Bonn, Germany, 26 October 2021 - UN-Habitat’s Global Water Operators’ Partnerships Alliance (GWOPA) launches a podcast series where water and sanitation professionals reflect on the challenges and successes in the sector – from gender mainstreaming to implementation of partnerships

Water Operators’ Partnerships (WOPs) work by mobilising the skills of professionals and workers in well-performing utilities to mentor their peers to improve.

The 4th Global WOPs Congress (18 – 29 October, 2021), convened by UN-Habitat’s GWOPA, brought together over 1,631 WOPs practitioners and their partners from all around the globe to learn, share stories and inspire one another to keep striving for sustainable and universal access to water and sanitation.

Worldwide, 2.1 billion people are still without safe water, available whenever they need it. Figures relating to sanitation are even more alarming with 4.5 billion still lacking safe services that protect them from disease.

For most of the world’s population, local public utilities are their lifeline to water and sanitation services. These services are human rights, and access to them underpins virtually every Sustainable Development Goals.

Executive Director of UN-Habitat Maimunah Mohd Sharif expressed at the High-Level Panel of the Opening Ceremony that “our destination is clear: clean and sustainable water and sanitation for all.” In order to achieve that goal, Maria Flachsbarth, Parliamentary State Secretary to the to the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development stated that “we need to strengthen existing peer-to-peer partnerships and encourage news ones.”

In its over 30 online sessions, the Congress served as the global stage to discuss the pressing issues facing water and sanitation service providers - access for all, climate adaptation, circular development, advancing sanitation, as well as to strengthen the Water Operators Partnerships to build their capacity and performance in these areas. Over 50 GWOPA partner organisations joined as co-convenors, moderators and speakers.  

Sharing knowledge and experiences plays a key role and is now more important than ever. To encourage and facilitate exchange, GWOPA now adds the WOPcast initiative, launched during the 4th Global WOPs Congress. This podcast series aims at helping operators and water and sanitation professionals share, learn, and inspire one another in the walk towards the SDGs and the Human Right to Water and Sanitation.


Listen to the first two WOPcast episodes:

WOPcast Episode 1: SWOP it! Sanitation Operators’ Partnerships

WOPcast Episode 2: Women in Water and Sanitation Utilities and WOPs