WDM in East Africa: reports from the World Social Forum and Tanzania

Sunday, 21 January 2007

Karibu Nairobi!

Gradually our group of water activists has been arriving at our hotel – there are about 35 of us altogether in the group. It’s great to finally put real faces to what up to now have simply been voices at the end of long weekly conference calls and to finally meet people like Virginia Setshedi from the South Africa Anti-Privatisation Forum and Mussa Billegeya from Tanzania Association of NGOs.

Also here are delegates from French-speaking Togo, Cameroon, Mali, Burkina Faso and Senegal; as well as Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Egypt, and Nigeria. We are also really pleased to have Carlos Pedro here from Brazil to share positive experiences of successful public water systems.

We attended the opening ceremony at Uhuru Park in downtown Nairobi – we did not need to follow signs or ask directions, the flow of people and drum beats drew us there. National groups were meeting there having processed across the city and we arrived in time to see the Ethiopian delegation arrive.

The day ends with a strategy session in the evening, to get to know each other but also to start to talk about the possibility of creating an African Water Network. There are lots of questions about how it will work, what resources it will have, what strategies it will adopt…. But over the next few days, we will have lots of occasions to come up with some answers to these important questions.

No comments: