Utility Week

UTILITY Week 23rd January 2015

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6 | 23rd - 29th January 2015 | utILIty WEEK People & Opinion Everyone should have access to clean water We should be working to ensure that even the poorest people in the world have sanitation and drinking water. Chief executive's view Barbara Frost, WaterAid T his is set to be a really excit- ing year and one that, we hope, will have the poten- tial to be truly life- changing for those that exist without safe water to drink and with nowhere safe to go to the toilet. As you may have heard, our world leaders are set to agree the new Sustainable Develop- ment Goals for 2015-30 this year – goals that seek to eradicate extreme poverty. For this to be achieved, universal access to water and sanitation is vital. WaterAid is working hard to do all we can to influence decision-makers through our country programmes and glob- ally in partnership with your- selves and others. This year we will also be launching our ambi- tious Global Strategy for 2015-20. We aim to do everything we can to realise our shared vision of a world where everyone every- where has access to safe water and sanitation. Since 2000, international development has been focused on the United Nations Mil- lennium Development Goals (MDGs) with an end date of 2015. The water target was reached in 2012 with 2.3 billion more peo- ple accessing drinking water than in 1990 – a remarkable achievement. However, the target was to halve the numbers living without water and much more still needs to be done to reach those that are still missing out – the poorest and most marginalised people. What's more, the target for sani- tation is woefully behind, which has devastating health and eco- nomic implications. In September, the UN will announce the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – the successor to the MDGs – and WaterAid has been calling for a dedicated goal to deliver clean water and sanitation to every- one, everywhere by 2030. We need only look at our own history to see what can be done with the necessary political will. The Crossness pumping station was opened 150 years ago – an amazing feat of engineering by Sir Joseph Bazalgette – which came about aer the bad smell literally got up the noses of politicians. In the hot summer months of 1858 the smell from sewage in the River Thames got so bad that the House of Commons strug- gled to conduct its work. In just 18 days a bill was passed to pro- vide money for a new sewerage system and as a result cholera was eliminated from the capital within a decade. Where there is political will, there is a way. WaterAid has launched its big history project (http://bit. ly/1sJkG9X) to get people think- ing about when sanitation came to their area – we do hope read- ers will get involved and encour- age as many people to talk about sanitation as possible. We don't want politicians around the world to forget how important an issue this is. It is critical for the achievement of the new SDGs – and raising local awareness is a great way to do that. Here's to a busy year making sure as many people as possible gain access to safe water and improved sanitation. Thank you to all the water industry and your partners for all you do to support our work. ReseaRch UK utilities lead on supply chain due diligence, but improvement still needed Globally: 32% of utility companies didn't carry out desktop checks on health and safety policies In the uK: 21% of utilities didn't check Supply chain organisation achil- les has released the results of a survey with global utilities that reveals severe gaps in supply chain management. While uK contributors showed better awareness of best practice in conducting financial and health and safety checks with suppliers, including verification of informa- tion supplied to them, the survey indicated a need for improvement. Globally: 35% of utility companies didn't carry out desktop checks on financial reports In the uK: 14% of utilities didn't check Globally: 58% of utility companies didn't carry out desktop checks on anti- bribery and corruption policies In the uK: 34% didn't utilities check anti-bribery

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