Conference Chair of the 1st IWA NSS Conference
It gives me great privilege to welcome you to the 1st International Water Association (IWA) Non‑Sewered Sanitation (NSS) Conference 2023 in South Africa. What started as a vision some ten years ago has accelerated us to a point of reality where we can now share the outcomes and progress. Further, its relevance becomes more important as start to deal with several issues of climate consequences, growing water security, population growth and infrastructure challenges. This together with the need for more green solutions and greater sanitation security beckons the need for a new paradigm.
The 1st IWA NSS conference is thus a very key knowledge milestone towards meeting these challenges mentioned but also closing the gap of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on several fronts, while ensuring that inequity in sanitation provision is eliminated and greater access afforded to many unserved poor in the world with aspirational solutions. The accelerated work, innovation and progress of a small and growing community of innovators, scientists, researchers and industrial partners is ready to be showcased to the world at this global event.
I therefore welcome all practitioners, NGOs/NPOs, policy makers, academics, innovators and researchers as well industrial and finance specialists to attend this event aimed at sharing latest scientific knowledge, innovations and solutions towards a future where human waste is no more seen as a pollutant, but a resource. A new disruptive technology pathway which offers hope and that of stimulating a circular economy.
CEO - Water Research Commission
The Water Research Commission (WRC) has the privilege to host the 1st IWA NSS Conference 2023 in South Africa and the timing is appropriate and relevant as we enter a space requiring new innovations and solutions in closing the gap of sanitation in South Africa and the world. As the premier water research and innovation agency in South Africa and the continent, we are not new to driving disruptive solutions and pathways to build greater water and sanitation security. Many solutions from our efforts have found global impacts, to mention our contribution to Biological Nutrient Removal (BNR) technology which is the core process in modern wastewater treatment processes. Similarly, the WRC has been in the forefront of the NSS innovation pathway which has seen us grow our footprint as a country offering such solutions and products and being regarded globally.
WRC investments in the area of NSS has seen us shape the global discourse and with support from our partners, including the South African Department of Science and Innovation and the Bill & Gates Foundation, we have led the charge for scaling up the new sanitation solutions and its industrialisation in South Africa, through our South African Sanitation Technology Enterprise Programme (SASTEP) initiative. This event allows us the opportunity to share this progress and developments with our sector in the region, but also offer the opportunity to listen to the work of a global knowledge pool on the future NSS that is offering sanitation.
Therefore, WRC welcomes all to this ground‑breaking event which will share knowledge on NSS.