Kyoto World Water Grand Prize awarded at 8th World Water Forum

During the closing ceremony of the 8th World Water Forum in Brasilia, Brazil, the Japan Water Forum and the World Water Council had the pleasure of awaring the 5th Kyoto World Water Grand Prize to Charité Chrétienne pour Personnes en Détresse (CCPD – Christian Charity for People in Distress), a grassroots organisation from Togo, West Africa.

Presented during the triennial World Water Forum since 2006, and organised by the Japan Water Forum in cooperation with the World Water Council, the Kyoto World Water Grand Prize awards grassroots organisation of developing countries for their outstanding accomplishments in solving water issues, which serves as a model for other grassroots organisations.

CCPD’s winning initiative was presented during the closing ceremony, and their prize of JP¥2,000,000 (US$18,000) was awarded for implementing their proposed project, which address important water issues.

In Togo, more than half the population live below the poverty line, and a large number of the population lack reliable access to education, healthcare, electricity, and clean or safe drinking water. Water related issues are therefore commonplace, with the work of NGOs much like CCPD are vital for helping the most at-risk groups. Their initiative showcases the charity’s work to improve the living conditions of women, children, and underprivileged people in rural areas through water, sanitation, hygiene, and education schemes.

CCPD, based in Togo, was recognised for the work it has accomplished in empowering individuals and community groups to improve access to safe drinking water and sanitation through construction and refurbishment of drinking water and sanitation facilities, clean-up of sites, and raising awareness through educational campaigns and workshops. These efforts have contributed to a noticeable decrease in water and sanitation related diseases and deaths in the community of Togo. From 2013 to 2016, CCPD received donations from the Japan Water Forum (JWF) Fund, which provides small grants to grassroots organisations.

The 8th World Water Forum brought together heads of state, ministers, high-level decision makers, water experts and professional, local authorities, academics and civil societies to what has become the world’s biggest water-related event. Held in the Southern atmosphere for the first time, the Government of Brazil hosted the event in Brasilia, the capital city, between the 18th and the 23rd of March.

The World Water Forum is designed to maximise interaction at all levels, from grassroots to heads of state, to work for better management of water. It also provides a platform to recognise valuable advancements on the ground, such as those undertaken by CCPD, which contributes to a more water-secure world.

“There is an absolute necessity to increase water security, ensuring enough good quality water to sustain multiple needs,” Benedito Braga, World Water Council President, said, underlining the importance of grassroots charities such as CCPD. “Taking care of our water resources is the shared responsibility of everyone on the planet.”