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The Value of Water Lasts More Than One Day

This year’s World Water Day 2021 captured commitments and thoughts associated with the Value of Water. Following a year in which the pandemic has exacerbated the inequalities already present in society, the economic case for investment in water is even sharper. Sustainable investment and a focus on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is growing rapidly to seize the opportunity offered by the value of water.

Water Value Conversion

The conversation around the value of water is often dominated by the human costs associated with the gap between those who have a plentiful supply of clean, safe water and those who do not. Statistics detailing those who do not even have access to basic water and sanitation are well understood and often quoted by the WASH community.

The World Water Day 2021 featured many of these statistics regarding the increasing scarcity of fresh water, the number of people forced to drink contaminated water and the impact of climate change on water resources.Lying beneath these important and essential human stories, there is a second layer of information that may actually help to drive investment from a purely financial perspective, whether that be via funding or finance.

According to water.org, the financial gap required to achieve SDG 6 is $114bn per year, every year until 2030. At present 80% of countries report insufficient financing to meet current national WASH targets, often lower than the SDG 6 objectives.

Insurmountable Gap

This seems like an insurmountable gap until two more factors are considered:

1. Failure to invest in the water sector will reduce global growth by up to 6% by 2050

2. For every $1 invested in water and sanitation, $4.30 is delivered in economic benefit to

individuals and society.

3. Families at the bottom of the economic pyramid have a $12bn demand for finance to meet their

water and sanitation needs.

Investment in water to avoid global growth contraction whilst boosting spending power of individuals and society seems like a solid economic win/win.

The pandemic has shone a harsh light on the inequalities of access to safe water and sanitation over the last year. Compared to the coming impacts of climate change, we may look back at COVID-19 as a minor difficulty.

Up to 700 million people will be displaced by water scarcity by 2030, and 450 million children are currently living in areas of very high or high water vulnerability.

Yet source water protection can cost as little as $2 per person per year.

For such a low investment, preventing large scale migration which is often to adjacent regions where water scarcity already exists, seems a great human return. But there is an associated financial payback.

Investment in water infrastructure of $1 per square metre for informal settlements increases land value by $3 – 11 per square metre. For a relatively small cost, communities likely to be displaced by climate change can be better protected with solid economic results.

 

 

Good News

The good news is that the financial sector is beginning to turn towards the opportunities offered by sustainable investment and impact investment.

$30tn worth of assets were controlled by sustainable investment funds at the start of 2018, a 34% increase over two years. The pre-pandemic forecast was to reach $50tn by 2028. There is a significant shift towards CSR-focused investment by institutional, corporate and private investors.

We at Aquatabs are intensely focused on playing our part, whether it be delivering sustainable water purification systems for schools, hospitals and small communities or supporting social enterprises engaged in improving access to WASH services in developing economies.

 

Contact us to find out more about our activities in creating social enterprises, making safe water accessible in the most challenging circumstances and how we ensure the value of water is delivered globally.

 

 

 

Kersia acting for a positive impact
80% of countries report insufficient financing to meet current national WASH targets
For every $1 invested in water and sanitation, $4.30 is delivered in economic benefit to individuals and society
water.org strategy through 2022

Inclusion, Collaboration and Sustainability are Key to Disaster Relief and Preparedness

The Action on Disaster Relief 2021 virtual event closed on 26th February with a rousing call to action from the inter-agency workshops – inclusion, collaboration and sustainability are absolutely fundamental to protect the communities of the Caribbean, Central and Latin America. Delivering resilient disaster relief planning and preparedness is essential for a region where it’s a question of ‘when’ and not ‘if’ the next event occurs.

The Caribbean, Central and Latin American regions are regularly challenged by both natural and man-made disasters. The frequency and severity are forecasted to increase due to climate change particularly, so Action on Disaster Relief 2021 was a timely forum, bringing together local, regional and global stakeholders to discuss how best to respond.

Across the panels, Q & A and workshops three recurring themes emerged as focal points for attention:

• Inclusion – both in planning and execution, disaster relief requires true engagement with local communities. Accessing local knowledge, using informal and formal communication networks and working within established local frameworks will ensure that support will be delivered in the most effective manner.

 

• Collaboration – with a number of stakeholders involved in the planning and response to disasters, it is crucial to avoid duplication and overlap. Opportunity to engage and rehearse outside of disasters is rare but can identify the areas of excellence and those requiring improvement. Do not underestimate the value of personal relationships between stakeholders, easier to develop without an ongoing disaster.

 

• Sustainability – in the aftermath of a disaster comes a second disaster, with vast volumes of waste and additional clean-up costs arising from the emergency response. The focus should be to ‘build back better’ during the planning and preparation stages. Allocating resources to planning for disaster relief becomes more difficult when resources are constrained but payback is significant.

 

Considers these three themes amongst the plan to improve disaster resilience in rapidly changing climate and man-made emergency scenarios.

Translating discussions into meaningful action is a long-term activity but the motivation of organizations such as CDEMA, CEPREDENAC, UNICEF, IFRC, World Vision, Save the Children and others was clear to see. It was a privilege to participate and we at Aquatabs stand ready to do our part.

 

Contact us for more details of how we can support disaster preparedness and relief with our long shelf-life and compact approach to drinking water purification.

Ian Leahy

Ian Leahy

Aquatabs
M/ +353 87 719 5120

ian.leahy@kersia-group.com


Celebrating

International Women's Day

Let's talk Leadership with Rosie Keary

International Women’s Day is the perfect opportunity to talk careers with our General Manager, Rosie Keary. The pathway to personal and business success and the motivation that keeps the passion for the job alive.

Tell us a little about your career pathway?

I began my work career in Kersia in 2007 in the finance department, moving to supply chain manager in 2014. In 2015 the position of Financial Controller & Operations Manager became available. I felt the experience I had gained over the previous 8 years gave me the skills to step into this role with confidence. Finally, in November 2017, I achieved my goal within Kersia Ireland and became General Manager

 

How did you prepare yourself for advancement?

My education started with a degree in accountancy and IT, followed quickly by ACCA professional accountancy exams which were completed in 2012. I then took a little time away from studying to enjoy my family life and the achievements in my career from 2012, before starting my MBA in 2016 and completing it in 2018.

 

What were the benefits that you obtained moving through departments?

The advancement through different departments and challenges faced allowed me to gain a wide knowledge of all areas of the business. The largest benefit of my current position as GM, is the opportunity to interact with all departments and see both people and the organisation develop and blossom. Kersia has many world leading products and I am proud and excited to move our technology forward with our world class innovative R&D team.

 

What keeps you motivated?

One of my greatest passions is working directly with our very famous water disinfection brand, Aquatabs. I work in many countries, particularly developing countries, building and developing strong partnerships. With Aquatabs, we are committed to improving human health globally. Our vision is to continue partnering with the world’s major aid agencies, NGO’s, relief organisations, peacekeeping /defence forces and Ministries of Health.

 

The opportunity to work in an organisation that makes a day-to-day difference with an inspirational purpose, while working with great people who have passion at all levels and an openness to change is a blessing.

 

I am very proud to be part of the Kersia Ireland team which continues to grow and strengthen.

Rosie Keary ACCA/MBA

General Manger

March 2021

 

 


Resilient WASH Requires Climate Funding Mechanisms

With over 90% of natural disasters being water-related and increasing in frequency and severity, the global WASH community needs to be at the forefront of building resilience against climate change. Financing resilient WASH programs using climate funding mechanisms offers a route to implementation capable of supporting integrated water resources management.

No wonder Bill Gates describes this as humanity’s greatest challenge

The current COVID-19 pandemic death toll is already over 2 million people globally, a truly shocking number.

But by the middle of the century we could face the same death toll every year due to the impacts of climate change according to Mark Carney, the UN Envoy for Climate Change and Finance.

No wonder Bill Gates describes this as humanity’s greatest challenge.

Nobody on the planet will be immune to the impact of climate change. Predictably, the burden is likely to fall hardest on those with the lowest resources according to some facts shared by WaterAid:

washmatters.wateraid.org/climate-change

• Only one of the current top 20 recipients of climate-related development finance for water is a Least Developed Country (LDC).

• A temperature rise of up to 2°C will require poorer countries to spend $70 – 100bn every year until 2050 to support adaptation. The majority of current finance is in the form of repayable loans, often at market rates.

• Basic WASH programmes received less than 1% of global climate finance, despite the clear evidence of link between the provision of basic WASH services and economic return.

It seems there is a gap

A gap between climate change funding and programmes and WASH adaptation and resilience. Only four LDCs have climate adaptation plans in place under the National Adaptation Planning (NAP) process, despite a target for all to be ready by 2020.

Fortunately there are some activities that give us cause for hope.

The Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) global partnership recently held a very informative and well-attended webinar www.sanitationandwaterforall.org/knowledge-exchange/launch-swa-priority-focus-2021-climate-action to detail their response to the gap. Led by WaterAid and coordinating a comprehensive campaign in the run up to COP26, SWA issued a rallying call to finance resilient WASH programmes using climate change funding mechanisms.

On a more local level, we at Aquatabs have already seen the opportunity to improve WASH via environmental impact finance. The low carbon footprint of Aquatabs tablets and systems has enabled sustainable delivery of safe drinking water to over thousands of schools in Nigeria and Kenya www.impactwater.co/home.

We continue to support the global WASH community as it seeks to access increased climate change funding to adapt and build resilience.

Contact us to discuss programme proposals and ongoing activities where Aquatabs low carbon footprint can open new funding opportunities.

Marketing Director

Marketing Director

Aquatabs

(M) +353 87 719 5120

ian.leahy@kersia-group.com

Sales Director

Sales Director

Aquatabs

(M)+353 86 836 9759

robert.cooper@kersia-group.com


February 11th - International day of Women and Girls in Science

Today is the 6th International Day of Women and Girls in Science. The Kersia Ireland team is enriched by our own Women of Science, occupying key positions within our organization to deliver safe and effective products to create a safer world. With backgrounds in chemistry, microbiology and other scientific disciplines, our Women of Science include an amazing range of academic excellence and practical knowledge.

We asked our Regulatory Affairs Manager, Sinead Whelan Buckley. to tell us a little about the influences that shaped her chosen career path to become a Woman of Science.

 

Sinead, can you give an overview of your position in Kersia Ireland?

I work as Regulatory Affairs Manager in Medentech (Kersia Ireland) in Wexford. We manufacture disinfectant products for many different uses, including disinfectants used to make water suitable for human and animal drinking, infection prevention for surface and medical device equipment in hospitals and hand sanitisers.

What does the role of a Regulatory Affairs Manager entail?

As Regulatory Affairs Manager, my job is to make sure all products manufactured onsite are safe for people to use, suitable for killing all the germs that are claimed they can kill, and to make sure the products are properly licenced and labelled in every country they are sold into it. I do this by gathering and reviewing information generated by other scientists in the company, such as research and development scientists, putting all the information together to apply for licences and answering any questions customers or government bodies might have about the products.

How and where did you become interested in science?

I became interested in science in secondary school, but when I started secondary school, I wanted to be a solicitor or a barrister and had very little interest in science! I began studying science in first year however and became more and more interested in it as time went by.

What elements helped you to become passionate about science?

Science teaches you how things work and there is also a lot of investigational work involved, which I found very interesting! For Leaving Cert, I picked 2 science subjects, Chemistry and Physics and then went onto study chemistry in college. I was fascinated by investigation; molecules the building blocks of all matter, and their interaction on structure and properties of substances.

From college to your first position, how did you hone your skills?

After college, I worked in the research & development dept of a pharmaceutical company, then moved to Medentech, originally working in validation (which involves checking equipment and processes to make sure everything is working correctly) before moving to Regulatory Affairs.

And onto a Masters of Science?

Yes, I completed a Masters in Science, focussed on Regulatory Affairs. I especially like regulatory work as it mixes science with some aspects of law, and as such, combines science with my original ambition of working in that area. This showed me that science doesn’t always have to involve working in a lab, there are lots of other areas and things you can do too!

What appeals to you about your work in Kersia Ireland?

Working in Kersia Ireland allows me to work on products for people that might not always have access to money or the resources to help themselves. For example, working with Aquatabs, which are approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) for long term drinking water disinfection, are currently helping families in the developing world.

We also to help infection prevention in hospitals in ways that people may not always think of, such as by providing products for disinfecting the areas and equipment to make sure patients don’t contract infections while already sick.

Working in science often gives you opportunities like this, opportunities to help other people. It is a very rewarding career, that is interesting to do!

Sinead Whelan Buckley

Regulatory Affairs Manager


To be truly transformative, gender equality policies and programmes need to eliminate gender stereotypes through education, change social norms, promote positive role models of women scientists and build awareness at the highest levels of decision-making.

We need to ensure that women and girls are not only participating in STEM fields, but are empowered to lead and innovate, and that they are supported by workplace policies and organizational cultures that ensure their safety, consider their needs as parents, and incentivize them to advance and thrive in these careers.”

— Ms Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, and Ms Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women, in their joint message on the occasion of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science 2021

#WomenInScience #WomenScientistsattheforefrontofthefightagainstCOVID


149.5 million people including 76.5 million children are in need of humanitarian assistance

COVID-19 headlines dominating the news agenda talk about the numbers of lives lost to the disease directly, infection rates and impact on the global economy. Less visible is the widespread damage caused to the world’s most vulnerable people from secondary impacts to ongoing water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) programs, food security and the safety of remote health care facilities.

UNICEF has made the biggest donation call in it’s 75 year history to support the millions of children affected by the secondary health impacts. Your help and support is desperately needed: www.unicef.org/coronavirus/covid-19/donate

 

 

 

Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in Healthcare facilities (HCFs) is key in the protection of all frontline workers, carers and their patients. With an estimated 1.8 billion people lacking basic water services including 712 million who have no water services at all; WASH in health care is not only a fundamental human right, it is necessary, economical and critical for the fight against this virus and for infection control / prevention of antimicrobial-resistant pathogens.

 

COVID -19 secondary impacts
For the first time in 22 years, levels of extreme poverty have increased.
1.8 billion people lack basic water services at their HCF
270 million people have been affected by food instability

Lancet Publication 08/2019

Children’s lives will be saved due to invention of simple water treatment system, “Aquatabs Flo”

In this trial, the impact of using “Aquatabs Flo” at the inlet of a domestic tank water treatment system has been shown to reduce WHO-defined diarrhoea in children by over 25% compared to the control group (untreated water). Similar reductions were estimated for caregiver-defined diarrhoea.

 

The study also noted some other significant points:

• “Previous blinded trials of household water treatment interventions in low-income settings have failed to detect a reduction in child diarrhoea”.

• “Previous water intervention trials have focused on household- level water treatment, (the) findings show that a low-cost automatic point-of-collection (community-level) water treatment intervention can achieve high uptake and reduce diarrhoea in a densely populated setting”

• (The study) “detected significant improvements in stored household drinking water in the treatment group compared with the control group”.

 

Overall, the study interpreted the results of this trial to mean that “Passive chlorination at the point of collection could be an effective and scalable strategy in low-income urban settings for reducing child diarrhoea and for achieving global progress towards Sustainable Development Goal 6.1 to attain universal access to safe and affordable drinking water”.

 

Commenting on the result of the trial, Rosie Keary GM of Aquatabs said “Under the very toughest conditions in Bangladesh, this system has now been proven beyond doubt and children’s lives Will be saved. It is the World’s lowest-cost, automatic, no power required, tank water treatment system”.

Ms Keary went on to say that Aquatabs Flo has now been installed in domestic water tanks in over 20,000 schools in Kenya & Nigeria by the social enterprise “Impact Water” with a confirmed target of over 40,000 schools by end of year 2019. Some 10 million children now have safe water with over 2 billion litres being treated per month.

 

Given the unprecedented results of this study, and subsequent success of the project rollout, the team at Aquatabs now seek further partners internationally, both from the NGO and Commercial communities for installation of this life changing system in water tanks of private homes throughout the Worlds emerging communities.

Read the Lancet Article Here