force Roca, up to 40,000 sanitation plates in the province of Andhra Pradesh, as part of the project of the Government of India “Clean India”.
This programme called Swachh Bharat Abhiyan (Mission Clean India) and driven by the new Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, plans the construction of 110 million latrines from now until 2019, and has the aim of improving the sanitation situation of its inhabitants and consequently, their quality of life.
The Vicente Ferrer Foundation has participated in this initiative in Anantapur and Kurnool, in the Andhra Pradesh State, in collaboration with the Government of India. The work teams of the Foundation act as intermediaries in the construction of latrines and they will conduct a campaign to raise awareness of their use. The families receive a subsidy of 15,000 rupees for their home (215 Euros), which is transferred in two stages: the first one when the pits are finished and the second one when the latrine is ready for use.
The ambassador of India, Mr. Vikram Misri, the president of the Vicente Ferrer Foundation, Anna Ferrer; the Director General of the institution Jordi Folgado and Xavier Torras, Director of the We Are Water Foundation have attended this event.
About the We Are Water Foundation
The We Are Water Foundation was created in 2010 with two key goals in mind. The first is to promote awareness and encourage debate among the public and organisations on the need to create a new culture for water, to enable the equitable development and sustainable management of the world's water resources. The second is to carry out a whole host of actions to counter the negative effects of the lack of adequate water resources. The foundation's fields of activity include involvement in infrastructure, education, health and research, concentrated in the world's most deprived areas.