'Water for Life' UN-Water Best Practices Award

Top water and sanitation projects awarded at UNHQ

High-level Interactive Dialogue on the Water for Life Decade: Progress achieved and lessons learned

CAPTION: From left: Jorge Migeul Samek, Director General Itaipu Brazil; Guy Laliberte, founder of Cirque du Soleil; Catherine Bachand, CEO ONE DROP; Nelton Friedrich, Environment Director, Itaipu; Mahlatsi Mminele, Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations for South Africa; James Spalding, Director General Itaipu Paraguay

The winners of the 2015 Water for Life Awards gathered at United Nations Headquarters to receive their awards, Monday 30 March.

The winning projects were Cultivando Agua Boa for Best Water Management Practices (Category 1). ONE DROP Project India and DWS/WESSA Eco-Schools South Africa shared the award for Best Communications and Awareness Raising Projects (Category 2).

"It's very important recognition for Itaipu," said James Spalding, Director General of Itaipu Paraguay, of the Cultivando Agua Boa programme. "It's an effort that started over 10 years ago, and it will continue over the next decades. For us this recognition will help us work closer with the communities and to move forward with promoting consciousness of the importance of clean and safe water."

ONE DROP Project India – an NGO created by Cirque Du Soleil founder Guy Laliberte – was awarded for its innovative communications methods, including shooting a Bollywood film.

ONE DROP Chief Executive Catherine Bachand said: "For an organisation that is seven years old it is an immense privilege and a great honour to receive this award. For us this is about the message to the whole sector: that transformation is a profoundly human process, and perhaps not just about engineering. We need to build behaviour change if we are to build sustainable water access and sanitation projects."

Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations for South Africa, Mahlatsi Mminele, who collected the award on behalf of DWS/WESSA, also spoke about the importance of recognition for upscaling water and sanitation projects. >>See video news on the Award Ceremony.

Learn how good practices can contribute to great changes

The ‘Water for Life’ Award recognizes those practices which are contributing to the achievement of international commitments made on water and water-related issues on the ground. These practices can serve as an example and a source of inspiration for others. The Award includes the production of a video on each of the winning best practice categories. We hope these videos will be used as tools for reflection and change, so please feel free to use and share them.

Water: our life, our future.

Water: our life, our future

October 2013. South Africa

The Municipality of eThekwini, Durban, South Africa, won the category 2 ‘Best participatory, communication, awareness-raising and education practice’ 1st edition of ‘Water for Life’ UN-Water Best Practices Award with the initiative ‘A Participatory and Learning Based Approach to Raising Awareness on Water and Sanitation’. This video presents the different components of the initiative and explains what worked and what didn’t when trying to improve access to clean water and sanitation in the municipality.

Bringing the las Piñas-Zapote River in The Philippines back to life.

Bringing the las Piñas-Zapote River in The Philippines back to life

March 2014. The Philippines

The 'Las Piñas-Zapote River System Rehabilitation Program' in The Philippines, won the category 1 'Best water management practices' 1st edition of 'Water for Life' UN-Water Best Practices Award. This video introduces the initiative which, implemented by the Villar Foundation, has succeeded in bringing Las Piñas-Zapote River and its tributaries back to life, allowing wealth generation from waste that once polluted the river and creating work and housing for a population that used to live in shacks.