The International Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Foundation (IWSH) is the latest plumbing industry organization to join the World Plumbing Council (WPC). The WPC is an international membership association that aims to achieve the best possible plumbing for the world through the growth and development of the world’s plumbing industries.
Established in 2000, the WPC has at least one organizational (full or affiliate) member in 41 countries. Full members are mainly national level plumbing industry associations and unions, while affiliate members include contractors, manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, service providers and academic institutions. IWSH joins the WPC as an affiliate member, following a variety of community plumbing and corporate social responsibility-based collaborations with WPC members around the world over the past five years. A list of countries and organizations represented by the WPC may be found at www.worldplumbing.org/countries-represented.
“The World Plumbing Council is pleased to welcome IWSH as a member, as it complements the WPC’s mission of humanizing the health benefits of plumbing,” said WPC Chair/UA Director of Plumbing Services Thomas Bigley.
The potential for these collaborations has come into sharper focus against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic through the first half of 2020, when the WPC Executive Board connected IWSH with member organizations in Zambia, Rwanda and South Africa with the goal of facilitating and supporting local plumbing industry responses to disease prevention in their communities, primarily through the design and development of new hand-washing facilities and public health and hygiene awareness activities.
In Zambia, IWSH and the Plumbers Association of Zambia (PAZA) collaborated on a pilot program to provide more than 50 hand-washing stands to the SOS Children’s Village in the capital city of Lusaka.
In Rwanda, IWSH worked with the Rwanda Plumbers Organization (RPO) to support community hand-washing and public health awareness activities. Building on the design and donation of new mobile hand-washing stations via a World Plumbing Day 2020 workshop at the Integrated Polytechnic Regional College (IPRC) in the Huye district, RPO members delivered additional stations to three primary schools, two high schools and five vulnerable households in the Musanze district.
In South Africa, IWSH, the Institute of Plumbing, South Africa (IOPSA) and the British Plumbers Employment Council (BPEC) are supporting a Water Amenities and Sanitation Services Upgrading Program (WASSUP) Diepsloot initiative to repair 2,000 communal taps in 50 days.
“For the last few years, IWSH and WPC have collaborated closely around our ongoing international Community Plumbing Challenge program,” said Seán Kearney, IWSH managing director. “Today WPC represents a unique network of plumbing industry representatives — expertise all over the world — so it is an excellent platform for IWSH to continue building partnerships within. We hope that from our new position as an affiliate member we can continue to grow and develop more new and creative plumbing initiatives that will provide improved water, sanitation and hygiene in more locations, and in partnership with more industry groups and sector organizations.”