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Zimbabwe’s Peter Morgan scoops award


STOCKHOLM — Peter Morgan, director of Aquamor, a non-profit company working in the rural water supply and sanitation sector in Zimbabwe, has been named the 2013 Stockholm Water Prize Laureate.

Report by IPS

Over the past four decades, he has invented and advanced low-cost practical solutions to provide access to safe sanitation and clean water that are being used by millions of people worldwide, according to the Stockholm International Water Institute (SIWI).

“Many currently existing solutions to provide clean water and sanitation are unaffordable, impractical and out of reach for the world’s poorest people,” the Stockholm Water Prize Committee said in its citation. “As a result of Morgan’s pioneering work to develop practical water and sanitation technologies for those most in need, countless communities now enjoy saferwater, a cleaner environment and quality of life.”

More than 780 million people live without access to safe water and 2,5 billion people lack access to adequate sanitation. Diseases caused by unsafe water, sanitation, and hygiene kill more than 5 000 people each day, according to the United Nations.

Responding to news about his award, Morgan said: “Great strides have been made to bring safe water and sanitation to people around the world, yet countless millions are currently still denied access.

“This prestigious award encourages me to carry on to play my part to improve the conservation and supply of this most precious resource — water — and provide more people with access to clean sanitation.”

King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden will present the prize to Morgan at a Royal Award Ceremony during the 2013 World Water Week in Stockholm on September 5.

Morgan has invented a wide range of simple, smart and low-cost water and sanitation technologies.

Several of his most prominent innovations, including the “B” type Bush Pump and the Blair Ventilated Improved Pit (VIP) Latrine, have been adapted as the
national standard by the government of Zimbabwe.

Huge numbers of Blair VIP latrines designed for both families and schools have been built and serve millions of people in Zimbabwe alone and many more have been built worldwide. Morgan also created the Upgraded Family Well, a concept where families can support themselves (self supply) which now helps half a million people improve the quality of water obtained from traditional wells.

The Blair VIP latrine, for example, has been restyled so that it can be upgraded in a series of steps as the need or opportunity arises. In Zimbabwe today, variants of the Blair VIP, the “B” type “Bush Pump” and the promotion of upgraded wells form the backbone of the rural water and sanitation programme.

Morgan previously served as Chief Research Officer and acting director of the Blair Research Laboratory and as Advisor to the Health ministry in Zimbabwe. Throughout his career, Morgan has shared his designs and innovations freely and ensured that they can be implemented and improved by the local communities where they are used.

Born in 1943 in Wellingborough, United Kingdom, Morgan is a naturalised citizen of Zimbabwe. He holds a PhD in Marine Biology from the University of Hull and was awarded Member of the most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 1991.

The Stockholm Water Prize is a global award founded in 1991 and presented annually by SIWI to an individual, organisation or institution for outstanding water-related achievements. The Stockholm Water Prize Laureate receives

$150 000 and a crystal sculpture specially designed and created by Orrefors. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden is patron of the prize.

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