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PLATFORMA - 22.03.2017

Waste water: cities leading the way
This article was initially published by PLATFORMA.

The cities of Chinon (Indre-et-Loire) and Etaules (Charente-Maritime) have committed to improve access to water and water governance, alongside Tenkodogo, a town in Burkina Faso, illustrating an excellent case of decentralised cooperation for this 2017 World Water Day dedicated to waste water.

In Tenkodogo, a secondary city in Burkina Faso, inhabitants had to walk 5 to 6 km to the closest clean water spot, and water sanitation was almost non-existent, with an equipment rate of only 4%.

Chinon, a French town twinned with Tenkodogo since 1975, decided to transform the twinning committee into a cooperation partnership to guarantee access to clean drinking water to citizens, and to implement waste treatment.

In 2008 Etaules joined Chinon, forming a tripartite partnership. Since then, nine projects improving access to clean water have been implemented, including the creation of latrines in schools. The cooperation programme also saw 213 family latrines being built.
 
Knowledge sharing

Similarly to all cooperation projects between cities, it was important that Tenkodogo residents take part in the building of the facilities, and that the municipality remains the project leader. By actively participating in the project, the citizens realised the importance of having a sewage system, and the necessity of good maintenance.

Chinon and Etaules supported the project financially, and also provided their expertise in training civil servants that manage projects concerning water sanitation and access to drinking water.

World Water Day takes place every year, on 22 March. Currently 1.8 billion people use water that is contaminated by faecal matter, exposing them to risks of contracting cholera, dysentery, typhoid and polio.

The 6th Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), globally adopted in 2015, aims to provide access for everyone to clean water, water sanitation and to ensure sustainable management of water resources by 2030. Access to clean water is indeed a key issue in the fight against extreme poverty.

More information on the partnership formed by Chino-Etaules-Tenkodogo can be found in the following video.
 
Follow #WorldWaterDay on Twitter.
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