The Bosporus Bridge in Istanbul, connecting Europe to Asia.

On the 16th of March 2009 the 5th World Water Forum will kick off in Istanbul Turkey. The forum will attract an expected number of 20,000 participants from across the globe under the theme ‘bridging divides for water’. We aim to use this event to raise funds for small-scale drinking water and sanitation projects to reduce poverty fast.

At the forum we would like to offer the participants the opportunity to browse projects and donate as little as 20 Euro online. If we can make contributions visible on a big screen as a digital collage (more money donated, more screen real estate, more people helped), we could really make an impact. I’m therefore particularly glad that Roy Agterbos of Match+ has offered to bring these initial ideas under the attention of the World Water Council and the Turkish organisers. It would be great if we can get the support we need to pull something like this off.

Akvo will have an active role in session 6.2.1 ‘thinking outside the water box’ and probably in session 6.2.4 ‘Data for All’. We can build on the outputs of the sessions we previously organised at the Stockholm Water Week in 2007 and 2008.

The Netherlands Water Partnership will be setting up a pavilion in the main exhibition area. On the 9th of December representatives of our partners Rain, WASTE, Simavi and myself had a meeting and agreed to join hands in developing a nice open concept for 12 square meters there. We will be exploring other options as well.

Peter van der Linde is a co-founder and the partner-director of Akvo