This webinar showcases representative experiences from German utilities who are currently responding to the COVID-19 crisis.
Date: 28 April 2020
Time: 8:30 - 10:00 a.m. UTC+2
***Please find the registration link at the bottom of this page***
COVID-19 has pushed governments, societies and economies to extraordinary limits. So far, there have been fewer recorded cases of COVID-19 in developing and emerging countries compared to industrial nations. Hence, there is still time to slow the spread of the coronavirus, while increasing resilience against the socioeconomic fallout. Steps to resilience include promoting and implementing safe hygiene standards, which, in most cases, are directly linked to the availability of a sufficient and safe water supply. Whether spreading the word on proper handwashing techniques, supporting vulnerable communities in their access to services, or preventing shutoffs, water and sanitation service providers are critical protagonists in the fight against COVID-19.
Currently, there is a small window of opportunity for water utilities to strengthen their capacities, supported by their peers who have already had to deal with the challenges associated with COVID-19. By sharing representative experiences, best practices, and lessons learnt during the global health crisis, as well as engaging in open dialogue on key themes, utilities can help their peers respond to, and recover from, the COVID-19 crisis ahead of the wave.
For this reason, the GIZ programs Sustainable Water Policy and Utility platform for strengthening partnerships of municipal utilities in the water sector worldwide, together with German Water Partnership and the Global Water Operators’ Partnerships Alliance (GWOPA), are organizing a webinar to support this exchange of experience in support of the global fight against COVID-19. The webinar will take place on Tuesday, April 28th, 2020 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. UTC+2 on Microsoft Teams (Conference link to follow).
This webinar showcases representative experiences from German utilities who are currently responding to the COVID-19 crisis. Depending on the response generated by this webinar, the possibility of a more comprehensive webinar series available in multiple languages is being explored. In a continuous learning loop, later sessions could feature utilities in developing and emerging countries who have implemented their own best practices and lessons learnt, and could share their results. Additionally, the following themes could be further discussed in a potential webinar series:
- Protecting water and sanitation workers’ safety (role of utility management, telecommuting arrangements for administrative staff)
- Supply chain management
- Supporting vulnerable communities (water tanks, free water, handwashing stations…)
- Financial planning
- Spreading awareness on proper hygiene habits
- Maintaining services (halting shutoffs, implementing emergency measures)
- Collaborating with communities and local institutions
The objective of this webinar is to raise awareness of the critical role water utilities can and should play in the fight against COVID-19. Participants will hear differentiated voices from German utilities on their challenges concerning COVID-19 and their experiences in taking measures to overcome these challenges. Through a large-scale open dialogue on key topics, water and sanitation service professionals will be encouraged to share resources, experiences, and knowledge on maintaining safe and sustainable operations under particularly challenging conditions. This will facilitate the exchange of best practices and lessons learnt between utilities who are facing, preparing for, or recovering from the pandemic. Thereby, the session encourages the exchange of conducive strategies in dealing with the crisis, while fostering peer-to-peer support between water utilities.
Webinar schedule (90 minutes):
1. Opening Remarks (5 minutes)
2. Representative Experience (15 minutes): hanseWasser Bremen: Challenges and experiences amidst the COVID-19 crisis
3. Panel discussion (30 minutes): Representatives of Water and Wastewater Utilities
4. Open Dialogue (35 minutes)
5. Summary + Closing remarks (5 minutes)
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