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Freshwater News The latest news from Freshwater Action Network August 2011 No.19

INSIDE: FAN Global prepares for independence Towards a global governance programme 6th World Water Forum – will this be the ‘Forum for Solutions’? How a youth group became an agent for change Getting Africa back on track with the MDGs at AfricaSan 2011 Community water management law secured in Costa Rica The human right to water and sanitation in Mexico FANSA cascades sanitation commitments to the grassroots Recovering forests to protect water sources production in Brazil

WELCOME TO FRESHWATER NEWS This issue outlines FAN’s journey to independence. We hope it will inspire members to really engage in the network as we scale back the global secretariat and devolve greater responsibility to the regional networks. Find out more about how you can get involved on the next page.

From our members’ blogs ‘We easily forget that not so long ago the same cities we live in today had no running water or sewage system and that our grandparents had to spend much of their daily life collecting water.’ Beatriz Ruizpalacios, former FANMex Communications Officer blogging on World Water Day

‘Long live support around the globe.’ Response to Prakash Amatya’s blog We are not alone South Asia! ‘There seem to be more skyscrapers than water.’ Sudha Goparaju talking about Hydrabad in The serious problem of urban sanitation

Read the complete blog entries at or get in touch to write your own.


350,000 WALk FOR WATER

GTF programme partners are giving a presentation on their governance work in a session on rights and gender and we will be meeting with some of our partners, including the Water and Climate Coalition and the Butterfly Effect, to strategize on the climate change negotiations and the World Water Forum process. We’ll also be working on raising the profile of the network to other potential partners and donors. And finally, some FAN representatives will attend a Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) coalition meeting. Keep track of updates throughout the meeting online:



Anil Sthapit

FAN will be taking part in a range of meetings and networking opportunities at Stockholm Water Week.

nments at different levels Congratulations to everybody who took part in the – Day. A fantastic World Walks for Water Accountability last World Water Strengthened engagement 350,000 people mobilized to draw attention to the byabout CSOs in the fiof ght against world water crisis. Read some our members’ participation online: corruption Responsiveness – Increased opportunities for people to influence and determine policy and legislation

Congratulations to Kanupriya Harish (, Project Director of Jal Bhagirathi Foundation, India, Responsiveness: Improved who is this edition’s photography competition winner. The photo, which is featured on the cover page, shows a implementation of policies capacity building exercise, funded by the European Union, to demystify toilets through the use of small models. designedomitted to meetfrom the needs, Also, many thanks to Prakash Amatya, the February winner, whose name was mistakenly the last provision of services and edition. public goods for vulnerable and excluded groups African Civil Society Network on Water and INSIDE THIS ISSuE: GTF Grant holders have Sanitation ....................................................................... 6/7 FAN Global prepares for independence – what does increased capacity to this mean for the global membership? ...........................3 FAN Central America ..................................................... 8/9 monitor their own impact, learn lessons and disseminate Towards a global programme on governance ..............4 FAN Mexico ................................................................. 10/11 evidence based findings to 6th World Water Forum – will this be the ‘Forum for FAN South Asia ............................................................ 12/13 different audiences Solutions’? ...........................................................................5 FAN South America ..........................................................14 Writing competition winner: How a youth group became an agent for change.........................................5 Member in focus: ProCuenca Valle de Bravo ..............16

FAN GLOBAL PREPARES FOR INDEPENDENCE – WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR THE GLOBAL MEMBERSHIP? The FAN Global Governing Council met in London in March 2011 to discuss the future of FAN Global. Building on previous discussions around FAN’s strategic direction and the decision to become legally independent from WaterAid by July 2012, this was the key moment for FAN’s leaders to come together and decide whether independence was feasible, what form it would take and how it would function. Re-imagining FAN Global Despite some initial apprehensions about how an independent FAN Global could function, as the group began to assert the difference that FAN’s work has brought to communities and explore the added value that FAN brings to global influencing work, they were able to imagine a realistic future for FAN Global. With a renewed feeling of global solidarity, they began exploring possibilities of new collaborations and partnerships and to chalk out a road map to independence.

What does this mean for members? The future vision is a of network driven by its consortium members (the regional networks) raising their own funds to coordinate global advocacy, communications, strategic direction and governance. A smaller global secretariat will work in collaboration with the regions and an independent global Board of Directors. The

success of an independent FAN Global relies on the ownership and engagement of the entire membership. Members are encouraged to contact their Regional Coordinator to find out how they can support and input into the process.

kEy MILESTONES September 2011 Business plan for independence prepared January 2012 Board of Directors in place March 2012 First meeting of FAN Global Board at the 6th World Water Forum in Marseille July 2012 FAN Global is officially independent

Images are of the ‘visual minutes’ which recorded discussions throughout the week


TOWARDS A GLOBAL PROGRAMME ON GOvERNANCE This year, FAN partners working on the Governance and Transparency Fund (GTF) are implementing the key findings and recommendations of its mid-term review to ensure it maximizes the programme’s impact in the water, sanitation and hygiene sector. An annual gathering of GTF partners took place in May to reflect on the strategic implementation of the programme and to discuss the mid-term review findings and recommendations. Participants were inspired by the range of examples of enhanced accountability and responsiveness of governments thanks to the local level advocacy that the programme promotes. In Nicaragua, as a result of the advocacy work carried out by FAN Central America’s (FANCA) members early on in the programme, the government legally recognized community water management committees for the first time. Previously, the lack of recognition meant that these committees couldn’t participate in decision-making processes or apply for government funding to improve water supply in rural communities. Following this success, some of the committees have been able to propose improved management mechanisms. Now, both the country’s agency responsible for regulating water management and the

Nicaraguan Water and Sewage Institution (ENACAL) are considering adopting FANCA’s model to improve the relevance and quality of WASH services to the poorest. “The GTF programme gives FANCA the opportunity to scale up our political advocacy work from the local to the national and regional levels,” explains Vanessa Dubois, GTF Coordinator, “Through reinforcing the capacity of our national networks and their members, we have achieved real impact with the implementation of new legal frameworks and monitoring processes in Nicaragua and throughout the wider Central America region.” At the meeting, partners agreed that currently the programme is not fully taking advantage of its global reach and identified the need for mechanisms for learning and sharing examples of the many other successes with the network and other stakeholders. Through gathering evidence about what works, there is a potential to build on the progress made so far to catalyse change through take up by other agencies and authorities at the national, regional and even global level. Read more about the GTF:

THE GOvERNANCE AND TRANSPARENCy FuND The Governance and Transparency Fund (GTF) aims to increase the capacity, resources and voice of civil society ‘policy communities’, including marginalized groups, to participate in effective and inclusive evidence-based dialogues with decision-makers in the water and sanitation arena to build pressure for securing pro-poor service delivery. FAN Global, FANCA, some ANEW members and FANSA are working on this project with WaterAid in 15 countries through 32 partners in Asia, Africa and Central America. We are approaching the third year of implementation in the five-year programme which is funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID). Capacity building process with community water committees in Honduras


6TH WORLD WATER FORuM – WILL THIS BE THE ‘FORuM FOR SOLuTIONS’? The 6th World Water Forum will take place in Marseille in March 2012 and FAN Global is working to ensure opportunities for meaningful participation are available to our members. The theme of the conference is Solutions for people and forum organizers hope the event will trigger the implementation of concrete solutions in priority areas. This would be achieved through gathering successful case studies from the world water community and generating commitment to successfully implement existing solutions and innovations. Recognized for our ability to effectively coordinate civil society participation and reach out widely to southern civil society organizations through our regional networks, FAN Global was approached early on by the organizers to get involved in the forum’s participatory process. We have joined a global coalition of NGOs called the Butterfly Effect and, together, we are working on independent mobilization around the forum. We have

written to organizers to set out our joint requests around how to improve the political, thematic and regional process and ensure meaningful participation of CSOs. In addition, we plan to jointly develop policy messages on some key themes to take to the forum. We have also begun to discuss other FAN Global activities at the forum such as: coordinating inputs into a session on the rights to water and sanitation, holding a FAN Global members meeting and the first meeting of the FAN Global Board as well as having a stand in a central location. We welcome your comments and suggestions. To find out more or get involved, contact For more information, visit our web page and read about FANCA’s participation on page 9.


NEWAH provided a newly registered youth group called Environment Conservation Forum (ECF) with training on the Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS) approach. This approach encourages people to live in a sanitary environment by inspiring them to take the lead in constructing and using toilets in each and every household without any form of subsidy. At first they felt hesitant that they could make a difference, “In our experience people had no willingness to construct a toilet even with a subsidy, so how would they construct toilet without any subsidies?” said Binod Lamsal, one of the ECF participants. But soon after they took part in a practical session in a community they gained confidence: “It was not possible to force people to change their behaviour, so we had to convince them emotionally,” says Goma Paudel, a trained ECF staff member, “We asked questions like ‘how will we stop eating faeces?’

Bharat Adhikari, NEWAH

We asked you to describe a capacity building exercise that has helped to make change happen. Congratulations to Bharat Adhikari, from Nepal Water for Health (NEWAH) of FAN Nepal, who sent us this inspiring story of how an inexperienced youth group enabled a community to be declared an ‘open defecation free’ zone thanks to its skilful facilitation.

Community digging a latrine pit

The question caused embarrassment at first but then we showed them demonstrations which made the connection of how faeces are transmitted to their mouths – by flies landing on faeces and then on their food for example. The realization that they were ingesting each other’s faeces through contamination of their food and water ignited and motivated them to build toilets and eventually making their village an open defection free (ODF) zone.” “Thanks to NEWAH’s capacity building initiative, we were able to bring the positive change through the empowering approach of CLTS,” Binod concluded.,


vOICES ON THE GROuND IN AFRICA DEMAND GOvERNMENTS WALk THE TALk ON SANITATION In the run up to the African ministerial conference on sanitation, AfricaSan 3, ANEW members and partners gathered to develop a unified message calling on African governments and other stakeholders to take effective and practical action to demonstrate strong leadership and take urgent action on the continent’s critical sanitation situation in a document outlining a series of practical recommendations for governments, NGOs and civil society. Over 50 participants at the civil society preparation meeting, organized by ANEW the day before the official conference, explored the purpose of the conference and how they would maximize their participation both during and beyond AfricaSan 3

REVIEW AND PLANNING and agreed their key messages. As well as calling on governments to take action, they agreed on a set of commitments and contributions that CSOs could make towards achievement of sanitation and hygiene targets ahead of 2015. In consultation with over 230 African CSOs, FAN Global, WaterAid, WSSCC and the End Water Poverty campaign, they called for their governments and development partners to: -


Develop clear financial plans to ensure that 0.5% of GDP is spent on sanitation, as per the eThekwini Declaration, and that these funds are targeted to those most in need. Work together to support the global Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) partnership to ensure high-level coordination of funds, targets and practices. Work transparently so their progress can be monitored and assessed, especially in relation to the implementation of the Human Right to Water and Sanitation.

The newly elected Chair of ANEW, Leo Atakpu, was given the opportunity to present the CSO messages and commitments at the closing plenary of AfricaSan. Addressing the 900 participants representing national governments and international agencies such as the World Bank and UNICEF, he told conference delegates, “ANEW is now more organized, more determined and more committed than ever to play a role in addressing the sanitation crisis.” Rwandan Premier Rt Hon. Bernard Makoza takes a shot for WASH United at AfricaSan 3

To read updates and the CSO messages visit

GETTING AFRICA BACk ON TRACk WITH THE MDGS AT AFRICASAN 2011 What is AfricaSan? AfricaSan is a platform to showcase innovation in sanitation with a participatory audience of politicians, policy makers, financers, planners, practitioners. The conference sets out to address the singular challenge of scaling up access to improved sanitation services for more than 400 million people in Africa. When did it take place? The third African Conference on Sanitation and Hygiene, jointly convened and hosted by the government of Rwanda and the African Minister’s Council on Water (AMCOW), took place on 19-21 July in Kigali, Rwanda.


What was the priority in 2011? To support African countries to meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) for sanitation and hygiene. The main objective for ANEW and its partners was to seek commitment and action for the five year drive to get Africa back on track to meet the sanitation MDG

and achieve sustainable universal sanitation coverage in Africa as well as use the event as a space to work together with governments and other stakeholders to achieve the target. So how did it fare? Unprecedented levels of participation and engagement by government delegations from 42 African countries, including ministers of water, health, environment and education offers cause for optimism. ANEW played a strong role, raising its profile significantly and using opportunities to input strategically. They pledged to work closely with AMCOW to track progress, identify challenges and seek joint solutions. Perhaps most critically, for the first time, countries agreed detailed action plans to address key blockages to progress. However, the challenge remains formidable. If Africa is to stand any chance of getting back on track for the sanitation MDG then these plans and strategies urgently need to be resourced.


Over 50 International civil society organizations attended the event, organized by Uganda’s National NGO Forum, which drew participants from Uganda and the wider region and also included participation of government, the private sector and development partners. Members showcased their contributions to improved access to water and good standards of sanitation and hygiene in East Africa. Dorothy Bazibwe, Liason Officer at Uganda Rain Water Association, demonstrated rain water harvesting techniques while Derrick Ssewanyana, Programme Assistant at Netwas Uganda, used the fair to promote technologies and network to form strategic partnerships. “Through this fair, I realized many people are interested in ecosan toilets but lack adequate information,” he explains, “It’s exciting to come out of the field and share our expertise with others.” Members also organized sessions on ‘the way forward for WASH in the region’ and ‘mitigating the impacts of climate change’ in which Mr Mutono of the World Bank supported the Chair’s call for increased commitment


Judith Auma, UWASNET

ANEW members were supported by local ugandan network uWASNET to showcase their work and innovations at a large civil society fair which took place in June. The fair also served as a valuable capacity building activity on learning, advocacy and networking.

Nansubuga Immaculate showcasing technologies and innovations at the civil society fair in Uganda

by governments in Uganda and Africa as a continent to prioritize Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH). ANEW member Nansubuga Immaculate, Project Officer at Katosi Women’s Development Trust, felt the benefits both for her organization as well as for her own personal development: “My organization has been able to create strategic partnerships at this event and learn a lot about advocacy, which we are now focusing on” she says. “Personally I have also gained because my communication skills have improved through these interactions.”

ANEW ELECTS NEW BOARD The ANEW General Assembly took place in Rwanda in July in parallel to AfricaSan to enable a maximum number of ANEW members to attend this critical meeting. Participants discussed and endorsed recommendations for ANEW’s future and agreed a shared responsibility for implementing them. During the meeting, Leo Atakpu from Nigeria was elected as the new Chairperson of the Board of Directors. Presenting the ANEW Secretariat report to the General Assembly, Yiga Baker Matovu, the Acting Executive Secretary of ANEW, explained that since the last AGM, the secretariat has concentrated on strengthening financial systems to enable the network to become credible to future funders. He added that ANEW has also been keen in supporting national networks including UWASNET, TEWASNET and KEWASNET in Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya to strengthen and engage in national level advocacy. Mr Atakpu assured the members present that he will join hands with them to give the network new life by first joining forces to strengthen the secretariat and operationalize the memorandum of understanding (MoU) with AMCOW.

He also highlighted the need to strengthen the national networks, “ANEW will strengthen national networks to deliver, deepen advocacy and see more enforcement of policies at national levels,” he said. “We will also focus our energies towards enforcement of existing policies and frameworks like the eThekwini resolutions within the next two years.” “This is a turning point for ANEW. The meeting was undertaken under a cordial Board with a vibrant atmosphere and a feeling of renewed commitment for building the network. The new Board members exhibited vibrancy before and after the endorsement. We wish them the best of luck,” says outgoing Board member, Felix Monggae from the Kalhari Conservation Society in Botswana.

To find out about who the new Board members are and more about the outcomes from the General Assembly, please visit:


FRESHWATER ACTION NETWORk – CENTRAL AMERICA (FANCA) COMMuNITy WATER MANAGEMENT LAW SECuRED IN COSTA RICA under the umbrella of the Commission for Strengthening of Community Water Systems Sector (COFORSA) and with the support of FANCA and its national focal point CEDARENA, community water management bodies are lobbying for a law to strengthen their autonomy and the management of water resources.

an inadequate tariff policy. So, in 2006, community leaders from all over the country joined COFORSA to work together to find solutions. - Why is this law needed? To strengthen the performance of water Boards, allowing water management to be better focused on service provision and more effective resource protection. The inability to reform the existing regulation made us aware of the need for a legal framework for the sector.

COFORSA is a coalition of Costa Rica’s community water management bodies. These bodies, or water Boards, manage a large percentage of Costa Rica’s water supply so it is essential that they are involved in policy formulation and decision-making as they have extensive knowledge of the sector. The coalition is proposing a law which will mean water Boards will have a greater say in the government’s water management policy by giving them more decision-making powers. They are also asking for representation on Costa Rica’s administrative authority for water, the National Institute of Water and Sewages (AYA).

- What is the current situation? The proposed law is currently waiting for approval in the Environmental Commission of Congress where it was introduced with the support of 10 of the main parties’ congressmen. The project came entirely from the community water management sector and incorporates observations that were obtained in consultation workshops carried out in 2009 with the support of FANCA. Now we are focusing on lobbying Congress, ensuring that congressmen are convinced of the importance of having a modern and updated legal framework for community water management.

We spoke to Rolando Marín, COFORSA member, to find out more: - What is COFORSA and why was it created? COFORSA emerged as a reaction to the lack of support from the government in the community water systems sector. Regulations weren’t adapted to the realities and needs of communities and there was

In July of this year, COFORSA will become a legally registered organization, making the coalition the official national representative of the community water management sector. Andres Mora

Andres Mora

Rolando Marín, COFORSA member


COFORSA members on a community water management field visit during consultation workshops run by FANCA in Costa Rica


At the 4th World Water Forum held in Mexico in 2006, civil society was well represented but some were disappointed with the following event in Istanbul, as civil society felt sidelined from the main event. This year, FAN members are involved in the preparatory process which is planning the event itself with FANCA and its counterparts in South America (FANAS) and Mexico (FANMex) representing in the Americas. FANCA is specifically involved in planning the themes water and governance; water and ecosystems; the right to water and sanitation; and Climate Change. In July, FANCA and Global Water Partnership (GWP) carried out a series of multi sector preparatory meetings in all the countries of the region. In addition, FANCA will inform and mobilize civil society organizations on the preparatory event of the Americas that will take place in August in Mexico to

FANCA GETS THE HuMAN RIGHT TO WATER BACk ON THE POLITICAL AGENDA Since 2003, FANCA has been promoting the inclusion of the human right to water in the Central American Strategy for Integrated Water Resources Management. The right was recognized in the strategy until 2009 when, due to a unilateral decision of the pan-Central American political body SICA, it was eliminated. Thanks to FANCA’s influencing efforts, it’s back in the strategy. The updated version also improves participation for civil society in the Central American Water Forum, a decision-making body that includes cross departmental ministers. The document now has to be approved by the Ministers Cabinet of the Central American Commission on Environment and Development (CCAD) and, if that is achieved, it will be a very important step towards a more democratic and participatory management of water in the region.

Andres Mora

FANCA is working hard to ensure Latin American civil society will be represented at 6th World Water Forum in 2012, so they are able to promote good practice on a range of themes and take advantage of the learning and networking opportunities that the event presents.

Jorge Mora, FANCA Coordinator (second left), lobbying Bolivia’s water Minister (left) at the World Water Forum in Turkey in 2009

ensure the event reflects the concerns and knowledge of civil society. To be part of this initiative, contact us at: or call us on +506 2280 6516.

El Salvador: Authorities from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources announced the development of the first National Policy on Water Resources. This policy will serve as a framework for two important water laws – the General Water Law and the Water and Sanitation Sub Sector Law. FANCA in El Salvador is carrying out huge efforts to ensure that there is a real participation of civil society in the formulation of this policy. Honduras: AHJASA, FANCA’s focal point in Honduras, is playing an active part in setting up the new multistakeholder Tegucigalpa Water Management Board and will use it as a platform to promote the needs of the community water management bodies. Costa Rica: NGO alliance ANDA (National Alliance for Water Defense), in which FANCA plays an active part, continues its efforts to promote a water agenda that includes three important water laws: the Water Resources Law, the Constitutional Reform 121.14 - which declares water as a public good - and the Water Boards Sector Law. With the opposition party now in control of Congress, there is new hope that these laws will finally be approved. Nicaragua: By the end of this year a law that will ensure water tariffs for private companies who use water as a raw material will be ready. 9


Water Caravan participants carry out a ceremony for the goddess Chalchiuhtlicue after arriving at Mexico City’s main square

In May, FANMex member Guardians of the volcanoes co-hosted and organized a hugely successful ‘Caravan of Water’, a touring convoy of artistic activities and workshops raising awareness of water issues among the grassroots. The ‘Water Caravan’, which aimed to raise awareness on a ‘Water Plan’ for the river basin in the Amecameca and La Compañia watersheds, was attended by more than 50 key stakeholders, including representatives from local government, civil society and government departments along with a further 4,000 members of the public. They participated in a broad range of activities including music and drama sessions, workshops, exhibitions, round tables and discussions. Participants showcased and shared their progress and learnt from each others’ experiences. The Water Caravan’s symbols and route reflected the quest to build on traditional knowledge and practice. For example, agricultural practices in the region of Xochimilco, where crops are grown on water (a technique known as chinampas) were promoted. During the 20-day-long Water Caravan event, a ‘migration memory’ was developed, consisting of a 40 metre-long work with photographs of the event’s activities which represented the skirt of Chalchiuhtlicue, the goddess of the lakes and water streams. The Water Plan’s aim is to promote local and community based water management beyond the sub-watershed, to ensure an integrated management approach for the entire river basin. It was developed by a multi-disciplinary team of experts, together with a range of strategic stakeholders from the region, to develop mutually agreed proposals. 10

“The plan seeks to refocus resources provided by the federal government from out of date or extremely expensive projects towards other, much more inexpensive solutions,” explains Elena Burns, Volcanes Guardianes Coordinator, “With the local community involved, it is more likely that decisions made will benefit them and the environment.” The sub-basin committee has articulated the need, identified by authorities and local communities, to develop an integrated sub-watershed management plan by following all the relevant guidelines contained in the country’s new water law, particularly Articles 13 (b) and 14, which demand inclusive, pluralistic participation. A further aim of the Water Caravan was to capture the attention of authorities, especially the federal authority responsible for water issues, CONAGUA, who, despite recognizing the excellent work carried out so far to develop the water plan, has not supported its implementation. The event successfully formalized and relationships signed agreements with representatives of three levels of government. The widespread involvement of communities in the Water Caravan demonstrated that there is both human and institutional interest in supporting efforts and achieving an effective integrated water management approach for each of the subwatersheds located in the valley of Mexico, but to be truly successful these political commitments need to translate into implementation going forward.

THE HuMAN RIGHT TO WATER AND SANITATION IN MEXICO Nathalie Seguin, FANMex Executive Director, provides an update on the recognition of the human right to water and sanitation in Mexico: - How exactly has the right been recognized? On April 28, 2011, a draft decree-law was approved by the Mexican Lower House of Congress to reform the country’s Constitution and introduce a new paragraph to Art. 4, recognizing the right to a healthy environment, including the universal right to sufficient amounts of clean, acceptable, affordable water for personal and household use. - When will it be officially in place? The resolution was submitted to the Upper House, who should approve the draft bill shortly, so that it will then be approved by each state’s legislating bodies. - What difference will it make? This is a key step because, until now, local legislating bodies have only been discussing and/or agreeing legislation that fails to include implementation of

this essential right. Two examples are the recently approved Water Law of the state of Mexico and the draft modification proposed by the capital city’s Executive to decentralize the City of Mexico’s Water System (SACM). These laws include provisions that open the doors to privatization and are based on a water management approach that fails to consider or disclose how the right to water and sanitation will be ensured. - What will this mean for FANMex? The media have not been covering this story and authorities are not even aware of the existence and implications of this right. This is why it is essential that citizens be informed so that they can use this right to claim access to water and sanitation services and influence local water resource planning. Disseminating information about the right to water and sanitation is a key part of the FANMex work plan for 2011-2012, as a first step leading towards full implementation of this right at the local level.

COMMuNITy MANAGEMENT IS BEST APPROACH TO IMPLEMENT HuMAN RIGHT TO WATER AND SANITATION During the 3rd Community Water Management Forum in Chilpancingo, Mexico, grassroots and indigenous people, as well as civil society organizations and universities, presented their experiences of community water management. In these initiatives, traditional knowledge of how to look after water resources is complemented with up to date technology and scientific knowledge to solve problems related to water conservation, supply, management and quality. Two FANMex member organizations shared their experiences of using dry sanitation and biogestor systems in a panel dedicated exclusively to the crucial issue of sanitation. Participants at the working table on the human right to water collectively agreed that community water management could be the most effective governance tool for implementing the human right to water and sanitation at the local level. Water and sanitation management cannot be dissociated

Student explains a Chilpancingo school project on the local watershed

from the territory, its inhabitant or the existing governance because it must be informed by the local context.



In April, FAN South Asia and its coalition partners WaterAid, WSSCC and Centre for Environment and Justice (CEJ), welcomed the Colombo Declaration which outlined the ministerial commitments from the 4th South Asian Ministerial Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN Iv). The declaration echoes most of the coalition’s calls which demonstrates the value of the intensive work done in the lead up to and during the conference. “FANSA members have been working hard since the last SACOSAN to influence the process; lobbying their governments in advance of the event as well as consulting widely in order to prepare evidence-based calls to governments and to present grassroots voices at the event itself,” explains Arpita De, FANSA Coordinator. A two-day meeting before SACOSAN IV for community leaders and CSOs concluded with a one page CSO declaration urging governments to meet their commitments from previous conferences, especially around the rights to water and sanitation, allocation of resources, equity and inclusion and developing strong monitoring mechanisms. Most of these demands were acknowledged and incorporated into the Colombo Declaration. FANSA considers this a progressive step forward but good follow-up is essential to ensure that national governments and all other sector players in the region ‘walk the talk’. Follow-up means widely disseminating and informing the people, community leaders, local bodies and other stakeholders about the conference outcome. The following examples illustrate just a few ways in which this work is being carried out. In India, at the grassroots level, community leader Kusam Rajamouli, who was one of the speakers representing grassroots voices at the conference, hosted a meeting with local government representatives to share his experience of participation and the final outcome. Following a presentation from women leaders on the health benefits they experienced when their village, Gangadevipally, achieved total sanitation status and access to safe drinking water, 108 local representatives from Andhra Pradesh in India took an oath to achieve Total Sanitation in their respective communities. The state government offered to extend full support and cooperation under the existing schemes.


In Nepal, the representative of the Ministry of Physical Planning and Works accepted a proposal to form a national task team to follow up on the action plan and set out a clear road map. This was urged by the

Kusam Rajamouli (second from left) one of the community leaders presenting the grassroots perspective at SACOSAN IV

participants in a meeting organized by FAN Nepal. Furthermore, the group decided they would lobby the cabinet to approve the long awaited National Sanitation Master Plan to achieve the sanitation target of full access by 2017. Formulation and execution of the National Sanitation Master plan was one of the commitments made by national governments in the SACOSAN declaration. To download the Declaration of the pre-SACOSANIV Consultation Meeting of CSOs and the Colombo Declaration in various languages as well as read news and updates as they were captured during the week, visit:

yOuR CHANCE TO INPuT INTO FANSA’S NEW LONGTERM STRATEGy Having completed a three year inception phase, FANSA has now begun the process of developing a longterm strategy through an intensive consultative process involving FANSA members and leaders, stakeholders working on WASH issues and other FAN / FANSA partners. The draft strategy prepared through this consultative process will be discussed and finalized at the FANSA Regional Strategy Meeting planned on 5-7 September 2011. Members are requested to provide their inputs through their National Convenors or write to Arpita Dé, FANSA Regional Coordinator at


In the second year of a programme funded by the uk’s Department for International Development which is focused on ‘Promoting civil society engagement and the right to water’, FAN South Asia has demonstrated some landmark achievements. At the regional level, FANSA used its seat on the official steering committee of SACOSAN and the Inter Country Working Group (ICWG) to successfully influence the agenda of SACOSAN IV and secure adequate space for meaningful civil society participation. FANSA’s four national networks, 18 sub national networks and more than 400 members have also been busy this year. Some members attended SACOSAN IV, alongside other grassroots organizations, to call for governments to address the life threatening state of sanitation and hygiene affecting the nearly one billion people in the region. At the global level, FANSA saw many of its members representing civil society at high level policy forums, documented through blogs and articles on the website: Tanveer Arif of SCOPE Pakistan at COP16: Hilda Grace Coelho of FANSA India at the World Water Forum VI preparatory meeting; Ramisetty Murali of FANSA secretariat at the UK Parliament; Yakub Hossain, Executive Director of FANSA Bangladesh on the SWA steering committee and Lajana of FAN Nepal at the UN civil society consultation on the Millennium Development Goals in New York. In Nepal, FAN South Asia (FANSA) are leading a CSO coalition which successfully lobbied for the right to water to be included in Nepal’s new draft constitution.

The FAN Nepal team visiting a community in Bangladesh

Last September, FAN Nepal and FAN Bangladesh came together to share knowledge and experiences during a four day exchange visit. Nine FAN Nepal members visited water and sanitation projects in Dhaka’s slums and learnt about how the city was adapting to climate change, taking away ideas to use in their own cities. “The Nepal – Bangladesh visit was very motivating and gave us lots of ideas,” says Kulmani Devkota, a member of FANSA Nepal’s National Committee, “It gave me a rare opportunity to meet organizations outside my country. We shared our concerns about various issues, especially impacts of climate change on the water and sanitation sector, which gave us a better understanding of each others’ problems.” For links to all the blogs mentioned above, please visit

NEW LEADERSHIP IN FANSA PAkISTAN In June, Syed Shah Nasir khisro, Executive Director for Integrated Regional Support Programme (IRSP), was elected as the National Convenor for FANSA Pakistan after SCOPE, who led the country chapter for the past three years, stepped down. Nasir is a water and sanitation specialist with masters degree in social work. He worked with UNHCR and Water and Sanitation Programme South Asia (WSP-SA) before joining IRSP as an Executive Director in 2003. Nasir’s mission is to reach out to FANSA Pakistan’s 40 members as well as expand beyond these to strengthen the network in Pakistan. He is committed to raising the profile of the network, saying: “A big meeting along with the sector actors and stakeholders will take place in July to strategize the national

chapter and chalk out a road map.” FANSA would like to thank Society for Conservation and Protection of Environment (SCOPE) for all their hard work and commitment over the years which has seen FANSA Pakistan recognized in the sector for bringing grassroots Syed Shah Nasir Khisro, FANSA voices to influence Pakistan’s new National pro-poor policy and Convenor commitments made by government.


FRESHWATER ACTION NETWORk – SOuTH AMERICA (FANAS) RECOvERING FORESTS FOR WATER PRODuCTION IN PARAIBA RIvER, BRAZIL FANAS member Instituto Ipanema is starting a major project to build the capacity of local communities to replant forests in the hills and along the river in the Concordia Mountains to prevent soil erosion and resulting water run off. All along central State of Rio de Janeiro forests have been systematically destroyed and today only isolated fragments exist. The subsequent risk of erosion is very dangerous for water management as well as for transport, the climate and biodiversity as a whole. A large part of Rio’s Metropolitan Area depends on water produced in the Paraiba do Sul River Basin. The institute has worked on reforestation projects through small grants for more than five years but this new initiative will be a much larger activity which will help local populations to understand and protect their environments. 50km2 of forests will be recovered through direct plantation. As well as reinstating the forest, these trees will control erosion along the river basin, preventing the run off of water needed for consumption and agriculture. Jaime Bastos, Instituto Ipanema, hopes the benefits at the local level with have an important impact:

This Google Earth satellite image shows the extent of deforestation in some areas

“We will introduce local communities to the Agro-Forest System which is a technology that promotes food production together with environmental protection,” he explains, “We hope that the resulting benefits to food production will mean local communities will be able to work in their own locality and not have to migrate to the big cities to look for jobs.” The project is part of the Petrobras Social Environmental Responsibility Programme which provides support through grants every two years. More information: ambiental/ and


Biosystems are waste-management solutions that convert organic waste into a nutrient rich liquid fertilizer and a renewable source of electrical and heat energy called biogas. The advantage of integrated technologies over conventional water purification systems is their capacity not only to clean water but also to generate revenue and employment. A further benefit is that waste products, which are a major source of disease, are treated and reused locally. They can be built in rural and urban areas. In the city of Petropolis in the state of Rio more than 30 community biosystems are in use in homes and commercial buildings. Most of Brazil´s cities are an average size of 10 to 20 thousand inhabitants and with lots of land. Biosystems are an ideal solution for sanitation in these areas. 14

This work received a special honor from the United Nations at the end of 2010 and the technology can be reproduced in most of Latin America and the Caribbean. In Haiti, many have been constructed or are being constructed in poor areas of the capital. It is proving to be a great sanitation solution in these areas, especially after earthquakes. In Nicaragua, biosystems are using waste from coffee plantations and biogas to substitute the use of wood for A flame running on Biogas cooking. More information at

fuel from one of the projects in Haiti

Valmir Fachini

FANAS member O Instituto Ambiental is promoting Biosystems to address a lack of sanitation at the local level as well as providing useful by-products.

A forum for sharing learning and experiences A platform for dialogue and influence A link between local and global A network of change-makers


CARTOONS : Bill Crooks

Freshwater Action Network Global Secretariat (FAN)

FAN Mexico (FANMex)

Danielle Morley

Executive Secretary

Nathalie Seguin

Executive Director

Ceridwen Johnson

Network and Communications Manager

Angelika Koniecki

Communications Officer

Mary O’Connell

Advocacy and Learning Manager

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+44 20 7793 4509 +44 20 7793 4545

African Civil Society Network on Water and Sanitation (ANEW) Baker Yiga Matovu

Acting Executive Secretary

C/o Maji na Ufanisi, Theta Lane, off Lenana Road, Hurlingham, P.O. Box 58684 - 00200, Nairobi, Kenya ( 4 + Skype 7

+254 20 2727107/8 +254 20 2726332 anewafrica.comms

Freshwater Action Network – Central America (FANCA) Jorge Mora Andrés Mora Vanessa Dubois

Regional Coordinator Regional Communications Officer GTF Coordinator

P.O. Box 1852-2050, Costa Rica ( 4 + 7

+ 506 2280-6516 + 506 2281-3290

+52 55 59143037 (Director) (Communications) fanmexico

Freshwater Action Network - America del Sur/ do Sul (FANAS) German Rocha

Regional Coordinators

Ninon Machado Francisco Ferreira

Regional Communications Officer

c/o Instituto Ipanema, Rua Serafim Valandro, n.6/304 – Botafogo, CEP: 22260-110, Rio de Janerio, Brazil +55 21 2527 8747

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Freshwater Action Network South Asia (FANSA) Ramisetty Murali


Arpita Dé

Regional Coordinator

Prakash Amatya

Regional Communications Officer

FANSA Regional Secretariat H.No.2-127/4 First Floor, Plot No.4, East Kalyanpuri, Uppal, Hyderabad 500 039, India ( + + + 7

+91 40 6454 3830 Mob +91 9392 131 113 Mob +91 8106 777 881 Mob +977 9851 097 910

Freshwater News, FAN’s printed newsletter, is produced twice yearly and contains news from the FAN secretariat, FAN members and FAN regional networks. We post a copy to all our members and solidarity members, but you can also download PDF versions in English, French and Spanish (and now Portuguese) from our website:

Editor: Isabella Montgomery. Contributors: Prakash Amatya, Andres Mora, Ceridwen Johnson, Nathalie Seguin, Beatriz Ruizpalacios, Angelika Koniecki, Judith Auma, Moseki Keneilwe, Bharat Adhikari, Francisco Ferreira and Danielle Morley. Thanks to the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) for supporting this newsletter


FAN MEMBER IN FOCuS: PROCuENCA vALLE DE BRAvO Founded in 2000, ProCuenca seeks to improve quality of life in the municipality of valle de Bravo by promoting environmental conservation and restoration. Having only recently joined FANMex in 2009, it is proving to be a key member, making valuable contributions as well as benefiting through newly formed skills and relationships. ProCuenca has been working in Valle de Bravo’s Amanalco basin for seven years, generating resources to promote conservation and sustainable development of the watershed and supporting projects in priority areas. Through the network, ProCuenca came into contact with other members working on similar issues. As a result, over the last year, they have been working with two other FANMex members, SENDAS and SARAR as well as FANAS member Corporación Pais Solidario, to exchange learning on rural sanitation. For Horacio Bonfil, Director of Pro Cuenca Valle de Bravo, these relationships have proved to be a great benefit to ProCuenca’s work: “Each member has its own specific angle and strength,” he explains. “SARAR focuses on capacity building, while we look more at social processes and SENDAS does lots of work around environmental monitoring. As a result of our contact, each of us is transforming our work by applying our learning from one another.” Not only have these relationships strengthened their programmatic work, for Horacio they have also been incredibly motivating on a personal level:

“It’s not just sharing best practice, the feeling of discussing successes and challenges with others injects new energy into what we’re doing.” Being part of a wider network has also helped ProCuenca make a breakthrough in their relationship with the authorities and their powers to influence them. Before becoming a member of FANMex, Horacio and his organization were working very much in isolation and the authorities had always been sceptical of the work they were doing. Through the network, he was able to gather lots of examples from other national contexts on decentralized water and sanitation supply systems. Being able to present themselves as part of a bigger, global organization, gave them added credibility: “This year the authorities finally recognized the value of grassroots projects. When you are not alone, when you can say that you are part of something global, it gives added weight to your work.” Contact information: Privada 15 de septiembre 6 Barrio de Otumba Valle de Bravo 51200 Tel-Fax: +52 (726) 233 06

PROJECT FOCuS: CAPACITy BuILDING ON ECO CONSTRuCTION TECHNIquES ProCuenca has been supporting women living in rural communities to build their own eco homes. Through a ‘learning by doing’ approach, they were taught all the necessary skills needed, such as mixing and plastering techniques and how to make their own tools, all by hand.

Horacio Bonfil (right) at a preparatory meeting for the 6th World Water Forum

The project has now reached 2,300 of the 6,000 families of Valle de Bravo Amanalco’s basin, and has a further annual target of 600. ProCuenca has discovered that the beneficiaries are independent, intelligent, strong and able to carry out work that is traditionally considered to belong to men. Each woman who has participated in the project now has a rainwater harvesting system which can store 10,000 litres of water, a sink, a stove, an ecological dry toilet and is growing her own vegetables.

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Freshwater News August 2011  

Freshwater Action Network's newsletter