The IAPMO Group is proud to announce the formation of The International Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Foundation (IWSH), a charitable foundation whose mission is to work to improve on the human condition by fostering the basic human right of safe access to clean water and sanitation. The foundation’s website is www.iwsh.org.
According to the 2016 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, 2.4 billion people lack access to such basic sanitation services as toilets or latrines, and water scarcity affects more than 40 percent of the global population; this number is projected to rise. IWSH will seek to align IAPMO’s existing projects throughout the world with those of government, industry and the communities where the association works to ensure water systems are safe and sustainable.
The foundation’s Board of Trustees consists of five former members of IAPMO’s Board of Directors: Chairman Tom Gugino, Treasurer Bud Riestenberg, and Alfred Ortega, Dan Daniels, and Bill Erickson. Gugino said he was humbled and excited to be appointed to the position.
“I must confess that as a second-generation plumber, I had taken 24/7 access to a potable water system for granted,” Gugino said. “IAPMO sent Jed Scheuermann and myself to Nepal in January of 2013 to assist Healthabitat with devising waste management solutions for villages in the impoverished nation. The harsh reality of what we found there made me think about the purpose of our plumbing code to protect the public’s health, safety, and welfare. We saw how a septic tank having a building with a rain gutter draining into a water holding tank elevated each family’s ability to live a healthy life. Please join with us to change lives by providing a basic form of sanitation to protect their public health.”
IAPMO CEO Russ Chaney said the organization has long been keenly aware of its obligation to society and the experience and skills it can bring to an effort to either eliminate or largely reduce the challenges that many around the globe face in just day-to-day survival.
“With the support of numerous like-minded partners, the creation of the IWSH Foundation will continue to work to enhance the living conditions for those who are faced with the daily challenges of living a healthy lifestyle,” he said. “In many countries it is not possible to gain access to education and personal growth without the ability to have a safe living environment and access to the essentials of life — potable water and safe sanitary conditions. I look forward to our efforts, which will be strategically developed under the IWSH banner, in support of the basic human right of access to safe water and sanitation.”
For more information about the IWSH Foundation, please visit www.iwsh.org or call Managing Director Megan Lehtonen toll-free at (844) 497-4674.