Decade’s WeeklyUnited Nations, Water for Life, UN Water
 News from the International Decade for Action ’Water for Life’ 2005-2015
  Issue 16. 18 October 2013 
This week in focus  Editor’s note

Welcome to the Decade’s Weekly! Every week it brings you the latest news from the International Decade for Action ’Water for Life’ 2005-2015. Please feel free to forward this newsletter. You can also access this newsletter online.

Tip of the week  Hotspots

31% of the people in Kenya don’t have access to a proper toilet, 14% practice open defecation and 46% of the population living in rural areas don’t have access to safe drinking-water.


5th South Asian Conference on Sanitation (SACOSAN): Sanitation for All, All for Sanitation

Date: 22-24 October 2013
Place: Kathmandu, Nepal

The United Nations estimates that, by the end of 2011, there were 2.5 billion people who still did not use an improved sanitation facility.

The SACOSAN process is instrumental in generating political will towards better sanitation in South Asia. This governmental regional conference intends to accelerate progress in sanitation and hygiene promotion in South Asia and to enhance people’s quality of life. The conference also aims to promote an exchange of experiences and to set future actions for the participant countries.

There will be eight different technical sessions covering various sanitation issues, including: Sanitation and Health; Community Wide Sanitation and Sustainability; School Sanitation; Reaching the Unreached; Sanitation Technology and Marketing; Urban Sanitation; Knowledge Management and Networking; Media Advocacy and Sanitation. In addition, the second day of the conference will see Ministers from member states participating in a two hour session where they will provide commentary on expert presentations.

Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are the participating countries. Different UN agencies such as UNICEF and WHO also participate.

>> Access the conference website >> Register for the virtual conference

In the news Forthcoming events
#Handwashing Simple hand-washing with soap can cut hundreds of thousands of deaths a year, UN says

From Ethiopia and Yemen to Bolivia and Viet Nam millions of children took part in the 6th annual United Nations-backed Global Handwashing Day on 15 October, driving home the message that the simple use of soap and water can slash highly preventable diarrhoeal diseases that kill 1,400 children under five every day. "Washing hands before eating and after defecation drastically reduces the spread of diarrhoeal disease and has far reaching effects on the health and welfare of children and communities," the global head of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programmes, Sanjay Wijesekera, said in a message marking the Day.
>> More info

From the Decade’s programmes
#Disasters Training seminar for journalists: "Journalism in times of crisis, emergency and disaster"

Date: 30-31 October 2013
Place: Instituto de Radio Televisión Española, Madrid, Spain
Organizers: RTVE Institute and Indagando TV

This training seminar is aimed at all those TV, radio and press journalists who wish to broaden their education to report on emergencies and disasters. Josefina Maestu, Director of the UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC), will participate in a panel discussion open to the public: "What is disaster response? Different models", on 30 October 2013.
>> More infoPDF documentAvailable in Spanish


• Global Handwashing Day: Including Men, and Other Handwashing Lessons

Handwashing with soap has been shown to reduce the incidence of diarrhea by almost one half and of acute respiratory infections by roughly one third. Yet the rates of hand washing with soap remain low - as low as 5% to 15% - particularly at critical times when there is a risk of fecal-oral contamination, such as after having used a toilet or before preparing food.
By Jacqueline Devine on the World’s Bank Water Blog.
>> Continue reading

• World Food Day: Reggae, Food, and Water

We are living in an era of abundance in which, according to FAO estimates, approximately one third of the food that is produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally. This amounts to 1.3 billion tons per year. The economic value of these losses is estimated at about US$750 billion a year, similar to the GDP of Argentina. This waste translates into misusing all of the inputs (land, water, labor, agrochemicals, etc.) that are required to produce this food.
By Diego Juan Rodríguez on the World’s Bank Water Blog.
>> Continue reading

#WaterDiplomacy Online training course "Introduction to Water Diplomacy"

Date: 21 October to 17 November 2013
Place: Online
Organisers: United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) and UNESCO (IHP/WWAP)

In light of the 2013 International Year of Water Cooperation, this course aims at raising awareness on the current state of freshwater resources worldwide and the need for adequate diplomatic solutions to stimulate cooperation around the way the resource is managed. It will provide knowledge resources, circumstantial experiences and a cadre of tools to water-relevant stakeholders so as to enhance their ability to assess, prevent and respond to the tensions arising from situations of water scarcity and mismanagement worldwide.
>> More info

#UnitedNations United Nations Day

Date: 24 October 2013
Place: All around the world

UN Day marks the anniversary of the entry into force in 1945 of the UN Charter.
>> More info

#WaterCooperation Roundtable discussion on the "Right to Water and Sanitation"

Date: 25 October 2013
Place: UNESCO’s headquarters
Organisers: Permanent Delegation of Germany to UNESCO, UNESCO/IHP

This meeting, which will be opened by the Director General of UNESCO, is a joint contribution to the International Year of Water Cooperation and will focus on the key message that water cooperation is a key to poverty eradication, social equity and gender equality. The roundtable will include a panel discussion with legal and technical experts.
>> More info

#RightToWater E-discussion to feed in to the UN Special Rapporteur’s handbook for realising the rights to water and sanitation

Date: 28 October - 15 November 2013
Place: Online
Organiser: Rural Water Supply Network

The UN Special Rapporteur on the right to water and sanitation is writing a handbook to provide practical guidance on how to realise the rights to water and sanitation. This three-week e-discussion will provide an opportunity to discuss specific aspects of realising the right as discussed in the handbook. The e-discussion will focus on three areas: (1) non-discrimination, how stakeholders can ensure inclusion of disadvantaged individuals and groups; (2) sustainability; how stakeholders engage for long-term and affordable access to services; and (3) the specific roles and responsibilities that the discussants have to realise the rights to water and sanitation.
>> Register for the e-discussion

You make the Decade! Who has joined the Water Decade campaign?

  • Authors and Artists’ Management Entity (EGATA)

EGATA has joined the ’Water for Life’ Decade’s campaign with the Water Atlas, a game where you can form puzzles or unique maps with different picture and color playing cards.

  • 1st International Competition IlustraMaxima. Saure Publishing

Saure Publishing has joined the Decade’s Campaign with the 1st International Competition IlustraMaxima. This international competition makes a call to the world’s citizens to illustrate their thoughts so that the message of responsibility and collective action draws a path for water. The contest is based on aphorisms or maxims previously chosen by the organizer and its partners. These maxims are all linked to this year’s theme, which is "water". Each candidate illustrates a maxim in a cartoon/unique illustration using a technique of its own choice. The contest has 4,000 Euros in prizes awarded in 5 categories. The best works will be published in a book/catalog, which will be available later this year. This first edition, which closed on 12 October 2013, counts with 500 participants and 800 works submitted.
>>More information

  • The Alliance for Water

The Alliance for Water has joined the Decade’s Campaign. Driven by the Ecology and Development Foundation (ECODES) , the Alliance for Water was created in 2006 as an initiative linking governments, water suppliers, research and knowledge centers, social organizations and citizens, both in Spain and Central America, to ensure the implementation of the human right to water and sanitation in Central America in the framework of the Millennium Development Goals. The Alliance for Water aims to ensure that five million people in Central America - one third of the population that lacks access to clean water - have access to safe and sufficient water to ensure an adequate standard of living, and basic sanitation services that improve the health of the population and provide a sustainable environment.
>>More information

Want to be part of the Decade’s campaign? Join us!