• Written by Ricardo Wijngaarde
    20 December 2012

After a year in which Earth Water and Akvo have been slowly starting to join forces it now appears that 2013 is going be the year of full cooperation. As it happens, Earth Water just moved to their new office on the East Side of Amsterdam, while Akvo is preparing to move upstairs in the AmLab within two weeks time. Seemed like the perfect moment to sit down with Earth Water co-founder Henk Witteveen and chat with him about what the Earth Water and Akvo 2013 collaboration agenda is going to look like.

Following the 2012 talks between Akvo and Earth Water, Henk’s view is that Earth Water will continue to donate the proceeds of Earth Water and Earth Coffee sales to Akvo projects. In 2013, the scope of the collaboration will include a joint activation element on three occasions: first of all, in conjunction with the Naga Foundation, a new project in Kenya will be funded. Akvo will help users to report about the status of this project with Akvo RSR. The start of this project will be officially announced by Dutch popstars Chef’Special at the Eurosonic Noorderslag music festival on January 9th in Groningen. The first training workshops between the Akvo team and the local team will start at the end of January 2013, part of which will be documented on film by Chef’Special.

Second, on World Water Day on March 22nd 2013, for which the Netherlands is the host country, the two organisations will join forces for a guerilla marketing campaign, preferably around the Peace Palace in The Hague where the official conference will be situated. For this awareness campaign, other water and sanitation partners will be contacted to strengthen the idea of collaboration and co-creation.

Finally, at the highly anticipated Earth Water Rock and Run event on June 2nd in Amsterdam, both organisations will work together to bring the Grachten voor Grachten concept to life. This concept is based on the fact that the canals of Amsterdam will celebrate their 400thbirthday and is a symbolic but also tangible gesture. Part of these proceeds will be donated to projects aimed at digging trenches in Eastern Africa, to improve water and sanitation infrastructure. The projects will be featured online using Akvo RSR, so Earth Water can easily share status updates with donors through its website. Clearly a nice agenda to look forward to. Now it is time to get to work, have a cup of Earth Coffee and make it happen.

Editor’s note: the 3 minute interview with Henk Witteveen can be watched -in Dutch- here.