Community Water and Sanitation Fair "Nuestra Agua 2013"
In March 2013, FAN Latin American networks: FANAS, FANCA and FANMex, along with other organizations organised the Community Water and Sanitation Management Fair “Nuestra Agua 2013”. The fair, which aimed to increase the visibility of community water management groups and to provide a space to share and learn, took place in Granada, Nicaragua.
Community water systems are groups that have their own self-management bylaws, elect their leaders in an open, simple and democratic manner, network or conduct joint actions, and are non-profit driven. They are community-based organisations set up to supply water services for human consumption as well as some sanitation services to their communities, where governments fail to provide such services. While they used to be typically located in peri-urban and rural areas, in recent years they have expanded to include middle-size urban centres.
Despite their extraordinary contribution and positive impact in terms of democratic participation, coverage, cost-effectiveness, environmental protection and improved living conditions, these community-based experiences continue to lack visibility and are often excluded from WATSAN decision-making, planning and policy-making processes and national development plans, as well as international aid programmes and agreements
This has led the different umbrella organisations grouping them, as well as a number of WATSAN related networks and organisations, to see the need to make an effort to make these experiences visible and help communities to organise themselves into networks and associations, to enable them to increase the impact of their advocacy work, enhance their sustainable management capacity, share experiences and lessons learnt and engage with other relevant stakeholders and decision makers.
In order to achieve this, FAN Latinamerican networks: FANAS, FANCA and FANMex, along with other organizations, organised the Community Water and Sanitation Management Fair “Nuestra Agua 2013” in Granada, Nicaragua, in March 2013.
Nuestra Agua 2013 (meaning Our Water 2013) was a space to share and learn on community water and sanitation management as a key model in Latin America that enhances the quality of life and protects and conserves water and the environment.
The Fair was structured around three modules:
A Thematic Forum: A space devoted to conferences on Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) within the framework of the Community Water Management approach, aimed at sharing experiences and lessons learnt on community water and sanitation management and exchanging information, views, suggestions and proposals to enhance this approach to management in a sustainable fashion. The Forum will be in turn divided into the following thematic sub-areas:
- Community water and sanitation management within the context of IWRM and its linkages with food sovereignty and climate change adaptation
- Participatory governance and community WATSAN management, focusing particularly on the Human Right to Water and Sanitation and the challenges facing its implementation to achieve sustainable water management
- Transparency, accountability and integrity in water management
- Experiences in partnership building, networking, and community water systems.
Exhibition stands: Exhibition stands will be set up with information, documents and other evidence of a range of experiences, including entities working on water supply and demand, initiatives and equipments needed for effective water resources use, government plans and projects at different levels, international agencies, civil society organisations and community water systems as well as others engaged in issues relevant to the Fair.
Walkthrough tour to exchange experiences: Thematic walkthroughs will be organised to enable community water systems or organisations to exchange experiences in a more interactive manner. For those who wish to do so and have not had a chance to make a presentation at the Forum.
Cultural and Community Outreach Activities: Educational and training workshops targeted at primary and secondary level schoolchildren, as well as cultural, music, drama, dancing and other themed activities relevant to the Fair. Samples of environmentally friendly handicrafts will also be displayed, as well as exhibitions by local artists.
Find out more, visit the Fair’s webpage