FIU GLOWS Regional Director travels to West Africa

ImageDr. Lakhdar Boukerrou, Regional Director FIU/USAID WA-WASH Program , Research Professor, Earth and Environment, and Affiliate Faculty AADS, completed a monitoring visit last month in the region of Zinder, Niger where international and local partners are implementing activities related to access to water, sanitation, hygiene, and food security under a sub-agreement with Florida International University.

These activities fall under the four-year USAID funded program implemented by FIU in collaboration with a number of local and international organizations. The visit allowed Dr. Boukerrou to assess the achievements of FIU’s implementing partners in Zinder where to date the program has provide access to water, sanitation and hygiene to thousands of people in the context of a comprehensive framework designed to provide better livelihoods to local beneficiaries. In addition to these activities the program technical coordinators based in FIU’s regional office in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso conducted, in the last two years, a number of capacity building workshops on the use of GIS, adaptation to climate change.

The program has also provide support to academic institutions in the country and scholarship to a number of graduate students. The activities in Zinder are due to be completed by August 15, 2014 along with other activities designed to bring clean water to a number of people in the Tillabery and Maradi regions of Niger. In the two regions, under FIU leadership, the program has sold over three (3) million Aquatabs to treat more than 60 million liters (more than 45 gallons) of water The USAID Water Sanitation and Hygiene Program (USAID/WA-WASH) is a four-year program funded by USAID and implemented in Burkina Faso, Ghana and Niger by FIU and a number of local and international organizations. Its goal is to provide access to clean water, increase access to sanitation, improve hygiene, ensure food-security while addressing the issue of adaptation to climate change for beneficiaries in the three West African countries. For more information about the program visit http://wawash.fiu.edu.

Dr. Lakhdar Boukerrou also visited the University of Liberia where he met with Dr. Ophelia Weeks and a number of administrators and faculty. The purpose of the trip which took place from June 4 to 6 was to assess the opportunities that exist for collaboration between FIU and UL. the trip was also an opportunity to discuss the implementation of a collaborative project between FIU, UL and the International Institut for Water and Environment Engineering in Ouagadougou (2iE). The visit to Monrovia allowed Dr. Boukerrou to get a good idea about UL current programs and future plans. An assessment report is being prepared by Dr. Boukerrou in collaboration with Dr. Weeks and will be presented to FIU for future consideration and action. Dr. Boukerrou is currently based in Ouagadougou where he runs the USAID Water Sanitation and Hygiene Program (USAID/WA-WASH), a four-year program funded by USAID and implemented in Burkina Faso, Ghana and Niger by FIU and a number of local and international organizations.

While there, Dr. Lakhdar Boukerrou represented FIU and the USAID WA-WASH Program at the Africa Water Week conference held in Dakar Senegal from to May 26 to 31. The Africa Water Week is held every two years and provides an opportunity for water and sanitation stakeholders in the African continent to come together to discuss a number of issues relative to the sector. It is attended by Water Ministers, governmental and non-governmental organizations, academic and private sector and academia. For more information about the Africa Water Week visit www.africawaterweek.com/5th/.

Dr. Boukerrou took the opportunity to discuss with a number of parties the upcoming 4th High Level Forum in Yaoundé, Cameroon. FIU/USAID WA-WASH is one of the major sponsor of the High Level Forum. As with the last three Forums FIU/USAID WA-WASH is expected to play a major role in the organization of the Forum. For more information about the High Level Forum visit www.wsafrica.org. The USAID Water Sanitation and Hygiene Program (USAID/WA-WASH) is a four-year program funded by USAID and implemented in Burkina Faso, Ghana and Niger by FIU and a number of local and international organizations.