Keynote speaker for WASH FUTURES 2016 conference confirmed

Keynote speaker for WASH FUTURES 2016 conference confirmed

World renowned water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) specialist Bruce Gordon from the World Health Organization (WHO) has been confirmed as keynote speaker at the WASH FUTURES conference in May 2016.
Keynote speaker for WASH FUTURES 2016 conference confirmed

According to Bruce Gordon, the lack of access to safe, clean sanitation currently puts an estimated 2.5 billion people at risk of many diseases including cholera, typhoid and intestinal worms. An estimated 645,000 children under five die every year from diarrhoea – a preventable, sanitation-related disease.

“Progress on the issue has been disappointing,” Gordon says in a WHO bulletin, noting that the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) sanitation target to halve the proportion of the global population without access from around 50% in 1990 to 25% in 2015 is unlikely to be met, while the number of people practising open defecation – usually because they have no other option – has fallen by only 21% over the past two decades to around one billion in 2012.

“Achieving universal access to basic drinking water sources appears to be in reach, but we will not achieve universal access to basic sanitation without some fundamental change.”

Bruce Gordon in a WHO bulletin

In his highly anticipated keynote, Bruce Gordon will elaborate on the global monitoring agenda relating to the Sustainable Development Goals, reflecting on the past experience with the MDGs. Given that the WASH conference theme highlights the need to discuss pathways for the future, the keynote will also draw on the UN-Water GLAAS 2014 Report ‘Investing in Water and Sanitation: Increasing Access, Reducing Inequalities’ and its role in enabling governments to identify pathways for WASH.

WASH FUTURES 2016 program

International WaterCentre, in partnership with the Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Australian WASH Reference Group, will host the WASH FUTURES conference at the Convention and Exhibition Centre Annex in Brisbane from 16-20 May 2016.

The conference will have a particular focus on the challenges of private sector participation in WASH and equity as crosscutting themes. The 5-day program comprises a 2-day conference (16-17 May) and 3 days of training workshops (18-20 May).

Abstracts now closed

The organising committee has been overwhelmed by the amount of abstracts and thanks everyone who put forward a submission. Abstract submissions are currently being reviewed and all submitters should be notified by mid-December.

Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn

Follow us on Twitter in the lead up to the conference: @WASHConference2016

You can also find us on LinkedIn via the International WaterCentre page and WASH conference 2016: WASH Futures page.

More information

More information on WASH FUTURES is available at


Published 21 November 2015.

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