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Africa Charity WaterCan Hosts Ethiopian Water Expert in Celebration of World Water Day on March 22

“We Unite for Water Speaking Tour” in Ottawa and Toronto to bring critical attention to global water crisis.

Ottawa, Canada, April 02, 2011 --( Local Africa Charity, WaterCan, has hosted Ethiopian water expert, Getu Hunde, as special guest speaker in “We Unite for Water: An African Speaking Tour” touring through Ottawa and Toronto from March 16 to 27. Development expert, economist and educator, Mr. Hunde is a multi-faceted speaker whose presentations propel audiences to the heart of the water crisis affecting 62 per cent of Ethiopia’s population. One of the most lethal and urgent humanitarian emergencies affecting the developing world today is the lack of clean, safe drinking water (JMP 2010, UNICEF/WHO).

Through the inaugural “We Unite for Water: An African Speaking Tour” WaterCan provided a platform to generate dialogue and engage listeners through a revealing narrative window on the human condition. The tour has reached over 2,000 people include university and school-aged students, businesses, service club members, policy-makers and congregations.

Worldwide, an estimated 890 million people — one seventh of the world’s population — do not have access to this basic human necessity. On March 22, the day the United Nations has declared World Water Day, WaterCan called on all Canadians to recognize the plight of millions around the world who don’t share this envious access to clean drinking water at the turn of a tap (JMP 2010, UNICEF/WHO).

Clean water facilities are the building blocks of social and economic development in every society around the world yet an estimated 4,100 children under the age of five die each day of diarrheal diseases caused primarily by dirty water and the lack of sanitation. This accounts for a greater loss of life amongst this age group than AIDS, malaria, and measles combined. (JMP 2010, UNICEF/WHO).

“This is a crisis to which there are sustainable, cost-effective solutions that deliver real results in the fight against global poverty,” explains Gary H.J. Pluim, Executive Director of WaterCan. “Where this basic need is met, individuals and communities thrive.”

WaterCan is pleased to provide further resources, photos, quotes and interviews pertaining to World Water Day and the global water crisis. As a leading Canadian non-governmental organization providing water and sanitation programming in Sub-Saharan Africa, WaterCan has made available the following representatives for interviews:

Getu Hunde, General Manager, OSRA, Ethiopia- Mr. Hunde is an international development expert and General Manager of the Oromo Self Reliance Association, one of WaterCan’s 15 African Partner organizations. Mr. Hunde offers compelling insight into the complex challenges of sustainable water and sanitation provision in a way that bridges the theoretical and practical realms of development work.

George Yap, program director– Mr. Yap is an international development and natural resource specialist with more than 18 years experience in the NGO sector. He has spent considerable time in both Africa and Asia, ground zero for the global sanitation crisis, and regularly travels to Africa to oversee WaterCan’s clean water and sanitation initiatives.

Contact Information
Andrea Helfer
613-230-5182, ext. 229

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