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Since 2017, Protos has been working with a renewed program in Flanders. This program is aimed at changing water usage and water behavior in 5 municipalities (on an administrative level, as well as with the staff) and in the schools in these municipalities. Protos makes the link between our water usage and the global water issue.
The amount of water we have on a global scale is finite, and because of an increasing consumption, population growth and climate change, water supplies are coming under pressure. Direct water is the water we use locally for drinking, cooking, washing … and for producing a product or service. Indirect water is the water that is used in another country for producing a product or service of which we make use here. Our consumption pattern, among other things, defines through indirect water usage the degree to which people in developing countries have access to water.
Municipalities and schools will go through a trajectory of awareness raising, concrete actions aimed at reducing the direct and indirect use of water, and integration in the municipal and school policies.
Civil society organizations and (water) companies are involved in these trajectories, and Protos will also sensitize the inhabitants of the municipalities to this topic. For these activities, Protos can count on their cooperation with organizations that have a complementary expertise: Ecolife, Djapo, VVSG and VITO / Vlakwa (Flanders Knowledge Center Water). Apart from that, Protos strives for a cooperation with the drinking water companies that serve the municipalities.
At the same time, Protos wants to share any experience concerning this program and the views of the right to drinking water and sanitation, and water usage with other parties working around water and policy makers.
The past years, Protos has developed an extensive range of educational resources about water, mostly for both general and technical secondary schools. These resources can be downloaded on protos-educatief.be. Teachers can use this in their classes, thanks to the accompanying manuals.
The human rights approach forms the basis of all our advocacy work: the right to drinking water and sanitation, and the right to sustainable growth in developing countries. Merely waving about demands is not the way we work. Our main objective is to be involved constructively in the thought processes and decision making and to obtain solid results. We focus on the legal aspects (including constitutional law), the establishing of indispensable (governmental) structures and the necessary fundraising to put these basic rights into practice. We have adopted this approach for both our work in Belgium and in the developing countries. In the developing countries, we approach all levels of governance with our accumulated practical knowledge to encourage the implementation of these rights. In Belgium we continue to contribute to the actual implementation of the human right to water and to the necessary funding it requires for developing countries. In order to help developing countries face and adapt to the effects of global warming, Protos also actively campaigns for additional and new funds and adequate practical support. Protos joined hands with several coalitions and networks for this campaign work.
Protos also wishes to help the civil society organizations with the monitoring of the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs by Belgium, notably SDG6 concerning water.
On request, we also work on raising awareness about various aspects of the global water problems. We do this by means of mobile (photo) exhibitions, lectures and interactive information booths at events.
Protos itself provides short and longer news articles about water, a monthly newsletter and thematic websites (voordrinkwater.be and allemaalwash.be). On World Water Day (22 March) we like to participate in the organization of various activities and on World Handwashing Day (15 October) and World Toilet Day (19 November) Protos calls atention to the WASH problem (the lack of water, sanitation, hygiene in developing countries).