World Water Day: Putting corruption in the picture

Like TI’s service delivery project mentioned in Francesc’s blog earlier today, the Water Integrity Network is also stepping up its work in Sub-Saharan Africa, especially Benin, Burkina Faso and Mali. We are planning a training of trainers to better tackle corruption in the water sector.

Last year we worked with Farm Radio International on radio scripts that were sent out to 325 Sub-Saharan radio broadcasters and this year we are linking up with the WASH Network for Journalists in West Africa after a media workshop we organised in Senegal.

We also began measuring corruption risks, Annoted Water Integrity Scans (AWIS) that we will use to recommend specific action for governments and international organisations.

This is a quick way to get a picture of the level of integrity in a country’s water sector.

Speaking of pictures, we at WIN are just launching a photo competition in which we ask participants to document water corruption in cities.

The winner of the 2009 photo competition was Gregory Wait (picture below), who photographed the Buriganga River flowing through Dhaka, Bangladesh. People wash and fish daily in the river that is poisoned by thousands of tonnes of tannery waste, human sewage and industrial waste.

The photo that won the WIN competition in 2009: people wash their cloths in a polluted river in Bangladesh

This is the sort of water challenge faced in urban areas: the theme of World Water Day 2011. Today half the world’s population lives in cities. By 2030, 5 billion people will be urban citizens. How will water management meet the growing demand for access to safe water?

Corruption already makes this and existing problems in the water sector more challenging.

The photo competition is part of our efforts to take the fight against corruption in the water sector to a wider audience.

Photo credit: Gregory Wait

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