Women in Water

Raising the Voices of Women in Water: 
September 18-20, 2012


Today, 2.5 billion people still lack access to sanitation almost a million lack access to water. The impact this has on health and livelihoods in the developing world is huge. Almost 4000 children die every day from water borne diseases. Women and girls bear a disproportionate burden of the impact in time spent away from school for water collection, nursing sick family members and as adolescent forced to leave schools that do not provide the privacy of a toilet. The good news is the problem is solvable. Thanks to the commitment and dedication of a number of organizations and people speaking out on the need to address the global crisis in water and sanitation, the world is finally beginning to take notice and prioritize this issue. Not surprisingly there are a number of women at the forefront of this global call for action.

The “Women in Water” series presented by WASH Canada, UNU-INWEH and H2O 4 All, is designed to engage three very diverse but influential Canadians target groups (university students, business community and policy makers). We are honored to have HE Maria Mutagamba from Uganda as the keynote speaker for the series. We will create lively public discussion about the critical nature of water and sanitation to girls and women around the globe and also the impact that certain very accomplished women are having on the global stage. We will use this event to leverage media attention to the issue of WASH as a girls’ and women’s issue and ultimately to raise awareness for the sector as a whole which will benefit our partner organizations. The three sessions of the series will build on each other. UNU-INWEH will synthesize the conclusions in a policy brief.

Session 1 – Why Women? Why Water? Why Me?:
Tuesday September 18th, 2012. 7pm, McMaster Innovation Park, Hamilton

As part of the monthly public lecture series, Another Drop,this event will bring together the Honourable Maria Mutagamba and other distinguished guests from academic and the international development fields. Discussions will focus on the key global issues around water; how women contribute to addressing the global water crisis; how panelists became involved in water and sanitation; why women are such important stakeholders; and, how we, as individuals can make a difference. For more information email:  Hamilton poster


The Right Honourable Maria Mutagamba, Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage, Republic of Uganda (2012-), Minister of Water and Environment (2006-2012)

The Honourable Maria Mutagamba is the first woman to be appointed to her position in Uganda. She is a member of the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board for Water and Sanitation, past-president of the African Ministers’ Council on Water, coordinator of the Global Women Leaders Forum for Water and Sanitation and a member of the Nile Council of Ministers. Minister Mutagamba has been advocating for water, sanitation and hygiene at the national and international levels for more than 10 years. She has led the charge in countless delegations and regional and international conferences in hopes of bringing sanitation and water into the global spotlight. Most recently, because of her hard work in ensuring water and sanitation for all on the continent she was recognized and accorded the title of “Mama Africa for WASH” during the 2012 Africa Water Week. As the result of recent changes in the Ugandan cabinet, Minister Mutagamba is now the Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities. As a culmination of her career in water, the Honourable Minister will share her many years of experience in the WASH sector.

Prisca Nandede, Social Scientist, Ministry of Water and Environment Uganda, Directorate of Water Resources Management, Uganda

Prisca is a Social Scientist by profession working in the Directorate of Water Development, Ministry of Water and Environment, Uganda. Social Scientists or sociologists are responsible for implementing software activities in the sector (these include community management of water facilities, gender and HIV/AIDs mainstreaming among others). Through out this period she has also had an additional task of assisting the Hon. Maria Mutagamba in a number of water and sanitation related issues while she was the President of the African Minister’s Council on Water and the Minister of Water and Environment.

Dr. Tanjina Mirza, Vice-President International Programs, PLAN Canada

Dr. Mirza oversees a department with about 20 international development professionals who design and implement programming around the world.  During her twenty years of work in the international development sector, Tanjina has worked as a Consultant for WHO, UNICEF and UNFPA in various countries of South and South East Asia and enjoyed teaching in many universities. She has traveled to over 20 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America in various capacities. International development is not just a job for her; it is her passion and commitment.

Timothy Muttoo, Co-founder and Executive Director of H2O 4 ALL

Timothy Muttoo is a Canadian engineer, entrepreneur, Co-founder and Executive Director of the charity H2O 4 ALL. Timothy launched his career as an Engineer in 1996, where shortly thereafter he began making an impact on the scientific world internationally with innovative technology and research projects. In 2001 Tim traveled to Africa to build 4 homes for orphan children. His observations and experiences during that trip shook his world and his heart, forever inspiring him to stand alongside the world’s poor and less fortunate. In 2008 Tim co-founded H2O 4 ALL a charity whose focus is to develop sustainable, scalable clean water solutions for life around the world. Tim loves to be in the field, training, empowering and installing clean water solutions alongside local people in communities all over the globe.

Dr. Corinne Schuster-Wallace, Programme Officer for water-health at the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH).

Dr. Corinne Schuster-Wallace has broad experience at the water-health nexus including environmental factors for, and environmental change impacts on, outbreaks of waterborne disease and the linkages with human health and wellbeing.   She is currently the programme officer for water-health at the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH).   Prior to joining the United Nations University, she was a research associate in the School of Engineering at the University of Guelph in Canada and worked as a water-environment specialist for the Public Health Agency of Canada.   In addition to various publications, Corinne consulted to the Provincial Commission of Inquiry (Part II) into the Walkerton, Ontario (Canada) drinking water tragedy of 2000. Research interests include links between high impact weather events and waterborne illness; failure in drinking water systems and consequent impacts on public health; flood vulnerability indices; and, real-time alerts of adverse water quality as a result of weather conditions to mitigate risk of disease in communities.


Connie Wansbrough, Co-Director, WASH Canada

Connie brings 10 years of experience in the charitable sector including 5 years investing in global water and sanitation solutions. Since 2005, she has led the Harbinger Foundation addressing the global water crisis by funding innovative ideas and exploring the role for Canadians and Canadian Foundations on this issue. By focusing on leveraging dollars and maximizing impact, she facilitated funding to 19 organizations and enabled delivery of clean water and latrines to over 100,000 people. She co-authored the Harbinger report, “Improving the Canadian Response to the Global Water Crisis.”Connie is currently the Co-Director of WASH Canada, a national initiative to strengthen the collective Canadian impact on the world water and sanitation crisis, by raising awareness, funding and stakeholder capacity. Connie has a BA from McGill University, a BSc in Industrial Design from the Art Centre College of Design.


Session 2 – Smart Investing in the Water and Sanitation Crisis:
Wednesday September 19th, 2012. 12 noon-2 pm, Toronto Lawn and Tennis Club (by invitation only)

This luncheon event, co-hosted by the Rotary Club of Toronto Eglinton, will bring together the Honorable Maria Mutagamba with individuals in the private and public sectors to discuss benefits of investment; how businesses can enter the sector; new financing models such as public/private/civil society partnerships; and future opportunities. For more information email:   Toronto poster


The Right Honourable Maria Mutagamba, Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage, Republic of Uganda (2012-), Minister of Water and Environment (2006-2012)

(See Monday Speakers)

Ella Lazarte, Water and Sanitation Specialist, Water and Sanitation Program (WSP)

The WSP is a multi-donor partnership administered by the World Bank to support poor people in obtaining affordable, safe, and sustainable access to water and sanitation services.  She has worked in various capacities from program management, monitoring, and technical assistance both to WSP country teams and client governments related to private sector participation in more than 15 of WSP’s 24 focus countries.  More recently, she lived and worked in Mozambique, providing advisory and technical assistance to the government, particularly in expanding the options for management of water supply services through private sector involvement.  

Prior to joining the Bank, Ms. Lazarte worked in different settings, from the corporate boardrooms of Charles Schwab, where she worked on global expansion strategy and implementation of the financial services firm, to the favelas of Brazil, where she worked as a Fulbright Fellow and consultant, focusing on microfinance and community economic development.  She holds a Master’s in Urban Planning from MIT, and a BA in Political Economy from University of California, Berkeley.

Linda Gowman, Ph.D., P.Eng., Chief Technology Officer, Trojan Technologies; Board Member, Water Technologies Acceleration Project (Water TAP), Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation.

Linda has been with Trojan for thirteen years, in various senior roles leading research and engineering, including VP Science and Technology and VP Research. Linda enjoys the challenges and opportunities of bringing internal and external cross-functional teams together to provide innovative solutions on issues related to water.  She is a former board member and vice chair of the Canadian Water Network, is Past President of the International Ultraviolet Association, and is a current board member of WaterTAP. She has degrees in engineering and biophysics from the universities of Toronto and Western.

F. Ronald (Ron) Denham, Chair, Water & Sanitation Rotarian Action Group (WASRAG)

Ron Denham received a B.Sc. and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering in England. After obtaining an MBA he entered the management consulting profession where, as senior partner in Canada’s largest independent management consulting firm, he played a major role in development projects in Peru, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Ghana, Egypt, Greece, Algeria, Senegal and Cuba, Ron has been active in Rotary since 1958. He is currently the chair of the Water & Sanitation Rotarian Action Group (Wasrag)-a group of over 1500 Rotarians in 250 clubs in 62 countries dedicated to improving life and livelihood of communities through the provision of safe water and sanitation. In this capacity he has supported water and sanitation projects in Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Ghana, and in many states in India. His current mission is to encourage every Rotary club (32,000) to become involved in a water/sanitation project.


Lotika Shaunik Paintal, Co-Director, WASH Canada; Founder and Executive Director, Water Centric

Lotika recently moved to Toronto, Canada and has been working with the Walter and Duncan Gordon Foundation and the Harbinger Foundation to launch WASH Canada. WASH Canada is a national initiative to strengthen the collective Canadian impact on the world water and sanitation crisis, by raising awareness, funding and stakeholder capacity. Lotika is also the founder and executive director of the US charity Water Centric (which works with a local NGO to promote access to water, sanitation and hygiene in government run urban-slum schools in Delhi, India). Her past experiences include being a member of the 5–person water and sanitation exploratory team at the William J. Clinton Foundation and senior roles at Oxfam America and World Education’s Asia Division. Lotika has an M Ed., International Development focus, from Harvard University, a MA, Intercultural Relations, from Lesley University, and a graduate degree in Molecular Biology from the Sorbonne, France

Session 3 – Top Down: Bottom Up – Bridging Policy and Practice in Water and Sanitation
Thursday September 20th, 2012, 9am-12pm, Ottawa

This morning panel event will bring together the Honourable Maria Mutagamba, and representatives from CIDA, UNU-INWEH and Canadian NGOs to discuss how bridging policy and practice can improve water and sanitation for end users; how to engage communities in designing effective policy to address lingering challenges; who facilitates the interface; and, how and where this fits within the context of Rio+20 and post-2015 sustainability goals. For more information email:   Ottawa poster


Clarissa Brocklehurst, Independent WASH Consultant

Clarissa Brocklehurst started her career working on the water and sanitation needs of aboriginal communities in Canada and the US.  She then managed water and sanitation projects in Togo and Sri Lanka before becoming the Bangladesh Country Representative for WaterAid, the Regional Urban Specialist for the World Bank Water and Sanitation Program (WSP) in New Delhi, and returned to Canada in 2001 to take up consulting. In 2007, Clarissa was appointed Chief of UNICEF’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Section in New York.  In this role she was very involved in the establishment of the Sanitation and Water for All partnership, and in running the Joint Monitoring Program, which is mandated by the UN to monitor progress against the water and sanitation MDG targets.  In 2011 Clarissa returned to her consulting practice in Canada.  She is a member of the Board of Trustees of WaterAid, and a member of the Strategic Advisory Group of the JMP.

Hilary Syme, Water and Sanitation Specialist, Thematic and Sectoral Specialists Division (TSSD), Geographic Programmes Branch (GPB), Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)

Hilary Syme is a water and sanitation specialist with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), where she provides technical and advisory services to CIDA’s policy and programming teams. From 2007-2010, Hilary managed CIDA’s substantial health program in Bangladesh, following a three-year stint as WASH advisor and environmental analyst for CIDA’s Africa Branch. Prior to joining CIDA, Hilary spent fifteen years as an international water and sanitation consultant, working with national and international agencies like Mvula Trust, the South African Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, Danida, Danced, DfID, the UNDP and a range of other organizations. Hilary has spent nine consecutive years working in Southern Africa, three in Bangladesh and a year in Haiti. She holds a Masters in International Affairs and undergraduate degrees in literature and languages.

Dr. Susan Watt, Professor of Social Work, McMaster University

Dr. Susan Watt is a Professor of Social Work at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario.  Her research is primarily in the health care and social policy fields particular about the intersection of these policies in practice.  Substantively her work on The Ontario Mother and Infants Studies (TOMIS), Ontario Training Centre in Health Services and Research Policy (OTC), and the Transdisciplinary Understanding and Training on Research – Primary Health Care (TUTOR-PHC) training centre have used the experiences of primary care providers and patients as principle study groupings. She is an Adjunct Professor at the United Nations University Institute on Water, Environment and Health where he work focuses on water, sanitation, and maternal and child health in East Africa.

Santiago Alba Corral, Senior Manager, Policy, Innovation, Partnerships, CARE Canada.  After working for almost 10 years in rural development and environmental issues based in Europe, Santiago relocated to Southern Africa. There, he worked as a Technical Advisor with the International Aid Agency of Spain (AECI), mainly in Land Reform processes. Before moving to CARE in 2010, he was the Technical and Research Director at Action Contre la Faim-Canada. He has worked extensively Africa and the Middle East. (i.e. Namibia, Uganda, Niger, Mali, Burundi, Mozambique, Occupied Palestinian Territories..). He received a Masters degree in international agriculture and rural development from Cornell University (US) while working at the Cornell Institute for African Development, a Masters degree in environmental auditing from the EU, and a Bachelor degree in agricultural engineering from the University of La Rioja (Spain).

Richard Thomas, Assistant Director, United Nations University –Institute for Water, Environment and Health, McMaster University, Hamilton

Richard Thomas is the Assistant Director at the United Nations University –Institute for Water, Environment and Health based at McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada where he leads the Drylands Threatened Ecosystem program. He was formerly Director of the Natural Resources Management Programme at the International Centre for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA) and was a member of the CGIAR’s Task Force on Integrated Natural Resources Management from 1998-2007. He spent 12 years at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) in Colombia. He is a graduate of the University of Wales, U.K. where he received his B.Sc. and Ph.D. in botany and microbiology. His broad research interests include integrated soil, water and nutrient management in crop-livestock systems in Latin America, Africa, West and Central Asia. In 2001 his research team at CIAT received the CGIAR’s Excellence in Science Award for Outstanding Partnership. He has published 100 refereed journal articles, written 41 book chapters, co-edited 4 books and 26 other articles of general interest. Currently he acts as scientific coordinator for the Economics of Land Degradation Initiative.


Dr. Corinne Schuster-Wallace, Programme Officer for water-health at the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH).

(See Monday Speakers)