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bE sends mayor of Corn Island to World Water Forum in Paris

By Gaétan Russo, Michèle Grégoire, Emilie Etienne -- The sixth annual World Water Forum was held from March 12 to 16 in Marseille, France, and blueEnergy had the pleasure of bringing special guest Webster Cleveland, mayor of Corn Island. The central theme of the forum was "time for solutions." This forum brought together companies, associations and representatives of several organizations. Several members of blueEnergy France were present since part of a side event was organized blueEnergy.

This side event entitled "Innovation and North-South Cooperation", was promoted last September by members of the board of blueEnergy. Gradually, other NGOs, companies and research institutes joined this great project to talk about innovations in water projects of developing countries. The event was supported by the Water Academy and the Foundation SIWA-CFET.

Speakers of the round table are finalizing their presentation

The side event was held March 13 and Marseilles, and included three roundtable discussions on the topic of innovation ( financial, technical and cultural ) with players representing the complexities of this subject. Contributors included Antenna Technologies, TMW, hydrolic without Borders, ProNatura, Kynarou, water dries, SIDECM, Andre N'Guessan: of AgroParisTech, The Source SIT and of course, blueEnergy

Emilie talks about bE's innovative ways to fund social projects
(implication of beneficiaries, local institutions and the Service Learning Program

During blueEnergy's participation in the roundtable on financial innovation, we discussed the approach of our association: involvement of local people in manufacturing facilities, involvement of local institutions and international support through solidarity missions (find details of the procedure here ).

Paul Barett, actor and professional coach, motivating the round tables

The panel discussions were moderated by the famous Paul Barrett. A total of forty people attended the event. bE was also represented at the Forum Alternative thanks to Marie-Claude Scherrer and Michael Gregory.

Finally, during the forum we hosted Mr. Webster Cleveland, the mayor of Corn Island off the coast of Bluefields. Mr. Cleveland was able to meet different actors working in the field of water and to seek solutions to problems of water and sanitation of the island.

Meetings were set up with the Nicaraguan embassy to France and Mr. Begorre, the French organizer of the forum. In a letter to both the Nicaraguan embassy in France and Mr. Begorre, Mr. Cleveland described the water conditions in Corn Island as grave:
The poor neighborhoods suffer serious health problems - dysentery, kidney infections and  more, that affect in particular children and the elderly. The population pulls water from traditional wells - shallow, poorly protected and contaminated. It is essential to find a solution this problem with sanitation, at least with the installation of dry latrines, educate the population for the long term and help them adapt step-by-step better rules of hygiene.
Mayor of Corn Island Webster Cleveland (l) and WWF organizer Mr. Begorre

Mr. Cleveland even got the opportunity to do some sightseeing while in Paris.The blueEnergy members accompanied him on the old port of Marseilles and to see the Eiffel Tower.

This participation in the 6th annual World Water Forum was therefore a success for the association blueEnergy and its partners, and a vital opportunity for visibility. Another big thank you to all participants of the side event!

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