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WaterAid sets Cambodia innovation challenge

International development charity WaterAid has challenged water companies and other corporate teams to take on a challenge involving solving water problems in Cambodia.

Access to clean water and sanitation is low in CambodiaAccess to clean water and sanitation is low in Cambodia

The Water Innovators 2016 challenge, which is now open for registrations, helps teams develop professional and core business skills while competing to solve real problems from WaterAid projects and fundraise for the charity.

This year the teams will be tasked with finding solutions for WaterAid projects in Cambodia. Still recovering from decades of conflict, Cambodia is one of South East Asia’s poorest countries and access to water, sanitation and hygiene is very low. The global challenge will see teams from across the UK, America and Australia choose either a water, sanitation or hygiene problem to overcome using innovative problem solving.

Isabelle Herszenhorn, Innovation and Strategic Engagement Team Leader at WaterAid, said: “After a highly successful pilot year in 2015, with 13 teams going head to head to solve real problems relating to communities in Nepal, we are very excited to be launching Water Innovators for 2016. This exciting programme gives you and your colleagues the opportunity to help WaterAid reach more people with safe water and toilets whilst gaining a unique learning experience.  The focus country for this year will be Cambodia and it will be interesting to see what ideas the teams will come up with to support our programme work there as they develop new skills and leadership qualities.” 

During last year’s pilot programme 13 teams took part in Water Innovators from six corporate and water industry partners, together raising £74,000 for WaterAid's post-earthquake work in Nepal. 90% of the participants agreed that they had developed team work and practical skills that can be applied in the workplace, and three quarters of the participants felt that they had developed their influencing skills.

The tasks in Nepal included a ‘water challenge’, to address water source depletion and promote rainwater harvesting in rural areas and a ‘toilets challenge’, to advise local authorities in the building, management and promotion of public toilets in urban Kathmandu.

Claire Hinson, Learning and Development Advisor at South East Water, said: “It has been great to see individuals grow in confidence and acquire new skills that ordinarily they may not have got through the normal L&D channels. The peer support has also been fantastic and enabled those involved to grow their personal networks.”

To register a team for Water Innovators 2016 or to learn more visit www.wateraid.org/uk/waterinnovators or contact waterinnovators@wateraid.org.

Author: James Brockett,
Topic: Innovation
Tags: Cambodia , Sanitation , WaterAid

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