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Weekly Speaker Program

August 17, 2020: Tal Woolsey of CAWST - the Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology.

Saadat Keshavjee introduced Tal, a veteran in the water for the underprivileged business for over two decades ,who has had great success in delivering water information, education, research and technology to those in the world (almost two thirds of the world) who do not have clean water and access to sanitation facilities. CAWST is a Calgary firm that works with agencies around the world to provide capacity for the people that need these facilities.

Highlights of his presentation:

  • CAWST was founded in Calgary in 2001 and provides water and sanitation education, knowledge, research and support to agencies, groups and individuals. Their vision is that the world’s water and sanitation needs are met universally by 2030. They are a licensed and trained group of engineers, researchers and educators who run a not-for-profit charitable organization.
  • About four billion people in the world lack these facilities (two out of five people in the world).
  • The cycle of poverty can be broken if basic health is enhanced. Water and sanitation provide a base line for good health.
  • CAWST provides potable water and sanitation at the household level with very simple approaches to water management and sanitation practices. They fill the human capacity gap, he said.
  • They have WASH centres: water, sanitation and hygiene that provides in-person technology, water training and management techniques, on-line training, and continuous support at the grass roots level.
  • They have open-source materials available to all at all times. They provide the tools and the hope with a view to making these facilities accessible to many more people than have it now.

Questions were asked by Sa’adat, Duncan Stanners, Natalija Reljic, and Tim Anderson on such items as:

  • how the message gets to the end user;
  • how they can assist in greater implementation;
  • their involvement with the Canadian First Nations;
  • first-hand experiences in parts of Africa;
  • the wonderful work they have done with bio-sand filters in India.

The presentation was met with much enthusiasm.

Tim Anderson, our program chair, thanked the speaker and wished him much success in his mission

reported by Saadat Keshavjee

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