The International Water Association hosted its biennial Development Congress and Exhibition in Nairobi, Kenya this week. Glen Daigger leaves feeling inspired by the determination of colleagues working in developing countries to bring water and sanitation to their communities.

By Dr. Glen Daigger, International Water Association President and CH2M HILL Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer

I am just departing from Nairobi, Kenya following the conclusion of the highly successful 3rd International Water Association (IWA) Development Congress and Exhibition. Serving water professionals working in developing countries, this event is becoming the pre-eminent event that focuses on the development and delivery of water and sanitation solutions in developing countries.

I depart Nairobi on an emotional and intellectual high resulting from the culture of collaboration and excellence at the conference, and the evidence that important progress is being made to provide the necessary tools to deliver water and sanitation - basic human rights - to all people.

Our colleagues working in developing countries face challenges unlike those in developed countries…and I am proud to share they face them with determination, commitment, creativity, and courage. I say courage because it would be easy for them to just give up, blaming the obvious barriers in their work environment as road obstacles; but they do not. Those of us that work in safer and more secure environments need to look at the example these talented and courageous professionals provide. We have a lot to learn from their spirit and example – for their determination to do what is right even if it is not required and is, in fact, opposed by the system is inspiring. My dream is that some of this can be infused throughout our profession.