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12 March 2008 PR 08/29

‘Partners for Water and Sanitation’ join Loughborough University

A national organisation that supports water and sanitation projects in developing countries is celebrating a move to Loughborough University today (12 March).

Partners for Water and Sanitation (PAWS) was established in 2002 in response to the United Nations Millennium Development Goal targets to reduce by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation by 2015.

It is a network of UK organisations that work, on a voluntary basis, to help improve access to safe water and sanitation for people living in Nigeria, Ethiopia and South Africa. PAWS members come from Government, the private sector and civil society, and include water companies, consultancies, development non-governmental organisations (NGOs), Government departments and agencies, law firms and trade unions, as well independent consultants. It is funded by the Department for International Development (DFID).

The organisation has now joined the University’s Water, Engineering and Development Centre (WEDC) – an institute dedicated to helping improve the health and wellbeing of some of the world’s poorest people. Prior to this move PAWS was based within the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

Speaking about the move to Loughborough University, Clare Twelvetrees, Head of the PAWS Secretariat, said: “I am really pleased that the PAWS Secretariat has relocated to WEDC. To maximize the impact of our work it was important that PAWS was based in an institute that had similar goals and considerable experience in improving access to water and sanitation in low and middle-income countries. Expertise and advice from WEDC staff, including a dedicated PAWS team, is invaluable in ensuring that the work of UK partners is appropriate, targeted and makes a real difference to water and sanitation in Africa.”

Ian Smout, Director of WEDC added: “We are delighted to welcome PAWS to the University.  Its work complements that carried out by WEDC and by working closely together I am sure we can deepen our understanding and increase our impact in Nigeria, Ethiopia and South Africa, so people get better access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation.”

PAWS officially marked its move to Loughborough University at its annual forum event, held at the campus today (12 March). The event was attended by its members, as well as the University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Shirley Pearce.

For further information about PAWS visit: http://paws.lboro.ac.uk/about.php

For further information about WEDC visit: http://wedc.lboro.ac.uk/index.php

ENDS

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Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

In the 2007 National Student Survey, the University was voted fourth in the UK, with 23 out of 29 of Loughborough’s subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. Loughborough is also ranked in the top fifteen of UK universities in national league tables. It was named winner of the 2006 and 2007 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other university.

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