MWA Welcomes New Members Aguayuda and HELVETAS

MWA  welcomes the internationally respected HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation, a nongovernmental organization based in Zurich, and the innovative implementer Aguayuda, headquartered in Maryland, as the newest members of MWA.

The MWA Board of Directors approved the membership at its semi-annual meeting in October. To be an MWA member, an organization must have a demonstrated track record in WASH implementation, a commitment to improving implementation standards and sharing knowledge with MWA members to help improve services.

Earlier this year, MWA announced the addition of IRC – International Water and Sanitation Centre, based in the Netherlands, and Pure Water for the World, based in Vermont, as members. The addition of Aguayuda and HELVETAS bring to 15 the number of organizations that are part of the Alliance today.

“I am thrilled that Aguayuda is able to share its experience with other members of the Alliance,” said Aguayuda President Jean Waagbo. “We will bring to the table our in-depth knowledge and experience in some of the most remote and underserved communities in Colombia.”

Aguayuda, founded in 2006 and headquartered in Easton, Maryland, has helped bring safe drinking water, sanitation, and better hygiene awareness to more than 9,000 people in 23 communities in Colombia, half of those having predominantly indigenous populations. Among other applications, Aguayuda has specialized in the use of SkyJuice technologies, which use gravity-fed filtration systems more efficiently and are easier to maintain by the communities. Aguayuda is now also working with MWA in Colombia under the new five-country WASH program, Lazos de Agua, launched this spring with prime sponsors Coca-Cola Latin America and The FEMSA Foundation.

“HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation is very happy to join this growing US-based alliance which is doing so much to advance the prominence of WASH in the US and internationally,” said Melchior Lengsfeld, Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation’s Executive Director. “We are impressed with MWA’s work we have seen in Ethiopia and Guatemala. We are excited about the opportunity to learn from MWA’s members and to share our approaches to improve WASH programs.”

HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation was founded in 2011 through the merger of two Swiss-based organizations highly experienced in development, HELVETAS and Intercooperation. Today, it has 1,200 local and 60 international employees (mainly Swiss) engaged in 32 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. A total of 140 men and women work at the Berne and Zurich head offices and at the Lausanne and Balerna branch offices.

MWA’s membership includes 13 other WASH implementers and researchers, mostly headquartered in the United States: CARE, Catholic Relief Services, Food for the Hungry, Global Water, IRC – International Water and Sanitation Centre, Lifewater, Living Water International, Pure Water for the World, Water Aid in America, Water For People, Water Missions International,, and World Vision. MWA has a full-time professional staff headquartered in Washington, DC, and its Board of Directors is composed of its member NGOs. MWA’s members operate WASH programs in nearly 85 countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, with diverse funding from governments, multilateral institutions, foundations, corporations, and individuals.