It all starts with WASH!


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Meet and Greet with Ann Thomas

UNICEF Senior Advisor, Sanitation and Hygiene

Ann Thomas is Senior Advisor, Sanitation and Hygiene at UNICEF. She is an environmental engineer with over two decades of development experience, within the UN system and aid organizations in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Her passion is driving strategic policy decisions in the WASH sector – an often-overlooked investment-multiplier in emerging economies – that translates directly to improved health and economic development outcomes.

Ann has served as advisor to national governments across Africa and Asia, aligning national strategies for water and sanitation with global best practices, climate change considerations, and innovative financing opportunities.

Ann’s work is motivated by front line experiences in disasters and cholera outbreaks, witnessing the disproportionate vulnerability of populations without access to basic WASH services. Having worked in several of the the world’s most disaster-prone nations, recognizing the enormity of the gap between resources and needs, Ann considers partnerships and coalition building as foundational to accelerating progress. Ann has advocated new financing and community engagement models with Islamic financing agencies in Indonesia, resulting in scale-able and culturally relevant programs for the poorest, and at the same time has worked with multinationals to innovate and test market solutions to identified gaps.

As part of the Government of Indonesia’s COVID response, Ann developed protocols which were deployed nation-wide in a variety of settings, to support infection prevention and control, monitoring of behaviours, reopening of schools and continuity of municipal services - while advocating for the centrality of WASH in mitigating further outbreaks.

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International News

WASH-RAG WASH in Healthcare Facilities

Webinar #1: Tuesday, May 9th, 09.00 am CDT; 2.00 pm UTC/GMT

Introduction to WASH in HCFs

Join the WASH-RAG World to hear

a special message from

2023-2024 Rotary International President Gordon R. McInnally


Free to attend!

Register Today!

Click Here to Register
Click Here to Email Us

WASH-RAG presents a four-part series to equip WASH-RAG Ambassadors and interested Rotarians with tools to develop and implement WASH in Healthcare Facility (HCF) programs

Also Featuring:

Past RI President Barry Rassin,

Lindsay Denny (UNICEF),

Erica Gwynn (WASH Area of Focus Manager, Rotary International), and PDG Nancy Gilbert (Transform International).

The UN 2023 Water Conference

"It confirmed that water truly unites the world as a determined global community came together to make a difference not only for the future of water but for the future of the world."

Click to watch the General Assembly President at the Closing of the UN 2023 Water Conference

What are our WASH WARRIORS doing?

UNEP’s Efforts to Tackle Wastewater Pollution

Submitted by Riccardo Zennaro

Professor Dr. Rahinah Ibrahim in the field - ISTP installed under a water village house in Lok Urai Village, Sabah

(ACT Malaysia, 2021)

Wastewater pollution is one of the biggest challenges of our time, especially in developing

and lower-middle income countries where treatment infrastructures are limited, affecting

both the environment and human health. UNEP is the global leading voice for the

environment and works to enhance sustainable wastewater management by supporting

governments in the development and implementation of policies and technologies; raising

awareness and building the capacity of relevant stakeholders; and implementing projects

and initiatives aimed at showcasing good practices of wastewater management at a local

and global level.

UNEP also hosts the Secretariat of the Global Wastewater Initiative (GW 2 I), a multi-

stakeholder partnership with over 90 members globally joining hands to tackle the

challenges of wastewater pollution.

A few examples of UNEP’s projects on sustainable wastewater management come from

Tanzania, Malaysia, and India.

UNEP, in collaboration with the Bremen Overseas Research and Development Association (BORDA), implemented a project aimed at scaling up decentralized wastewater treatment systems in Tanzania by using the Guidelines for Application of Small-Scale, Decentralized Wastewater Treatment Systems. This document was developed and published in 2018 and was also translated into the local language, Kiswahili. Following the positive outcome of this initiative, UNEP and BORDA are working to disseminate the guidelines and strengthen the capacity of relevant stakeholders in this field.

Images taken at the CCBRT Hospital in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, where a Decentralized Wastewater Treatment System is implemented (UNEP, 2022)

Another project focused on a water village in Malaysia, where the partner ACT Malaysia and UNEP tackled the issue of untreated wastewater released in and around the Sabah Marine National Park. The goal was to empower the local community to sustain their livelihoods and avoid water-borne diseases; and was concluded in 2022 in two phases.

The first phase of the project aimed at testing the feasibility of an innovative wastewater treatment technology, the Independent Sewage Treatment Plant (ISTP), tailored to water settlements, in the village of Lok Urai, located at Sabah Marine National Park. The project was selected as one of the SDG Good Practices for 2021 by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA). The results of this first phase consequently contributed to phase two, namely to build the capacity and empower local communities focusing on women to stop wastewater pollution.

Finally, In India, UNEP started a project with the partner Sustainable India Trust on the nutrient recovery from wastewater to prevent the eutrophication of three major lakes inDelhi, India.

The project aimed at assessing the nutrient loss through wastewater in Delhi

and their recovery potential, mapping the current nutrient recovery, recycling, and reuse practices against available options, technologies, and best practices.

This project ended in 2022 and saw the development of an ecosystem health card based on water quality parameters. This serves to monitor the revival of selected water bodies by regulating nutrient loading from wastewater. Due to its success, there is potential to expand the scope of the work to evaluate the presence of microplastics in wastewater as well.

Learn more by contacting Riccardo Zennaro or Avantika Singh.

Click here to email Riccardo Zennaro
Click here to email Avantika Singh
If WASH-RAG has impacted your life please send us an email!
We'd love to hear from you!
Contact Us

Aussie BREW Fellowship!

Sun, May 28, 2023, 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM AEST

Join us for beer and tucker (food!) while being entertained by a leading Australian Bush Poet.

Enjoy great Craft Australian beer and canapes (Including Kangaroo and meat pies) and Yarra Valley Cheese Souvenir BREW Logo Headmaster Schooner Glasses.

Ticket purchase includes a donation to WASH-RAG

To purchase your ticket click here
Are you Working for WASH?
You Can Introduce Your Club to WASH-RAG
(Water, Sanitation and Hygiene)

It’s easy to become a WASH Advocate! Why not be a presenter at your next Club, District or Zone meeting! Expand your reach and promote WASH in your community.

Did you know you don't have to be a Rotarian to join WASH-RAG?

Your environmentally minded friends, water-conscious community members, and the general public can join us too! Tell them to check us out at or forward this newsletter!
Find or become an
Ambassador or Cadre Member!
The WASH Rotary Action Group Ambassadors is a corps of knowledgeable members who provide support and promotion of the WASH goals of WASH Rotary Action Group and
The Rotary Foundation.

For more information click the button below:  
WASH-RAG Ambassadors

The Rotary Foundation Cadre of Technical Advisers is a group of Rotarians who volunteer to use their professional skills and technical expertise in Rotary’s Areas of Focus or financial auditing to advise Rotarians who are planning and working on Rotary Foundation grant projects. The Cadre includes more than 700 members from 75 countries, speaking more than 80 languages.

Become a CADRE Member
Download a PowerPoint Presentation
Download our FAQ PDF Flyer
Print out our FAQ PDF to hand out at your next club social!
Thank you for sharing our mission!
How do you Imagine the 2022 WASH World?
The WASH Rotary Action Group thanks its devoted Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Advocates!

YOU make a difference for people all over the world.

Is your club or organization doing something we should know about?

Email us details of your project and you may be featured as a WASH WARRIOR in an upcoming Newsletter!

Email us at [email protected]
Calendar of Events

26 May 2023 World Water Summit, It All Starts With WASH! in Melbourne, Australia!/

28 May 2023 Aussie BREW Fellowship

27-31 May 2023 Rotary International Convention in Melbourne, Australia

29 May 2023 Menstrual Hygiene Day

15 October 2023 Global Handwashing Day

19 November 2023 World Toilet Day

Submit your stories, videos, and pictures for upcoming Newsletters to us at [email protected].

WASH-RAG reserves the right to edit stories for length and content. By submitting a story you give us permission to publish and make public your contact information including but not limited to your email or club's website.

The WASH Rotary Action Group is pleased to consider partnerships with any corporate supporter. Due to the unique attributes of water sources and water provision, acceptance of corporate support does not imply an endorsement of any particular water technology. Rotarians, Rotary Clubs, and Rotary partners must evaluate any technology to determine if it is the best solution for the conditions where the program will be implemented. The WASH Rotary Action Group can provide guidance about where different technologies work best, but Rotarians and Rotary clubs must make the final decision about how to implement their programs. Email us about your ongoing or finished project at [email protected].

This Rotary Action Group is RI-recognized and operates in accordance with Rotary International policy, but is not an agency of, or controlled by, Rotary International. To learn more please contact the WASH Rotary Action Group by email at [email protected] Thank you.