From Planet of Slums to Planet of Solutions

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At the 6th World Water Forum, a Village of Solutions was built in an attempt to raise participants’ awareness of global water and sanitation issues through exhibits and special events in an enjoyable and educational manner. The Village of Solutions had several exhibits that included a library, a school, a factory, and a town hall. On the outskirts of the Village of Solutions a slum module was open to visitors. This video was taken inside the 6th World Water Forum’s Village of Solutions “Slums” exhibit. You will see one of the solutions to a lack of sanitation services in slums, called Pee Poo.

At the end of the video, Hamani Waziri Insa Abdou the Coordinator for the Niger-based NGO R.A.I.L. gives his opinion on the solutions proposed in the exhibit. Having spent time working on water and sanitation issues in Niger, he understands the complexity of the problems and how arduous it can be to effectively alleviate water and sanitation issues in slums. In this brief interview he discusses the fact that simply identifying solutions is not enough to solve the world’s water and sanitation problems.

I must agree with Hamani when he discusses the fact that although identifying solutions is  a crucial step toward ameliorating water and sanitation issues in slums, simply identifying solutions will not be enough. In addition to identifying solutions, governments must effectively implement or “apply” the proposed solutions as well. After all, solutions without implementation are essentially useless. However, Hamani is confident that the solutions proposed in the “Slums” exhibit will not be useless. Hamani is hopeful that  the proposed solutions will not only be adopted by many nations, they will be successfully applied in those nations as well.  I hope you enjoy your tour through the Village. Leave your comments below!

Other Student Reporters have explored the Village of Solutions also: you can read Michael McCullough’s account of the press tour, Heidi Travis’ experience with ‘fishbowl negotiations,’ and Marissa Rosen’s and Maria-Tzina Leria’s accounts about specific solutions presented by Veolia and by Suez Environment.

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