Household water treatment and safe storage

Why a Network?

A global collaborative

Stirred by the potential to dramatically improve the health of vulnerable populations through improved point-of-use water management, WHO convened a meeting in Geneva in February 2003 to explore ways to promote HWTS solutions. Participants included representatives of UN agencies, bilateral development agencies, international non-governmental organisations, research institutions, international professional associations, the private sector and industry associations.

Among the most effective models for collaboration is a “network,” a forum, information clearinghouse and vehicle to promote collective, bilateral and individual action on the part of its stakeholders. By creating a common mission and strategic plan among participating stakeholders, the network model encourages communication, cooperation and coordinated action while optimizing flexibility, participation and creativity.

Participants discussed:

  • Research that shows certain HWTS interventions have significantly reduced such disease.
  • The need for further research to address outstanding questions especially in the areas of field effectiveness and efficiency, health impact, acceptability and affordability of existing interventions and those under development.
  • Challenges facing the widespread deployment of such interventions.
  • The use of global networks and alliances among governmental organisations, private companies and civil society to address important health issues.
  • The roles that each type of organisation may play in such a network.

With this as background, the participants unanimously agreed to establish an International Network to Promote Household Water Treatment and Safe Storage.