Latin America continues to face different problems when it comes to offering its citizens water of quality and sanitation services despite the fact that “has the highest freshwater availability per capita in the world.”
The solution, according to the experts meeting this Friday at the UN in the framework of the 2023 Water Conference, lies in innovation.
“We should be proud of the progress we have made in recent decades in the coverage and quality of water, sanitation, and solid waste services. However, we have to look at our reality to know where we are now.”said Lorena Guillé-Laris, executive director of the FEMSA Foundation.
To review the current situation, Guillé-Laris explained that despite the fact that water reaches 75% of the territory in the region, 160 million people do not have access to it.
Regarding sanitation, the expert pointed out that there are 430 million people who do not have this service.
“We need to do things differently, faster, cheaper and more efficient. Therefore, we have to innovate”Guillé-Laris stressed.
To promote this innovation in the region, Guillé-Laris launched the BID-FEMSA 2023 awards, awards that since 2009 reward projects that revolve around drinking water, sanitation and solid waste.
“This 2023 edition will seek to recognize the most innovative solutions in sanitation in Latin America and the Caribbean”pointed out Guillé-Laris and said that there will be two monetary prizes, one of 10,000 dollars and another of 15,000 dollars.
The objective of today’s meeting was to discuss how cross-sectoral water associations can promote innovation to ensure the accessibility, quality, quantity and affordability of water.
The meeting was attended by representatives of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the International Center for Water Management Services (cewas) and the governor of Nuevo León (northeast Mexico), Samuel Garcia, among others.
In addition, three young women entrepreneurs, winners of different innovation awards that are already making positive impacts in the water and sanitation sector in Latin America, shared their experiences.
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