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Denmark - Companies and NGOs develop new water and sanitation solutions for Africa

Date: October 1st, 2010

Safe Water Summit 2010

The pressing need to improve safe water in East Africa was addressed at the summit organized by Danish Red Cross together with Marie Gad, PSLO (Private Sector Liaison Officer) for Denmark at the Confederation of Danish Industry and other partners. The objective was to develop real solutions to the problems of water scarcity and lack of sanitation in Africa, which can be implemented within a year. More precisely, the aim was to create new business opportunities and partnerships for African and international companies, and thereby make Africa able to access and handle safe water. The summit focused on solutions in urban sanitation, urban waste water, rural health and rural food security. New water solutions within these areas are vital for Africa to growth and prosper in the future.

The summit brought together the in-depth knowledge of 48 water experts – products and solutions from the business world, the decision-making powers of politicians and the NGO’s on-site experiences. In the round table discussion, the participants were among others the Danish Minister for Development Cooperation Søren Pind, the Ugandan Minister for Water and Environment Hon. Maria Mutagamba, Regional Team Leader for the World Bank’s Water and Sanitation Program in Africa Wambui Gichuri, Secretary General from Kenya Red Cross Abbas Gullet, Grundfos CEO and Group President Carsten Bjerg and Professor Lene Lange from Aalborg University. By assembling knowledge from a wide range of fields the optimal conditions to create innovative solutions was established.

The interventions and feedback by experts such as Wambui Gichuri contributed with valuable practical experiences. Wambui Gichuri’s input had a significant impact on the solutions developed within the four focus areas. And, they will be used in the elaboration of the business models in the months to come.

Looking ahead the outcome of the summit is uplifting, and must be seen as a success. The business models developed in two out of the four focus areas will become reality during the next 12 months, and the Danish Red Cross has generously backed the implementation financially.The participants and partners will meet again on 18 November in order to prepare the realization of solutions in rural health and urban sanitation.

 
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