From 18-22 November, 20 UNESCO-IHE alumni came together in Cape Town for the alumni refresher course on Water, sanitation, and hygiene service delivery in fragile states. The alumni came from various countries in Southern and Eastern Africa (Tanzania, Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya) and South Asia (Nepal, Sri Lanka), with lecturers from the University of Juba, South Sudan, ODI/UK, and UNESCO-IHE.
Lecturers and alumni had many personal experiences or reflections to share on the ways in which armed conflict, and state fragility impact on access to water and sanitation services.
Participants took away from the course a greater understanding of the ways in which water and santiation service delivery can be used to support broader processes of peace build and state buildling, and how to identify the entry points through which WASH services might be able to do this, in different context. Although this approach to water supply and sanitation was very new for all participants, it was greatly appreciated. Many participants commented that the focus on how social and political issues affect water and sanitation problems, gave them new perspectives on WASH service delivery. "I've really learned something new during this Refresher Course", said one of the participants.
The course was hosted by the Institute of Water Studies at the University of Western Cape. The fantastic facilities, catering, course organization and the welcome by UWC added to the enjoyment of participants and lecturers!