Water and Faith showcase highlights results of collaboration

Dinesh Suna, coordinator of the WCC Ecumenical Water Network. Photo: Albin Hillert/WCC

On Thursday afternoon, 29 August, the World Council of Churches (WCC) will co-host a Water and Faith showcase during World Water Week in Stockholm, Sweden. The aim is to further explore scalable faith-based development models in water, sanitation and hygiene; develop a roadmap on effective engagement with faith actors; and to mobilize them to achieve United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 6, which is to “ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.”

The showcase is open to the public.

It is the fourth consecutive year that the WCC and its partners in the Ecumenical Water Network are convening a showcase to further inspire collaboration between faith-based organizations and the water, sanitation and hygiene sector. By sharing concrete examples of successful development projects, where faith-based organizations have played significant roles to mobilize local communities and faith actors, conveners hope to further strengthen collaboration.

“it is clear that faith dimensions must be taken into account as an important stakeholder of sustainable water management with a rights and justice perspective, particularly at local levels and in rural areas where, more often than not, the churches and faith-based organizations are the first responders,” explains Dinesh Suna, coordinator of the WCC Ecumenical Water Network.

Case studies from successful collaborations on water, sanitation and hygiene projects in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi will be presented and elaborated on during the session.

The showcase is arranged together with Accord WASH Alliance, Living Water International, SMART Centre group, Tearfund UK and Stockholm International Water Institute. It will be followed by the annual Water and Faith Network meeting, which is a closed session where more than 30 active stakeholders at the intersection of water and faith engagements convene to further strengthen collaboration and strategize future plans of action. Finally, at the end of the “water and faith day” at the World Water Week, the new “workstream” on “Environment, Water and Climate Action” of the International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development will be launched.

“Not only do we hope to strengthen cooperation, but also to be able form new effective working constellations, including this new workstream of the International Partnership on Religion and Sustainable Development related to water”, says Suna.

World Water Week is a yearly event in which more than 3,000 people are expected to participate this year.

WCC, oikoumene.org