The Millennium Water Alliance Convenes and Influences Governments, the Private Sector, and Non-Governmental Organizations to Accelerate Global Progress in Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene


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Chemonics International Joins Millennium Water Alliance


Washington, DC, January 23, 2023 – The Millennium Water Alliance (MWA) Board of Directors is pleased to announce the addition of Chemonics International, a major global implementer of water security, sanitation, and hygiene (WSSH) programs in the developing world, as the newest member of the Alliance. Chemonics is the second business to join MWA after Netherlands-based Acacia Water, which became a member in 2019.

“Chemonics will be a nice addition to MWA as we seek to expand and strengthen our knowledge management and learning efforts and increase our collective impact,” said MWA Executive Director Keith Wright from MWA’s co-headquarters office in Nairobi, Kenya.

Chemonics International shares MWA’s guiding objective of scaling access to water security, sanitation, and hygiene services globally. As a global implementer and the top contractor for the United States Agency for International Development in terms of award value, Chemonics plays a key role in accelerating WSSH service provision. Chemonics hopes to contribute to MWA in three primary areas: inter-organizational learning, industry connections, and advocacy. 

With over $300 million in water programming implemented, Chemonics has gained valuable institutional knowledge and harvested scalable successes that it hopes to share with others. Chemonics prioritizes the collection, analysis, and sharing of insights from across its programming to contribute to the global community.

“Chemonics hopes to provide insights on project successes and challenges, innovative approaches, and lessons learned with MWA and its members, and in turn, Chemonics looks forward to the evidence MWA shares from its programs, as these can be leveraged to inform Chemonics’ best practices” said Barbara Rossmiller, Senior Advisor of Chemonics’ Water and Sustainable Cities Practice.

Chemonics employs more than 5,000 experts, with 90% of staff working in their own local communities. The Water and Sustainable Cities Practice at Chemonics carefully tracks the technical experience and interests of its global network of hundreds of water, sanitation, hygiene, governance, and finance experts to leverage their unique capabilities and insights. Chemonics also prioritizes strategic partnerships with a variety of WSSH-focused organizations, spanning local nonprofits, research and academia, and the private sector.

The company has implemented projects in more than 150 countries, working carefully to cultivate strong relationships with multi-level government counterparts and USAID’s country and regional missions in each. By demonstrating reliability, learning from stakeholder input, and prioritizing locally led development, Chemonics has built relationships of trust and understanding, and joins MWA in its mission to influence government ministries and policymakers to improve the enabling environment for WSSH.

See the full list of MWA members at Founded by leading U.S. international WSSH implementing NGOs in 2003, the Millennium Water Alliance convenes and influences governments, the private sector, and non-governmental organizations to accelerate global progress in water, sanitation, and hygiene. MWA maintains co-headquarters staff in Washington, DC, and Nairobi, Kenya.



Millennium Water Alliance Welcomes Global Water Institute  as Newest Member


Washington, DC, May 5, 2022 – The members of the Millennium Water Alliance (MWA), the partnership of leading implementers and researchers in international water, sanitation, and hygiene, are pleased to announce acceptance of our newest member, The Global Water Institute at The Ohio State University (GWI).

GWI connects the creative abilities of its university community and external partners to provide practical and innovative solutions for water-related problems. GWI builds cross-sectoral partnerships to being local specialists together using an integrated picture of community health and livelihoods, not just piecemeal components, and works on private sector engagement in rural ware service delivery connected to ongoing research and training.

“The Global Water Institute is delighted to join the Millennium Water Alliance and work alongside organizations who share our vision for  clean, available, accessible, and sustainable water for all,” said Dr. Tom Darrah, GWI Director.  “GWI’s mission is to connect the vast expertise and experience of Ohio State’s community with external partners to develop and implement best practices for sustainable water management and use. At a time when pressures on water resources have never been greater, we greatly value the opportunity to learn from and with other members, expand our partnership network, and increase the impact of our work on critical water needs.”

“We welcome the Global Water Institute’s extensive network and expertise to our growing global alliance,” said MWA Executive Director Keith Wright. “Their commitment to cross-sectoral partnership and innovative models and research are a great complement to our collective capacity.”

For more information on MWA, contact us at Websites for all our members can be linked to through our Members page.



Save the Children Becomes Newest Member

of Millennium Water Alliance

 Washington, DC, December 21, 2020 – The Millennium Water Alliance Board of Directors announces its acceptance of Save the Children, one of the world’s best-known humanitarian and development organizations, as the 20th member of the 17-year-old Alliance.

“With the addition of another major international actor in global development as Save the Children, we end one the world’s most difficult years on a high note for our Alliance, expanding the promise of reaching millions more of the world’s poor with better access to safe water, safe sanitation, and essential hygiene education,” said Peter Lochery, Acting Chairman of the MWA Board of Directors.

 “At the end of 2020, MWA reaches a total membership of 20 very diverse organizations with extraordinary geographic reach and specialized skills. As one of the founders of MWA in 2003, it gives me heart to see this vivid demonstration of the organization’s continued purpose to advance best practices and help elevate the role of WASH in global development,” Lochery said.

Irene Koek, Associate Vice President and Global Health Practice Leader for Save the Children, said that “Save the Children is thrilled to join the Millennium Water Alliance. MWA’s longstanding and reputable work to advocate for universal access to water, sanitation and hygiene services is inseparable with Save the Children’s goals of ensuring that all children survive, learn, and are protected.”


“We look forward to joining forces with alliance members to advance important WASH-related policy, advocacy and program efforts to benefit the world’s children,” Koek said.


With over $70 million in WASH funding, Save the Children is a global WASH leader with programming that contributes to achieving universal WASH access in households, communities, health care facilities, and schools across development and emergency contexts. Save the Children leads WASH activities on four global USAID awards and ten bilateral programs spanning 40 countries, and works in all 2020 U.S. Government Global Water Strategy priority countries, supported by a global team of experts located in-country, regionally, and in the U.S.


MWA, headquartered in Washington, DC, convenes and influences governments, the private sector, and non-governmental organizations to accelerate progress in water, sanitation, and hygiene. Its 20 member organizations work in more than 90 countries around the world, and includes leading WASH implementing NGOs, research institutions, and private sector partners. MWA leverages the skills and knowledge that come from working in partnership.


MWA is a leading voice in the global WASH sector, and in particular, in U.S. advocacy for more U.S. government investment in global WASH. MWA was one of the key leaders in the passage by Congress of the 2005 Sen. Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act, and the 2014 Sen. Paul Simon Water for the World Act. MWA also serves as a US voice for civil society in the Sanitation and Water for All initiative, and in other development forums in the U.S. and abroad.


Save the Children also implements WASH activities funded by a variety of private and public donors (e.g., DFID, DFAT, EU, OCHA, UNICEF, GSK, Unilever, and Procter & Gamble), and is an Accredited Entity with the UN Green Climate Fund. Save the Children leads USAID’s Practices, Research and Operations in its PRO-WASH award, which aims to improve the quality of activities, strengthen the capacity and skills, and improve the level of knowledge and practices of USAID’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance WASH implementing partners.


Save the Children’s WASH priorities and programs are always integrated with other health, education, or child protection activities, and contribute to its three goals: to ensure that children around the world survive, learn, and are protected. Save the Children developed the Clean Household Approach that promotes Essential WASH Actions with caregivers to reduce exposure of children under age two to environmental contaminants.


Its Clean Clinic Approach supports health facilities to make incremental hygiene and infection prevention improvements, and to institutionalize performance-based certification and monitoring to provide routine, facility-level cleanliness data at each level of the health system.


Save the Children integrates WASH in its school health and nutrition programs through school and government policy improvements, environmental health and personal hygiene education, promotion of key WASH behaviors and practices, and supporting WASH services in schools.


Save the Children also participates on research initiatives and multiple global working groups, including the Global WASH in Health Care Facilities Working Group led by WHO and UNICEF, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations, the Global Cholera Task Force, the WHO Pandemics and Epidemics Working Group, and the Global WASH Cluster.


For more information, contact:

Keith Wright, Executive Director, MWA

Stephen Sara, WASH Advisor, Save the Children



Millennium Water Alliance Welcomes

Global Communities as Newest Member

 Washington, DC, October 28, 2020 – The Millennium Water Alliance Board of Directors has approved the membership of Global Communities, a development and humanitarian assistance organization with operations in 26 countries in the Western  Hemisphere, Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, as the newest member of the Alliance.

“At a time of unprecedented global health challenges, Global Communities looks forward to working with the Millennium Water Alliance to advance safe hygiene and access to clean water for communities around the world,” said David A. Weiss, CEO of Global Communities. “We see opportunities to learn from MWA’s highly respected members, to share our experiences and innovations, and to strengthen our voice in the critical water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) sector in Washington and globally.”

Global Communities is committed to working in partnership with communities to bring about sustainable change that improve the lives and livelihoods of the vulnerable. Innovation in rural water and sanitation infrastructure and WASH behavioral change are among its areas of expertise. In April 2020, Global Communities, headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland, merged with Project Concern International.

 In addition to WASH, Global Communities is focused on food security and agriculture, economic development, civil society capacity, financial inclusion, health, governance, and urban management. Global Communities strengthens local systems and capacity to advance locally-led responses to development challenges and achieve sustainable impact.​ 

Also, Global Communities has in-house expertise in systems strengthening for WASH governance, market creation, private sector engagement  and entrepreneurship, and integrating WASH with nutrition and other health services, agriculture and food security, and youth and women’s empowerment. Global Communities is a very active national advocate on U.S. government development policy and funding.

“We are delighted to welcome Global Communities to MWA’s growing and diverse membership,” said MWA Executive Director Keith Wright. “Global Communities has expertise across a wide range of sectors, and can share with MWA members their technical expertise in integrating global health, food security, and governance.”

MWA, founded in 2003 and headquartered in Washington, DC, now has 19 member organizations, working in a total of more than 90 countries around the world.

Current Global Communities WASH programs include: 

  • The USAID/Ghana WASH 4 Health program, which seeks to accelerate sustainable improvement in water and sanitation access and to improve hygiene behaviors in target districts. The work includes improved household sanitation, improved community water supply services, improved sector governance and policies, key hygiene behaviors, leveraged public-private partnership investment, and infrastructure for schools and health facilities. 
  • The Honduras Dry Corridor Micro-Watershed Management and Conservation project works with local and regional governments and communities to protect, maintain and/or restore the flow of water in terms of quality and quantity.  This program generates investments and improves management of river micro-basins in the western departments of La Paz, Intibucá, and Lempira to provide sustainable access to water for both consumption and irrigation. Global Communities helps ensure environmental compliance, gender equality, accessibility measures for people with special needs, and sustainability of water resources. 
  • Global Communities is also working on WASH in humanitarian settings in Syria, Yemen, Ethiopia, and Malawi.  

MWA Members Continuing to Help Prevent and Mitigate COVID-19 Spread


The 18 member organizations of the Millennium Water Alliance, working in more than 90 countries, include hygiene education in their ongoing WASH programs. Our members have provided encouragement and direct assistance to millions of people in the world’s most vulnerable communities on how and why to wash their hands, the need to use clean water and soap, and proper ways to dispose of waste.


This critical hygiene work is in addition to our ongoing programming to build sustainable infrastructure, governance, enterprise, and stronger systems for safe drinking water and better sanitation.

MWA’s members are responding with short-term disaster assistance, provision of educational messages, support to governments in developing response strategies, implementation of handwashing facilities, and development of standards and best practices for COVID-19 response efforts, among others.  

All members stand by to engage in long-term research and development work when travel restrictions are lifted, and the long-term resilience work can continue.

In MWA’s two current consortium programs (in Kenya and Ethiopia), we are responding in partnership with our members, local partners, government, and the private sector:

In Ethiopia and Kenya, MWA is exploring options to mobilize existing or additional funds to support both emergency response now and longer-term development that will build resilience for future challenges. The emergency response piece involves supporting local government actions by providing supplies such as masks, sanitizer, soap, public health messaging via radio and social media, support to health facilities, etc. The long-term development response is focused on supporting adequate WASH access in health care facilities and improved community access to reliable, safe water now that there is more momentum and understanding of how critical it is for health facilities and communities to have adequate water and handwashing supplies. The long-term piece is being done with a broader systems perspective looking at regulations, funding priorities, government capacity, and more.

  In MWA’s role as a global hub we have been requested to develop concept notes for donors and partners who have an interest in quickly executing a high-quality and consistent COVID-19 response across specific geographic areas. Given its hub capacity, MWA able to support these donors in designing interventions, identifying quality organizations to do the response work, and supporting strong communication, and quality control.  MWA does this by drawing on the global expertise of our members and adding to that with our secretariat’s support for harmonized design and efficient coordination.  This avoids overlaps and makes the best use of available funds.

 To see how our members are responding to the crises, go to their individual websites – you can see links to all 18 HERE !

Challenges in Funding Collaborative WASH Systems: Summary of Funder Discussion

To kick off Stockholm World Water Week, the Millennium Water Alliance and the Agenda for Change invited funders to a conversation with their peers about their biggest challenges in funding collaborative efforts to strengthen water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) systems.

Click here to read more

Posted October 31, 2019

Deep Dive into WASH Systems Strengthening

During the 2019 Stockholm World Water Week, the Millennium Water Alliance, Agenda for Change, and WaterAid convened a “Systems Deep Dive” to engage in in-depth discussions about different themes in strengthening WASH systems.  Participants broke into facilitated groups to discuss topics such as how to measure systems change and the role of empowerment in systems change work.  

These systems discussions are a great first step, but ongoing discussions, resource sharing and engagement is needed as we grapple with the complexities of WASH systems work.  Agenda for Change and the Millennium Water Alliance have offered to support making the WASH Systems Community of Practice more purposeful and inclusive. The intent is not to create new platforms or networks, but to bring more focused attention to this theme through existing networks.  Discussions are underway with the Rural Water Supply Network (RWSN) and the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA) about further collaboration. Stay tuned!

Click here to read more

Posted October 31, 2019

Moving Unsubsidized Self-supply Forward

You wait ages for one – and then two come along at the same time! Not buses in this case, but sessions tackling facets of Self-supply. Whether in the USA or Sub-Saharan Africa, people often choose to improve water supplies themselves, complementing the efforts of public agencies, and it is helpful to understand the supporting systems that can improve and expand Self-supply.

Click here to read more

Posted October 31, 2019

Mortenson Center Innovation Recognized for Impact on Lives

Washington, DC, October 22, 2019 – The Million Lives Club (MLC), an organization publicizing the work of  innovators that benefits at least one million people living in extreme poverty, welcomed MWA member The Mortenson Center in Global Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder yesterday as one of the first MLC Vanguard members. The United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, nominated The Mortenson Center’s  Drought Resilience Impact Platform (DRIP) for recognition.

DRIP uses satellite-connected sensors to monitor water supplies in drought-prone areas of Kenya, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, and California. The platform enhances the decision-making abilities of local water and governmental services by providing an accurate representation of water availability.

Entry into MLC as a Vanguard Member, its highest level, requires an organization to have impacted the lives of at least one million people living on less than USD$5  per day. DRIP has impacted over three million people, focusing on subsistence and livestock farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa who are especially vulnerable to drought.
The MLC officials recognized its inaugural 44 members this month, 31 of which joined the Vanguard tier.

The MLC is partnered with organizations around the world, such as USAID, The U.K. Department for International Development, the United Nations Children’s Fund, Australian Aid, and others.

See more about The Mortenson Center’s DRIP program on their website, or on their MLC profile.


Posted October 22, 2019

MWA Welcomes Mortenson Center- University of Colorado Boulder as Newest Member

Washington, DC, August 20, 2019 – The Millennium Water Alliance welcomes the Mortenson Center in Global Engineering – University of Colorado Boulder as a new member, joining 14 other NGOs and  research institutions as part of our permanent alliance to accelerate access to safely-managed clean water, sanitation, and hygiene education in the developing world.

The Mortenson Center is the second MWA member that is part of a larger education system – earlier this year, the Desert Research Institute, part of the Nevada System of Higher education, was approved for membership also. Organizations join MWA if approved by a vote of the Board of Directors, composed of representatives of several current MWA members.

“The Mortenson Center in Global Engineering is thrilled to become a member of the Millennium Water Alliance and to continue to build on our shared objectives and activities, such as those identified and undertaken in Kenya RAPID,” said Dr. Laura MacDonald, managing director of the Mortenson Center.

“The Mortenson Center works to improve development tools and practice through education, research, and partnerships to positively impact vulnerable people in low- and middle-income countries. We’re confident that, through this strategic partnership and collaboration with other MWA members, we’ll be able to achieve greater impact and progress toward universal, sustained water, sanitation and hygiene services.”

MWA Executive Director Keith Wright said that MWA and the Mortensen Center “have a strong track record of collaboration – our work together in East Africa is already changing how technology is used to monitor water systems and drive decision making.  We look forward to even more breakthroughs and success as ‘UCB’ formally joins MWA and taps into our member’s global presence and expertise.”

The Millennium Water Alliance, founded in 2003, now includes:  CARE, Catholic Relief Services, Desert Research Institute, El Porvenir, Food for the Hungry, HELVETAS, IRC WASH, Mortenson Center – University of Colorado Boulder, Living Water International, Pure Water for the World, WaterAid America, Water 4, Water For People, Water Mission, and World Vision. Headquartered in Washington, DC, MWA is a permanent alliance that convenes opportunities and partnerships, accelerates learning and effective models, and influences the WASH space by advocacy and leveraging the expertise and reach of its members and partners to scale quality, sustained WASH services globally.


See more, including our 10-Year Strategic Plan, and our FY 2018 Annual Report, at


For more information, contact:

Keith Wright, Executive Director

John Sparks, Director of Advocacy & Communications,


posted August 2oth, 2019


Check Out the New WHO-UNICEF Report on WASH in Healthcare Facilities

Dear MWA Members and Friends:


Bringing this to you a bit late –many of you may have already seen this, but it’s worth passing along (again) – the World Health Organization and  UNICEF have released a new report on WASH in healthcare facilities with important information for practitioners in global health and in WASH services.


See the news release for the report here, with the actual Global Baseline Report is here.





MWA Welcomes Desert Research Institute as Newest MWA Member


Washington, DC, April 23, 2019 – The Millennium Water Alliance is pleased to announce that the Desert Research Institute, part of the Nevada System of Higher Education, has joined MWA as a new affiliate member organization.


“I am extremely pleased that the Desert Research Institute (DRI) has been made an affiliate member of the Millennium Water Alliance,” said Braimah Apambire, Senior Director, Center for International Water and Sustainability at DRI.


“DRI builds capacity of NGO and government staff in developing countries, conducts basic and applied research, and applies technologies to improve the effective management of natural resources, especially water. We look forward to working with other MWA members to achieve the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 by 2030.”

MWA Executive Director Keith Wright welcomed DRI, noting that “DRI is a well-respected institution that brings a range of expertise from research to technology.  DRI joining MWA is an important contribution to MWA’s strategy to diversify our membership to include business, NGOs and academic institutions that are committed to SDG 6.“

The Millennium Water Alliance, founded in 2003, now has 14 member NGOs:  CARE, Catholic Relief Services, Desert Research Institute, El Porvenir, Food for the Hungry, HELVETAS, IRC WASH, Living Water International, Pure Water for the World, WaterAid America, Water 4, Water For People, Water Mission, and World Vision. Headquartered in Washington, DC, MWA is a permanent alliance that convenes opportunities and partnerships, accelerates learning and effective models, and influences the WASH space by leveraging the expertise and reach of its members and partners to scale quality, sustained WASH services globally. New member organizations are approved by a vote of the Board of Directors.

DRI is a recognized world leader in investigating the effects of natural and human-induced environmental change and advancing technologies aimed at assessing a changing planet. For nearly 60 years, DRI research faculty, students, and staff have applied scientific understanding to support the effective management of natural resources.

DRI is well-known to the WASH community, working as a partner in multiple programs with WASH implementers in countries around the world (


For more information, contact:

Keith Wright, Executive Director

John Sparks, Director of Advocacy & Communications,


posted April 24th, 2019

To mark World Water Day, on March 22nd UNICEF released Water Under Fire , an Advocacy Alert that highlights the issues children face in accessing water in times of crisis, and demonstrates the response needed through case studies from Ukraine, Bangladesh and Yemen.


In times of crisis, access to safe water is often compromised; infrastructure is damaged, pipelines are in disrepair, and water collection is dangerous. Without access to safe water, children fall ill, schools and hospitals do not function, disease and malnutrition spread.
In many conflicts around the world, more children die from diseases linked to unsafe water than from direct violence.


Water Under Fire aims to generate popular public support to improve children’s access to water in crises and to galvanize action for UNICEF’s Change Agenda, which calls on governments, partners, and parties to conflict to:

  • Stop attacks on water and sanitation infrastructure and personnel.
  • Build a WASH sector capable of consistently providing high-quality water and sanitation services in emergencies.
  • Link life-saving humanitarian responses to the development of sustainable water and sanitation systems for all.


In crises throughout 2018, UNICEF reached over 35 million people with emergency access to clean water. UNICEF works in some of the world’s most dangerous conflicts, to reach children in need with access to clean, safe water and sanitation. This includes everything from trucking emergency water to people in camps to rehabilitating entire water and sanitation systems throughout cities in conflict.

To see the entire 24-page document go to

Posted March 25th, 2019


Global Handwashing Day Pushes Key Behavior Change


A handwashing station from Kenya RAPID at Ilpus Primary School in Marsabit County helps community members stay healthy. Photo credit: Johnson Nganga

Washington, DC, October 4, 2018— Global Handwashing Day, an advocacy day from the Global Handwashing Partnership for increasing awareness of the importance of handwashing with soap, will be on Monday, October 15, 2018. This year’s theme, “Clean Hands—a recipe for health,” focuses on the links between handwashing and food, including food hygiene and nutrition.

Handwashing is a big part of behavior change. Every year, diarrhea and pneumonia kill 1.4 million children under the age of five. Handwashing can cut deaths associated with diarrhea by almost one-half, and deaths from acute respiratory infections nearly one-quarter.

MWA and its 14 member organizations include handwashing in their programs to encourage habit formation. Handwashing with soap is also included in the Sustainable Development Goals 6.2, adopted by the United Nations in 2015, for sanitation and hygiene.

For more information on the importance of handwashing, as well as for sample tweets and other material to promote the event, visit Global Handwashing Day’s website HERE.


Posted October 4, 2018


MWA and Members in Sessions at UNC Conference 2018


Washington, DC, October 4, 2018— The 2018 UNC Water and Health Conference will take place Monday, October 29 – Friday, November 2, 2018. See the below schedule we created showing events involving MWA or MWA members, including “Special Session: What is Going On with USAID, Congress, and the White House?” led by MWA and including MWA member WaterAid and MWA advocacy ally IAPMO.

To view the full schedule, including a long list of poster presentations (with several by MWA members), visit UNC’s website HERE. Note that on the landing page for the conference, there is a Schedule at a Glance that does not include event details that appear in the website schedules for side events, etc. on other pages.



Posted October 4, 2018


MWA at World Water Week in Stockholm


Washington, DC, August 21, 2018—The Millennium Water Alliance will be participating with other international organizations at World Water Week in Stockholm from August 26 – August 31. Two MWA staff members, Doris Kaberia, Chief of Party for MWA’s Kenya RAPID program, and Laura Brunson, Program Director, will be in attendance.

The MWA-led panel “Demystifying private sector engagement and the role of technology in rural water management: The Kenya RAPID experience” will be on Wednesday, August 29 from 8 – 10 AM. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about Kenya RAPID’s experience using public-private partnerships as a tool to mitigate drought and improve the resilience of pastoral communities. For more information on this panel, see the first flyer below.

Kaberia will also be a featured speaker on the “Freshwater Conservation WASH Integration: High-Level and Local-Level Challenges and Opportunities” panel on Monday, August 27 from 4 – 5:30 PM. The panel will examine how integrated fresh-water conservation-WASH programs can catalyze work around meeting multiple SDG commitments. For more information on this panel, see the second flyer below.



Millennium Water Alliance Announces
Appointment of New Executive Director


Washington, D.C., July 3, 2018  Millennium Water Alliance Chairman Malcolm Morris and Vice-Chairman Peter Lochery are pleased to announce the appointment of Keith Wright as Executive Director of MWA. Wright was unanimously selected by the Board of Directors at its June 2018 meeting, and began his duties on July 2.

“Keith has the complete confidence of our staff, and we are all excited that he has accepted the position of Executive Director,” said Morris.

“The Millennium Water Alliance has an excellent track record of global programming, advocacy, and shared standards that have already provided clean, safe drinking water and sanitation to millions of the world’s poorest people,” Wright said.

“I am honored to serve as Executive Director in the next chapter of MWA as we build on that expertise and leverage new partnerships with corporations, impact investors, and governments to achieve greater scale in WASH access,” Wright added.

Wright brings a track record of global leadership, innovation, and collaboration to the challenge of global WASH access, with more than 25 years of leadership in humanitarian and business enterprises in the US, Africa, Asia, and Latin America. His experience includes serving as president of Food for the Hungry, Inc., national and regional operational leadership roles in Africa, launching an innovative business to accelerate business solutions to poverty, and governance leadership in one of East Africa’s leading financial institutions. He earned a M.Sc. degree in economic development from Eastern University and a B.A. degree in political science from the University of Mary Washington.

Morris noted the dedicated service of former Executive Director Rafael Callejas, saying, “Rafael has overseen almost a decade of growth, and we wish to thank Rafael for his service. Rafael will be available to assist Keith in any way he can to assure a smooth transition.”

The Millennium Water Alliance is a 501(c)(3) coalition of America’s leading charities working to bring clean, safe drinking water and sanitation to millions of the world’s poorest people in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Founded in 2002, MWA seeks to advance high standards for program quality, transparency, and accountability, and works with its members to bring to scale effective and sustainable water, sanitation, and hygiene education solutions. MWA and its 14 member organizations are strong advocates for US leadership in effective foreign assistance, and are part of a global campaign to accelerate the delivery of safe water and sanitation.


Whiskey is for Drinking, Water is for Fighting


By Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas)

Washington, D.C., May 14, 2018— Mark Twain is believed to have once said, “whiskey is for drinking, water is for fighting.” He may have been on to something. Historically, water has been at the center of much of this world’s conflict and suffering. Here in the United States, it’s hard for many of us to imagine a life without access to clean water, because when we turn on the tap, clean water flows out – it’s that easy. However, for more than 800 million people around the world, accessing clean water is a dangerous daily struggle.

Grace is a five-year-old little girl who lives in Eastern Uganda. When we think about kids Grace’s age, we imagine a carefree world filled with hours of playtime or our first reading lessons. But for Grace and her three-year-old sister, life is not that simple. Instead, every day as the sun begins to rise, they start the seven-mile round trip journey to the nearest borehole in search of clean water.

The time-consuming journey often keeps Grace out of school. This is not uncommon for women and young girls in the developing world. According to UNICEF, nearly 200 million hours are spent every day just to find clean water. This search for clean water severely limits the futures of these women and girls, denying them opportunities outside of the household and trapping families in a cycle of poverty.


Perhaps worse, the arduous trek for clean water can also be dangerous. Grace’s family constantly fears that she will meet the fate of other young girls from the village: being kidnapped or sexually abused by the men who control the well. To avoid these hazards, Grace and her family often settle for a shorter walk to dirty swamp water. Throughout the world, one in 13 people have no choice but to drink this kind of polluted water, putting themselves at risk of contracting terrible diseases. Every two minutes a child under the age of 5 dies from illnesses related to poor water and sanitation—amounting to nearly 300,000 child deaths a year—while many more suffer from severe malnutrition. Grace has already had typhoid and worms, and the family fears her little sister has malaria. But the local clinic doesn’t have running water either, a far too common occurrence in Africa where nearly half the medical facilities lack a water source.

Too many people around the globe face the same struggles as Grace and her family for clean water. Without the life-giving power of water, safe sanitation and hygiene in homes, schools, and hospitals is impossible. As many as 2.3 billion people lack a decent toilet and are forced to go to the bathroom outdoors. This further contaminates sources of drinking water, spreading dysentery. Access to clean drinking water is simply not enough:  without safe sanitation and good hygiene practices, the problems associated with water scarcity will never be solved.


Water scarcity not only affects individuals and communities – it is directly tied to global stability and even U.S. national security. It is no coincidence that some of the most volatile regions in the world are also those that lack water security. From Nigeria and Somalia to Iraq and Yemen, terrorist groups often seize water infrastructure to use as leverage or exploit grievances that stem from water scarcity. Both Boko Haram and ISIS will dig boreholes to provide water to local communities, not out of goodwill but as a common recruiting tactic. A strategy to combat terrorist groups around the world requires more than just military action. It must address the necessities of a society, such as secure access to clean water.

That is exactly why my colleague Earl Blumenauer and I introduced the Water for the World Act which became law in 2014 and made it U.S. policy to prioritize this crucial issue through devising and implementing a comprehensive inter-agency global water strategy. By addressing this one fundamental requirement for human life, we can save lives and improve the world. As the wealthiest and most innovative nation on Earth, solutions are within our reach. The United States must act as a global leader, setting an example by prioritizing water, sanitation, and hygiene access. We can do this by prioritizing assistance to countries in the greatest need and ensuring that the legally mandated water office that already exists in USAID is appropriately funded and preserved during the agency’s redesign.


Today, 1.4 billion more people have access to clean water than they did in 2000. This means, is 1.4 billion lives have been saved or fundamentally improved. With our God-given resources, it is our moral duty to see that no one must suffer because of lack of water. As we inch closer to achieving universal clean water access, maybe one day, we can finally take the fighting out of Mark Twain’s famous quote, and instead say “Whiskey is for drinking, water is for life.”

And that’s just the way it is.


Written by Rep. Ted Poe (R-Texas). Originally published in “The Hill.” View the article HERE.


Posted May 22, 2018


Search for new MWA Executive Director



After nine years of meritorious service to MWA, Rafael Callejas will be stepping down as Executive Director within the next few months. The Board wishes to publicly thank Rafael for his hard work in building the activities and stature of MWA during his time in the position.

MWA’s Board is therefore seeking candidates for the Executive Director position.  The Executive Director is responsible for leading implementation of MWA’s ten-year strategy and providing strategic direction for MWA. S/he is responsible for leading the organization’s teams in Washington DC, Nairobi, and Addis Ababa; expanding the organization’s programs; promoting innovation, learning, and program quality; and supporting advocacy domestically, in the countries of operation, and globally.  The post is based in Washington DC with 2-3 months travel per annum on behalf of MWA. Candidates should have the legal right to work in the US.

The full job description for the post can be found here. Applicants should forward a cover letter, resume in reverse chronological format, and contact list for at least three professional references (name, contact information, and statement of relationship to the reference) to The closing date for applications is March 30, 2018.  Do not call in reference to this position. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

Posted February 21, 2018

Global Handwashing Day Pushes Key Behavior Change

A tippy tap helps bring handwashing to a rural community in Latin America. Photo by Daniela Lopez, LWI


October 13, 2017— This Sunday, October 15, is Global Handwashing Day, a time when the Global Handwashing Partnership and dozens of other organizations talk and tweet to promote handwashing as a critical component of behavior change needed to improve human hygiene practice and reduce the threat of serious illnesses.

Essentially, handwashing with soap is a simple, effective behavior that can save lives. Good handwashing goes beyond protecting individual health – according to the Global Handwashing Partnership, it serves as an inexpensive method to prevent disease outbreaks, reduce school absences, and improve healthcare outcomes.

Key Facts:

  • Every year, pneumonia and diarrhea kill 1.4 million children under the age of five.
  • Handwashing with soap cuts deaths associated with diarrhea by almost one-half, and deaths from acute respiratory systems by nearly one-quarter.
  • Handwashing with soap could prevent many of the 272 million yearly schooldays lost to diarrheal disease, and 50 percent of the infections acquired in healthcare settings.

MWA and its 14 member organizations include handwashing in their programs to encourage habit formation. Good handwashing contributes to the larger sustainable development goals adopted by the United Nations in 2015, impacting health, nutrition, education, economics, and equity.

Visit Global Handwashing Day’s main website for more information on the importance of handwashing, as well as for sample tweets and other material to promote the event.


Using WPDx to Share Data Efficiently, Widely in the WASH Sector

August 30, 2017— For several years, MWA has worked with the Global Water Challenge (GWC), the Global Environment & Technology Foundation, and other organizations in the set-up, launch, and continual improvement of the Water Point Data Exchange (WPDx).

WPDx is a global platform for sharing water point data. The platform’s main goal is to harmonize and standardize certain key water point indicators being collected as part of NGO and government monitoring efforts.  WPDx will allow us to share water point data across the global sector, adding value to the data already being collected. Visitors to have the opportunity to upload water point data according to the “data standard,download water point data by country, or play with the data to visualize trends online.

MWA has advocated expanding the data standard to include water quality attributes as part of the regular data to be included in water point data uploads to the Exchange. In July and August, MWA secretariats and members in Kenya and Ethiopia attended meetings with representatives of GWC, who visited five countries to promote WPDx and better understand the data landscape.

MWA attended a “data dive” July 27-28, organized by GWC in conjunction with Applied Predictive Technologies (APT), an analytics software company in Arlington, VA. For 24 hours, three teams of APT analysts worked tirelessly, digging into the WPDx data sets to create data-driven recommendations on how to improve water access in developing countries based on the existing data hosted on the platform.  For more information on the data dive, click here.

MWA continues to share our public water point data with the WPDx platform and we encourage our members to do the same.

US Ambassador, Kenya Officials Join for MWA Turkana Launch


Photo credits-Alfred Ireri CRS Turkana.

MWA team at Turkana during the County launch for Kenya RAPID, AVCD and Water Mapping Programs in the Counties of Turkana and Marsabit at Lodwar Town on 28th March, 2017.

L-R: Doris Kaberia (MWAK & COP Kenya RAPID, Bernard Bazara (KCB Foundation),Nathan Wangusi (IBM),County Commissioner Turkana, Eugene Wamalwa (CS Water & Irrigation), Amb. Robert Godec (USA),Governor Jophat Nanok (Turkana County),Rafael Callejas (Executive Director-MWA),Lane Bunkers (CRS Country Director),Willy Bett (CS Agriculture),Governor Ukur Yatani (Marsabit County),Karen Freeman (USAID Director for East Africa Region),Martin Oduor (NDMA).

Kenya RAPID Restores Ulauli Community Borehole


The UA young Ulauli boy within Marsabit County fetching water in a 5 liter container from the rehabilitated Ulauli borehole. The rehabilitation was supported by Kenya RAPID. Photo by FHK Marsabit.lauli community, located 130km from the town of Marsabit, Kenya, recently celebrated the restoration of the community borehole with assistance of the MWA Kenya RAPID program. The community had been without safe drinking water since February 2016. Kenya RAPID in collaboration with Davis and Shirtliff, a leading supplier of water related equipment, and the Marsabit Department of Water, undertook the joint technical assessment. The borehole was re-equipped and resumed operation in October 2016.


MWA, WaterAid, and Other Coalition Organizations Raise WASH Issue with Trump Transition Team


Washington, DC – Even before the Nov 8 Presidential election, MWA, WaterAid, InterAction and other advocates in the international development community began to seek appropriate contacts within the transition staff of the incoming Administration about the future of US Agency for International Development (USAID) and State Department programs. It is normal during the transfer of power from one Administration to another for groups to present transition papers and to meet with representatives of the incoming Administration, as well as with selected members of the newly -elected Congress.

As of this posting, we are working to identify key members of the Trump transition staff who will oversee the development portfolio. We also are in contact with other policy leaders in think tanks, NGOs, and the private sector. When we have a better understanding of how the new White House team plans to engage on foreign assistance issues, we will share with MWA members and the broader WASH community.




MWA Kenya RAPID Director Speaks at Washington Water Security Event

doris-at-wilson-centerDoris Kaberia, Chief of Party of MWA Kenya RAPID, joined a series of panels on water security October 19 at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC. Panelists included academia, the US government, and international organizations, and focused on the uncertainty of water availability and access with a changing climate. Kaberia cited examples of conflict prevention and remediation over water resources from MWA’s Kenya Arid Lands Disaster Risk Reduction program (2013-2014) and the new MWA Kenya RAPID program (2015-2020). See more on the event HERE…








20160718_120752Ambassadors and other government representatives at the beginning of the Sixth Annual Africa Water Week, July 18-22, in Tanzania. Speakers include Former Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki, Patron of Millennium Water Alliance Kenya, in his role as newly-appointed UNESCO Special Envoy for Water in Africa, who called on attendees to push for “urgent, firm, and insistent” action.






The Millennium Water Alliance is very proud that our official Patron in Kenya, His Excellency Mwai Kibaki, the Third President of Kenya, has been appointed to be the UNESCO Special Envoy for Water for Africa.


James Ekwam (National Media Group)

At a ceremony in Nairobi on June 22, the official representation on behalf of UNESCO (United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization) was made to Former President Kibaki by the Hon. Eugene Wamalwa, Cabinet Secretary of Water and Irrigation, Government of Kenya. MWA was invited to participate in the presentation ceremony.

Former President Kibaki served as President of Kenya from 2002 to 2013. As Special Envoy for Water in Africa, Former President Kibaki is expected to advocate for ensuring the availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all, in accordance with UNESCO’s Sustainable Development Goals. He will be tasked with raising awareness within Africa on the importance of water education in national policies and curricula for schools and universities.


MWA Launches $35.5 Million 5-Year Program to Accelerate WASH Services for 450,000 Kenyans in Arid Lands

MWA Kenya Patron Mwai Kibaki (right) greets MWA Board Chairman Malcolm Morris at the Feb 18 launch in Nairobi of the new $35.5million Kenya RAPID program. In the center are special guests Ralf Heckner, Swiss Ambassador to Kenya, and Robert Godec, US Ambassador to Kenya.

MWA Kenya Patron Mwai Kibaki (right)  greets MWA Board Chairman Malcolm Morris at the Feb 18 launch in Nairobi of the new $35.5million Kenya RAPID program. In the center are special guests Ralf Heckner, Swiss Ambassador to Kenya, and Robert Godec, US Ambassador to Kenya. (Photo: KBC1)

Nairobi, Kenya, 17 February 2016 – Leaders of 14 government agencies, private companies, and nonprofits today launched an ambitious five-year program to bring better access to safe water and sanitation to five northern counties.

Funded by a range of partners, including the United States Agency for International Development, (USAID) and the Swiss Development Corporation (SDC), the program, called the Kenya Resilient Arid Lands Partnership for Integrated Development (Kenya-RAPID), will increase WASH coverage from the current average of 37% of the population to more than 50% by 2020 in Garissa, Isiolo, Marsabit, Turkana, and Wajir.

Leaders of the program were joined at a special event at the Safari Park Hotel by His Excellency Mwai Kibaki, the Third President of Kenya, who was also named last year as the United Nations Special Envoy for Water. The Third President also serves as the Patron of the Millennium Water Alliance Kenya (MWA-K), a consortium of nonprofit organizations working with the Government of Kenya and county governments to achieve full WASH coverage in the country by the year 2030.

Congress Approves Record $400 Million for WASH

In $1.1 Trillion FY 2016 Omnibus Spending Bill, House Legislators Agree to the Number Proposed by Senate and Requested by WASH Organizations

Washington DC, December 18, 2015 – The US Senate and US House of Representatives agreed this morning to the final appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2016, including a $17.5 million increase in funding for the Sen. Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act (as amended by last year’s Water for the World Act), bringing the total allocation for the year to $400 million, the highest WASH appropriation in history.


New Water Association is First for Drought-Stricken Community of Indigenous People in Colombia

Multiple Partners Join Celebration for Safe Drinking Water and Sanitation for 8,000 People in Traditional Communities of La Guajira

Maicao, Colombia, August 16, 2015 – Nearly 250 members of the traditional indigenous Wayúu people in the Colombian Department of La Guajira celebrated the official establishment of their first-ever community water association, recognized by the Colombian government as the authority for new water and sanitation services in an area where thousands have endured three years of unprecedented drought, with the last significant rainfall occurring nearly nine months ago.

More than 8,000 people in communities in this remote and dusty area along Colombia’s arid north coast have benefited from a nearly three-year-old partnership with Aguayuda, a nonprofit water, sanitation and hygiene organization based in Colombia and the United States, Coca-Cola Latin America, and The FEMSA Foundation based in Mexico. Together, these partners work under Lazos de Agua, a five-country program in Latin America coordinated by the Millennium Water Alliance funded primarily by Coca-Cola and The FEMSA Foundation. Representatives of each of these partners attended Sunday’s launch event, coming from the US, Mexico, and the Colombian capital of Bogota.

The program in La Guajira includes new and rehabilitated wells, pumps, filtration systems, windmills, solar panels, and compost latrines, along with water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) education led by Aguayuda with the constant involvement of the Wayúu communities, including the three in this association – Kasichi, Wayumana, and La Parcela.

Recognition by the Colombian government of the association, known as ASOAKAWAPA (Asociación de Agua de Kasichi, Wayumana y La Parcela), is the result of years of work, and signals that benefits will grow in the future with local residents taking more responsibility in partnership with government to ensure sustainable long-term service.

“We have accompanied the Wayúu communities in the whole process of creation, development and legalization of this association,” said Simón Zimmer, Program Director and co-founder of Aguayuda. “For us, it is essential to ensure the sustainability of our social investments,” said Juan Sebastián Jiménez of Coca -Cola FEMSA – Colombia. “The best way to achieve this is that communities, like the three in this association, get involved and take ownership of the project. Being empowered in this way puts their development and that of their families into their own hands, and ensures continued benefits in the future.”

The progress of the program is publicly available and can be viewed in real time via an online platform called Really Simple Reporting (RSR). The program uses an observation system in the field called “FLOW” to collect, manage, analyze and display information.

Aguayuda is a member of the Millennium Water Alliance, a consortium of 16 leading non-governmental organizations working in Latin America, Africa, and Asia to help bring safe drinking water and sanitation to millions of people in partnership with communities, governments, corporations, and foundations.


John Sparks, MWA 202-296-1833 (US)

Bill Weaver, Aguayuda

Simón Zimmer, Aguayuda


MWA on the Environmental Impact of Menstrual Hygiene Practices

Growing coalition of US organizations Works to Help Developing Countries Recognize Hygiene Practices as Part of Sanitation Work


Participants at DC event making pledge on action items for greater recognition of menstrual health issues.  
Photo Credit: Eric F. Long


Washington, D.C. – June 16, 2015 – MWA  was one of several presenters at the Menstrual Hygiene Day event in Washington DC on May 28, which is now internationally recognized as “Menstrual Hygiene Day.” MWA Program Officer Anna Pollock joined other presenters to show the link between access to appropriate feminine hygiene products and girls’ health and well-being, a critical issue in WASH. The Menstrual Hygiene Day coalition works to raise the profile of menstrual hygiene issues often ignored in both developed and developing countries because of social taboos and other reasons. See some photos and short descriptions here of the event for a quick overview of what it means!




 Washington, DC, December 19, 2014 –  The White House announced today that President Obama has signed HR 2901, The Sen. Paul Simon Water for the World Act, into law.


Official signing ceremonies are not common, so not surprising that one was not scheduled for this bill, especially given the crowded schedule just days before Christmas.

See the short but accurate story of how it happened here:


The Law Prior to Now

Before the The Sen. Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act of 2005 (Public Law 109-121), there was no legislated status for WASH in foreign assistance specifically.  The 2005 law set various benchmarks fore the USAID and the State Department, and provided the framework for specific annual appropriations by Congress for WASH.

Many of the same organizations that worked hard to achieve the first WASH bill enacted into law were very much involved in the most recent campaign.


Pushing Water Uphill…Successfully

Passing this bill was never a given. Very little in the areas of foreign assistance and international development was done in the last two Congresses; in fact, historians consider the just-expired 113th Congress to be the second least productive Congress in American history, possibly “surpassed” only by the 112th.  The Washington Post reports that of the low number of bills enacted the last two years – 297 total – 30 were renaming post offices (though as a percentage of bills passed, a few other Congresses did even more renaming).

Given the low yield of this Congress and the infamous gridlocks associated with it with by almost everyone answering an opinion poll, it is striking that a bill like this could even get through one chamber. While WASH is pretty much nonpartisan and non-ideological in present day political terms, it is also not exactly the most urgent thing for the public at the Congressional District level. WASH is popular, as a thing for America to do in humanitarian terms, but it does not drive public opinion and certainly does not drive campaign financing.

No members of Congress win re-election because they support water and sanitation in developing countries; to support it in Congress means you care about it.

 The Chief Actors

MWA strongly congratulates the key Members of Congress and their staff who took the lead despite the odds and made it happen:

Earl Blumenauer      Ted_Poe_Official[1].jpg reduced    Edward_Royce,_official_photo_portrait_color     Dick-Durbin      corker_bob

Rep.  Blumenauer                     Rep.   Poe                     Rep.  Royce                  Sen. Durbin                  Sen. Corker

Rep. Earl Blumenauer, Democrat of Oregon, and tireless campaigner for US leadership in WASH, led House drafting of the bill, and with Rep. Ted Poe, Republican of Texas, a respected senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, worked to gain as many cosponsors from both parties as possible and pave the way for consideration by the  Committee. HFAC Chairman Ed Royce, Republican of California, helped build support for the bill and get unanimous consent on the House floor on December 8. Sen. Dick Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, who succeeded Sen. Simon in his Senate seat and honored that heritage by getting previous versions of the Water for the World approved on at least the Senate floor in previous years, again proved his unflagging commitment to WASH by leading the effort in the Senate with colleague Sen. Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee, who who used his role as Ranking Minority Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to get as much Senate Republican support as possible. Together, they overcame obstinate objections and brought the bill to a successful voice vote on December 15.

Those members of Congress and their dedicated staffs, joined by Senate version cosponsors  Sen. Chris Coons, Democrat of Delaware, and Sen. Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona, and 104 other Republican and Democratic cosponsors in the House, got the job done.

”I am proud that the process that began with the Water for the Poor Act in 2005 has been strengthened and carried forward in 2014,” said Malcolm Morris, Board Chairman of the Millennium Water Alliance, who also worked on passage of the original authorization in 2005. “MWA was honored to be a partner in the effort to get the original legislation enacted, and again in this Congress with these timely amendments signed into law by the President today.”

MWA and its 16 US and international members are proud to have played a leading part. We especially thank our close colleagues in advocacy at WaterAid, World Vision, InterAction, and WASH Advocates for their dedication, creativity, and partnership. Through this teamwork for  four years, nearly 40 other great organizations became partners, and helped make this a real, and successful, coalition.


Tracking the Bill to Victory

HR 2901 was introduced in the House on August 1, 2013, by Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Ted Poe (R-TX).  A companion version (S. 2946) was introduced in the Senate on November 19, 2014, by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Bob Corker (R-TN), cosponsored by Senators Chris Coons (D-DE) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ).

The House bill was approved by the House Foreign Affairs Committee on November 20, and then passed by unanimous consent in the House of Representatives on December 8, 2014, right before the House adjourned for the year.

The bill was then sent to the Senate. The Senate version was considered in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on December 4.  A sudden attempt to add an unrelated rider to the bill on the use of military force in Syria and Iraq was set aside after a tense debate among SFRC members. The “water bill,” as it became known, was then approved unanimously by  the committee.

See selected media coverage of the SFRC action here:

“Nice Little Water Bill” in Selected Media   (last few paragraphs of story) (this item from Dec. 4 was shared in an earlier email also)

However, the Senate did not vote on the SFRC version, only the already-passed House version, approving it by voice vote on December 15 just in the nick of time before final adjournment, completing HR 2901′s eventful journey through Congress and sending it on to the President.

Deputy Majority Leader Dick Durbin, longtime champion for WASH and successor to the late Sen. Simon in the Senate, led the effort to get the bill to the Senate floor, with lead Republican cosponsor Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN), who had vigorously defended the bill in the December 4 mark-up Together, they worked hard to gather support from Senators in both parties, and in the final days of the session to persuade one Senator, who had placed “hold” on the bill on December 10, to lift his hold and allow the bill to come a vote.

Sen. Corker was the Ranking Minority Member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in the 113th Congress, and is widely expected to serve as chairman of the committee when the new Republican-controlled Senate takes office in January.


The WASH Coalition

Over the past two years, the bill was endorsed by more than 80 national organizations. Over the last four years in the direct advocacy effort on Capitol Hill, about 40 organizations played a role in meeting with members of Congress, writing letters, issuing statements, and urging grassroots support for the legislation.

The coalition organized Capitol Hill Advocacy Days around World Water Day (in March) each year. members of Congress were contacted throughout the years by constituents and supporting organizations. The coalition was led by InterAction, Millennium Water Alliance, WaterAid in America, World Vision, and WASH Advocates, with tremendous partnership with other nongovernmental organizations and individuals, to galvanize support for legislation to amend the The Water for Poor Act of 2005 (PL 109-121), the authorizing legislation for WASH programming at USAID.

Thank You 

Malcolm Morris, MWA Board Chairman

Peter Lochery,  MWA Vice Chairman

Rafael Callejas, Executive Director

John Sparks, Director of Advocacy & Communications

The Millennium Water Alliance is the 501(c)(3) consortium of leading charities helping to bring safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene education to the world’s poorest people in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. MWA works with governments, corporations, foundations, individuals, and other NGOs to advance best practices, share knowledge, build collaborations, and advocate for greater commitment to this global goal. MWA’s members include Aguayuda, CARE, Catholic Relief Services, Food for the Hungry, Global Water, HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation, IRC – International Water and Sanitation Center, Lifewater International, Living Water International, Pure Water for the World, WaterAid in America, Water4, Water For People, Water Missions International,, and World Vision.




  • Codifies the existing two positions (one at State, one at USAID) to make sure water issues are coordinated in the agencies among bureaus and missions, and that WASH does not get lost in the design and execution of programs – this is important!
  • Sets more criteria (but not too restrictive) for the way USAID prioritizes, and reports on, WASH activity in countries – using JMP and similar data, assuring that most assistance goes to communities and countries in greatest need, not just a small number of politically important countries; this prioritization policy is critical, and strongly supported by our Congressional cosponsors in both parties.
  • Sets deadlines for written comprehensive water strategies is for both USAID and State. Eight years after the 2005 Sen. Paul Simon Water for the Poor Act (current law, PL 109-121), USAID produced a strategy for its water programs, covering 2014-2019. The State Department has not done one. The bill outlines the coordination on strategy by the two agencies and requires them to get on task for the future.

See the Congressional Research Service summary, and full text of the bill as passed by the House on December 8, at:



Congress Passes the Sen. Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2014

Senate Action In Final Days of Session Sends Bill to the White House

Washington, DC, December 15, 2014 – The US Senate this evening passed the Sen. Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2014 by unanimous consent. The bill will become law with President Obama’s expected signature.

The last obstacle in the battle to enact this “nice little water bill, uncontroversial…”  – in the words of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) – was removed at 5 pm ET December 15 when one Senator, who had filed his objection to consideration of the bill a few days earlier, lifted his objection. The US Senate later passed HR 2901, The Sen. Paul Simon Water for the World Act of 2014, by voice vote.

Deputy Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL), longtime champion for WASH and successor to the late Sen. Simon in the Senate, led the effort to get the bill that was approved Dec 8 by the US House of Representatives to the Senate floor.  Lead Republican Cosponsor Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) vigorously defended the bill in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at a December 4 mark-up, when proposed unrelated amendments threatened to kill the bill’s chances altogether.

Special recognition goes to Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), and his Legislative Director, Michael Harold, and  Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX), lead Republican cosponsor in the House, and his Subcommittee Staff Director Luke Murry, who worked incredibly hard to introduce the bill in 2013 and get 106 bipartisan cosponsors in the House, paving the way for final action by the Senate; and to Chris Homan and Erum Ibrahim Ali, Professional Members of Sen. Durbin’s staff, and Jennifer Healy, Health Policy Counsel to Sen. Corker.  House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (D-CA) and Professional Staff Member Joan Condon helped tremendously to work out details and get the bill to the House last week. The deft and dedicated pursuit of passage by these Members and staff made it happen!

Congratulations to ALL the advocates, in Washington and across the country, who worked to make this day possible!  The representatives of nearly 50 other organizations contributed their voices and time to get the bill done.

Congratulations to all!



Join Us for MWA Events at UNC October 13 -17!

MWA be sharing news and insights in panels and special events with hundreds of other expert colleagues at the annual University of North Carolina Water Institute Water and Health Conference  http://whconference.unc.ed/  in Chapel Hill, NC, throughout the week of October 13-17. If you are a conference participant, please join us for the events below:

Oral Presentations:

Integrating Water Resources and Demand to Improve Drought Resilience and Build Water Strategies: A Pilot Approach to Kenya’s Arid and Semi-Arid Lands

Presentation by: Sarah Sparker, MWA

Tuesday, October 14, 4:00 – 5:00pm, Windflower

Building long-term resilience against recurrent drought in arid lands is one of the challenges addressed by the Kenya Arid Lands Disaster Risk Reduction – Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (KALDRR-WASH) program, a two-year program supported by USAID and The Netherlands. This presentation focuses on an innovative approach developed and tested in the program, using local, participatory water planning to match water resources with water demand, using hydro-geological data at the catchment level to build storage to improve groundwater water recharge, retention and reuse.


Service Levels of Household Rainwater Harvesting Systems and Multiple Water Sources in Northeastern Nicaragua

Presentation by: Daniel Smith, MWA & University of Leeds

Wednesday, October 15, 9:45 – 10:45am, Bellflower

Learn about a unique case study conducted in an indigenous community in Nicaragua on the performance of household rooftop rainwater harvesting (RWH) systems used simultaneously with other sources of water.  The research and presentation address data gaps that important for WASH development programs to determine if RWH is a suitable investment and whether program M&E systems accurately account for the use of multiple water sources.


Outcome-based M&E: Using the Water Service Ladder Framework in the Lazos de Agua (Water Links) program

Presentation by: Anna Pollock, MWA

Wednesday, October 15, 2:30 – 3:30pm, Windflower

MWA’s Lazos de Agua program was designed to measure the impact of the water schemes built, not only using the most common indicator of  access, but also the level of service that is delivered across multiple indicators (quantity, accessibility, reliability, and quality).  All schemes constructed  by six NGOs in five countries under the Lazos program are evaluated for the level of service they provide.  Using a common M&E framework that collects data from all partners twice a year and special field research projects, MWA and the FEMSA Foundation are using comparative analysis to test the hypothesis that higher service levels are more sustainable.  We will discuss findings from baseline data collected in terms of the Water Service Level Ladder categories.



Side Event: Shared Measurement Systems and Closing the Feedback Loop – What can/should be done with the data?

Convened by MWA & The FEMSA Foundation

Friday, October 17, 8:30am – 12pm, Dogwood

Too often, data that are collected will feed directly into a donor reporting form and sit on a shelf without being discussed critically within an organization. Yet these data can be an invaluable asset to implementing partners, particularly when MEL activities capture outcome indicators.

Join us for discussion with a variety of stakeholders on improving MEL systems for the WASH sector. We will focus on developing shared MEL systems for multiple partners, the cost and design of different data collection tools and methods, data sharing challenges and opportunities, lessons learned from MWA’s experience implementing multi-country MEL, and donor perspectives.


Poster Presentations:


Assessing Functionality for Water Schemes in Select Areas of Ethiopia where Millennium Water Alliance Partners Operate

Poster by: Susan Dundon, MWA, & Matt Freeman, Emory Center for Global Safe Water

Thursday, October 16


Prioritization of Water Quality Indicators: The MWA Experience in Ethiopia

Poster by: Andy Karp, MWA


More News…