It has been a busy year for the Desert Research Institute's (DRI's) Center for International Water and Sustainability (CIWAS). Thanks to effective collaborative work with our partners , we have expanded our programs focused on building water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) capacity and sustainability.  We have also been actively pursuing new research opportunities, particularly around water resources management, water security, and climate change. All of these activities are central to the overall mission of CIWAS to provide technical support and action research to governments, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), universities, and stakeholders across the developing world by identifying and solving problems related to human health and the management of environmental resources, especially water.

On behalf of the DRI/CIWAS team, I thank you for your interest and support of our work to improve lives. We look forward to new opportunities for collaboration and partnerships over the coming year.

- Braimah Apambire, Director
Highlights of our Work:
WASH Capacity Building Program 
Group of students
DRI’s WASH Capacity Building Program has successfully continued to grow. The program is a collaboration between DRI; University of Nevada, Reno (UNR); Drexel University; and World Vision International. The second face-to-face instruction and field work for our Cohort 4 students was held in the Kingdom of Eswatini in August – September 2019. Instructors for this session included DRI faculty Drs. Braimah Apambire and Alan Heyvaert; Dr. Emmanuel Opong from World Vision; Dr. Eleanor Wozei from the Ugandan Christian University and several faculty members from the University of Eswatini who gave guest lectures and organized field trips for the students.   
We are happy to report that to date, ninety-six (96) students from 21 countries across Africa and Asia have completed the DRI/UNR track of the WASHCap program and have received their postgraduate certificates in International WASH. An additional forty (40) students are enrolled in Cohort 5 beginning in 2020.

In November, CIWAS hosted the first WASH Capacity Building Advisory Group Meeting. CIWAS was proud to host the meeting with participants from Drexel University and World Vision International. DRI/UNR faculty and staff who support the Program were able to meet the group during a luncheon as well. The Advisory Group discussed the successes of the program and ways to improve and strengthen the program as we move forward. On the second day of their visit, DRICIWAS had an opportunity to introduce DRI facilities to the Advisory Group and give a tour with the help of various DRI faculty. 

Circuit Rider Program in Ghana 
Group of males working on water pump
DRI/CIWAS is currently working on developing the second phase of the Circuit Rider Program in the East Gonja District and expand to another district in Northern Ghana. This project is in partnership with the East Gonja Municipality (EGM), the Ghana Community Water and Sanitation Agency, and UDS and is supported by a grant to DRI from the Geisse Foundation and Wallace Genetic Foundation. The Geisse Foundation funding allowed DRI to advance loan funding to the EGM to purchase motorized tricycles for the Circuit Riders to improve their transportation. These motorized tricycles are helping the Circuit Riders reach the communities they serve and provide necessary repairs and maintenance to the WASH systems. The motorized tricycles also provide an additional income stream to help offset the costs to Circuit Riders of routine maintenance visits.

For more information, click here to see our “Circuit Rider Program Summaries, Stories, and Successes.” 

WASH in Healthcare Faciliaties (HCF'S) Project 
Outdoor Field Facilities
Claire Wang, our Programs Manager, traveled to Malawi in October to conduct a baseline assessment for a pilot project on water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services in health care facilities.  This is a new CIWAS program funded by the Wallace Genetic Foundation to develop a long-term sustainability framework for WASH in Health Care Facilities. A team of local and international partners conducted field observations, staff surveys, and interviews at eighteen health care facilities in Rumphi district to understand the conditions of WASH services and factors affecting their long-term sustainability. The assessment found many gaps in both service levels and sustainability, showing much room for improvement at all of the facilities. While the pilot project is in Malawi, we hope to design a framework that can be implemented in other global contexts as well.
To learn more about WASH in Health Care Facilities, click here.
Click to learn more about CIWAS
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