India, Delhi February 4 - A Water Research Commission (WRC) delegation headed by the CEO, Mr Dhesigen Naidoo, together with officials from the Departments of Water and Sanitation and Science and Technology and Rand Water formalised a needs-based knowledge partnership for collaborative research, knowledge exchange, dissemination and capacity building, with the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) in Delhi, India.
The aim of the collaboration is to strengthen advocacy campaigns and community engagement and to share lessons in focused research areas of mutual interest. Areas that are being explored include water-sensitive design and planning (rainwater harvesting, decentralised wastewater treatment and faecal sludge/septage management), water–energy issues and climate change, as well as green innovations.
Activities of this partnership will include joint research, workshops, seminars, and conferences, but will also focus on staff exchange initiatives such as short-term visits and training programmes for researchers to help strengthen the capacities of staff from both institutions. In addition to this, the WRC will be the local host and regional hub partner for the various CSE training programmes in Africa.
CSE is a public interest research organisation based in New Delhi (India) and was set up in 1980. It lobbies for and communicates the urgency of development that is both sustainable and equitable. The Centre was a recipient of a prestigious International Stockholm World Water Prize in 2005. CSE’s mission is to expand environmental development work focusing on selected countries in Asia and African countries by creating awareness about problems and propose sustainable solutions.
This international partnership is an effort to address what Naidoo calls the South African “cubed” challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality. Furthermore, Naidoo believes that strong partnership with other science institutions will surely contribute to South Africa’s stated desired goal of transforming into a knowledge–based economy moving from a primarily resource based economy.
The implementation of pilot projects will also be a key focus area to strengthen the community of practice and mainstream best management practices. Both CSE and the WRC will provide technical advisory support in planning and design as well as developing adequate policy frameworks for implementing high-visibility and high-impact demonstration projects in Africa.
Contact: Water Research Commission, 012 330 0340 email: firstname.lastname@example.org