The World Water Forum, the world’s largest event on water, took place for the 9th time from 21 to 26 March 2022 – but for the first time in sub-Saharan Africa. At the CICAD conference centre in Diamnadio near Dakar, Senegal, the global forum addressed the most urgent water and sanitation challenges in Africa and worldwide under the motto “Water Security for Peace and Development”.
GWP members Aerzener Maschinenfabrik, Aqua+Waste, Boreal Light, the Forschungsinstitut für Wasser (FiW) at RWTH Aachen, Harbauer GmbH, Kleine Solutions, Hermann Sewerin GmbH, SolarSpring and WILO took part in the delegation trip to the World Water Forum, organised by German Water Partnership e. V. (GWP) and the German Association of Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (BVMW), and presented themselves and their exhibits at the German joint stand of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in cooperation with the Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), GWP and BVMW.
GWP members particularly appreciated the networking with German development cooperation at the joint stand. In addition, due to the intensive exchange among German companies, several concrete cooperation opportunities and project developments in Germany and sub-Saharan Africa are emerging for GWP members, which, according to Christian Ancker (Kleine Solutions) and Johannes Münz (Harbauer GmbH), “would not have been possible outside the delegation trip”. On the other hand, the lively interest of trade fair visitors in German technology and expertise in the water and wastewater sector exceeded the expectations of the delegation participants. For example, Dr Hamed Beheshti, CEO of Boreal Light, considered the company’s participation in the trade fair to be a “door opener for West Africa”. Felix Meyer-Horn (Aerzener Maschinenfabrik) already facilitated a meeting in Europe with representatives of the Senegalese city of Touba and is pleased about “the best contacts at the highest level”, which he was able to establish through participation in the German joint stand.
Opening of the German Pavillon by State Secretary Jochen Flasbarth
Together with EU Ambassador Irène Mingasson and Senegal’s Minister of Economy Amadou Hott, BMZ State Secretary Jochen Flasbarth ceremoniously opened the German joint stand on 21 March. During a tour of the stand, GWP staff member Theresa Hübscher introduced the individual GWP members and their technologies to the State Secretary, who represented the German water sector at the global forum.
Minister Hott emphasised how important it was for Senegal to have a strong private sector commitment from Germany, especially from small and medium-sized enterprises.
Cross-sector stand programme: “A Water Secure Future for All”
Actors from German development cooperation, the private sector, academia and civil society united in partnership under the motto of the German joint stand “A Water Secure Future for All”, thereby emphasising their common goal of a water secure future through cross-sectoral cooperation. The diversity in terms of content, methodology and also regional diversity was reflected by a comprehensive stand programme: In addition to best practice reports on sewage sludge drying in Ethiopia (Aqua+Waste) and decentralised drinking water supply in Burkina Faso (SolarSpring) as well as FiW research projects on natural disaster prevention in Ghana and Cameroon, there were presentations by the Konrad Adenauer Foundation on international “water diplomacy” and by Global Water Operators’ Partnership Alliance (GWOPA) and GIZ on the operator partnerships programme, among others. Every day, the German pavilion received around 400 visitors, including Senegal’s President Macky Sall.
One of the highlights was the handover of the Winture Planet Cube from GWP member Boreal Light to the Cheikh of the city of Touba. The entire water kiosk will produce 2,000 litres of clean drinking water per day in Touba and, thanks to solar power, will do without electricity altogether.
GWP Roundtables in the WWF Framework Programme
In cooperation with BVMW, GWP held a roundtable selected by the WWF Committee as a “Special Session” on the topic “Made in Germany – what’s behind the promise of quality? Innovative German water and sanitation technologies and qualification approaches to ensure the sustainability of investments”.
On 23 March, GWP members Hermann Sewerin GmbH, Aerzener Maschinenfabrik, Boreal Light and Harbauer GmbH presented their innovative technologies and qualification programmes in the international water sector. For example, Johannes Münz of the Harbauer company from Berlin spoke about the new branch in Kenya and the fluoride purification of drinking water there, which protects countless people in the Nakuru region from the disease fluorosis.
Dr Rose Kaggwa, Director of Business and Science at the Ugandan water utility National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) and 2nd Chair of AfWA’s Scientific and Technical Council presented the African Water and Sanitation Academy (AWASA) in Kampala, which GWP supports through its new BMZ partnership project African-German Training Initiative for Water and Sanitation (AGTIWAS) and is expanding in the target countries Senegal and Rwanda.
Within the framework of the BMZ-funded chamber and association partnership GAPWAS – German African Partnership for Water and Sanitation – between GWP and AfWA, both associations organised a joint roundtable on 23 March on the topic of “Management of heavy rainfall events”, which is of great importance in West Africa’s coastal states. Moderated by AfWA Managing Director Sylvain Usher, GWP members WILO, FiW and Kleine Solutions presented their technologies and approaches for flood protection in West Africa together with the Senegalese water utility SONES.
Excursions to Diourbel and to the national sewage disposal company ONAS in Dakar
The social programme for the private sector delegation included a reception by the German Ambassador in Dakar, Sönke Siemon, a visit to the sewage and biogas plant of the national wastewater disposal company ONAS, and an excursion to Diourbel organised by Stephan Kunz (Head of GIZ Office Senegal). In the town, which is located about 150 km east of Dakar, GWP members were able to discuss with local representatives how salinisation, lack of technology for water boreholes and the installation of drinking water supply systems affect the supply of clean water to the population. Three water projects are already under intensive discussion. In addition, an environmental study is underway in Diourbel to implement options for waste and wastewater issues with the help of the private sector.