NGO

100 Water Heroes: Hermella Wondimu

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Founder and President of Drop of Water

Hermella Wondimu is the President of Drop of Water, an NGO that she co-founded as a university student. Drop of Water seeks to provide clean, safe water to people in rural communities of Ethiopia and, while this is a monumental task, has helped thousands of people throughout the country.

Hermella obtained a BSc in Civil Engineering from Mekele University and, during her time there, learnt about Ethiopia’s water crisis and its impact on women and children. This knowledge shaped her career path and prompted her dedicated to providing clean water to those in need. One of her projects with Drop of Water involved the construction of 5 water wells in Northern Ethiopia, ultimately providing safe water to over 6000 people. In 2014, a further 20 water wells were built.

Through her dedication to providing clean drinking water and WASH initiatives, Hermella is actively working towards a sustainable future for Ethiopia. This makes her one of our #100WaterHeroes.

Twitter: @hermellawondimu

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/hermella-wondimu-77bb8b30

100 Water Heroes: Benjamin Kahn

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Environmentalist and Marine Biologist

Benjamin Kahn is an Israeli Environmentalist and Marine Biologist. Benjamin’s core focus is on protecting and conserving Israel’s coastline, specifically the Red Sea reef. Benjamin is the Founder and Chairman Zalul, an NGO that is committed to preserving Israel’s seas and rivers. In addition to his leadership of Zalul, Benjamin is also the Founder and CEO of Atlantium Technologies, a water purification technology firm. He is also President of Coral World International Ltd., “an operator of marine parks that specialises in ecologically-friendly tropical life systems in symbiotic environments.”

Benjamin’s entry into environmentalism came when he returned to Israel after having lived abroad. He frequently snorkelled in the Red Sea as a child, and was devastated to witness the immense degradation of its coral reef. This realisation prompted Benjamin to get involved and he noted, “I knew that if the reef was going to survive, someone had to fight for it.”

Benjamin was named as one of Time Magazine’s Heroes of the Environment in 2007, for his impactful leadership of Zalul.

Benjamin is one of our #100WaterHeroes for dedicating his career and life to protecting and conserving Israel’s coastline.

100 Water Heroes: Dr. Ayman Rabi

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Executive Director of the Palestinian Hydrology Group

Dr. Ayman Rabi is the Executive Director of the Palestinian Hydrology Group (PHG), an NGO that is “working to improve access to water and sanitation services, and to monitor pollution and climate change in the occupied Palestinian territory.”

PHG was founded in 1987 with the goal to protect and conserve water and environmental resources, and is now the largest NGO in Palestine. In addition to their water conservation efforts, PHG aims to ensure widespread access to clean, safe water and WASH facilities. Because of the ever-worsening water crisis in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, as well as neglected water-related infrastructure, PHG proceeded by “carrying out development work and promoting the more effective and efficient use and reuse of existing water resources.”

Prior to his involvement with PHG, Ayman obtained an MSc and PhD in Water Resources Engineering, as well as an MBA in Business Administration. Ayman has over 25 years of experience in water and environmental-related fields. He has contributed to numerous local and international research endeavours surrounding water and the environment.

Ayman is one of our #100WaterHeroes for his leadership of the Palestinian Hydrology Group, and for his contributions to water and environment-related research.

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/ayman-rabi-6873294

100 Water Heroes: Rachel Pang Hoi Yan

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Founder of Water for Free

Rachel Pang Hoi Yan is the Founder of Water for Free, an NGO to identifies and encourages the use of water dispensaries throughout Hong Kong city.

Rachel was first introduced to environmentalism after developing a breathing problem as a result of the smog in Beijing, where she worked at the time. Rachel then partook in a range of environmental campaigns whenever she had the time, and launched her full-time career in conservation in 2016.

Under Rachel’s leadership, Water for Free has been developing an app that identifies free water dispensaries throughout Hong Kong, showing the location of over 1300 water fountains. By making free, clean water more accessible, Rachel hopes to discourage and reduce bottled water consumption.

Water for Free has also been focused on lobbying the government to install more water fountains throughout the city, in places such as museums, libraries and public transport hubs.

Rachel is one of our #100WaterHeroes because of her proactive approach to reducing plastic waste by making clean water easily accessible to the people of Hong Kong.

Water for Free Facebook

Water for Free App

100 Water Heroes: Subash Chandra Reddy

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Founder and Director of SMARAN

Subash Chandra Reddy is the Founder and Director of SMARAN, an environmental NGO that seeks to “promote natural resource base livelihoods for poor and rural communities and to protect and manage the environment and natural resources with major emphasis on water.” Subash has committed his life and career to environmentalism, with a particular focus on water conservation.

Under Subash’s leadership, SMARAN has successfully been involved in an array of water conservation programmes, including check dam renovations and rainwater harvesting (RWH) projects. SMARAN operates out of Hyderabad, an area particularly affected by drought, and assists farmers in running successful farms through the use of alternative forms of water collection. SMARAN is also involved in an variety of other community upliftment and water saving projects, such as micro-watershed development, nursery raising and RWH in impoverished areas.

Through his work with SMARAN, Subash aims to rejuvenate drought-stricken Hyderabad by implementing RWH throughout society, allowing the local community to self-sustainably manage their own water.

Subash is one of our #100WaterHeroes because of his focus on creating self-sufficient communities through the incorporation of rainwater harvesting

Twitter: @SubhashRedd9

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/subash-reddy

100 Water Heroes: Jyoti Sharma

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Founder and President of the Forum for Organised Resource Conservation and Enhancement

Jyoti Sharma is Founder and President of the Forum For Organised Resource Conservation and Enhancement (FORCE), an NGO that “involves stakeholders from the community, hydrology experts, business leaders, and local politicians in a process that enables communities to create local pockets of water security.” Jyoti’s vision and work with FORCE is to empower local communities to make decisions surrounding water management and conservation, fostering sustainability and self-sufficiency.

After working for over 9 years in corporate and academic fields, Jyoti collaborated with like-minded individuals to launch FORCE in 2004. She is a member of numerous water security groups in India, and has been described as “losing a generational gap in water resource management knowledge by developing a citizen-based water management system run by a competent, decentralised local authority.”

Jyoti has been recognised for her impactful social innovation and entrepreneurship by being named an Ashoka Fellow, a network of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs. She is also a Swearer Fellow under Brown University.

Jyoti is one of our #100WaterHeroes because of her focus on empowering communities to make decisions and take responsibility for local water management and conservation

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/jyotisharmaforce

Website: force.org.in


100 Water Heroes: Dr. Rajendra Singh

Founder and Chairman of Tarun Bharat Sangh

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Widely known as the Waterman of India, Dr. Rajendra Singh is a respected water conservationist and environmentalist from Rajasthan, India. In 1975, Rajendra founded Tarun Bharat Sangh (TBS), an NGO that focuses on ecological research and land development, aiming to provide fresh, clean water to local inhabitants. Using johad, rainwater storage tanks, check dams, and both traditional and modern techniques, TBS has transformed water access in over 1000 villages, and revived five rivers in Rajasthan, Arvari, Ruparel, Sarsa, Bhagani and Jahaj Wali.

In 2009, Rajendra was awarded the prestigious Stockholm Water Prize for his life’s work of “building social capacity to solve local water problems through participatory action, empowerment of women, linking indigenous know-how with modern scientific and technical approaches and upending traditional patterns of development, resource use, and social norms” (Cele, 2015).  

Rajendra is an Ayurvedic medicine graduate, with a postgraduate degree in Hindi literature. He currently serves as Chairman of TBS and is actively involved in a wide range of water-related NGOs and initiatives throughout the world.

Rajendra is one of our #100WaterHeroes for his prolific work in water conservation and environmentalism, and for being the Waterman of India.

Twitter: @watermanofindia

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/waterman.of.india/


100 Water Heroes: Nicci Russell

Managing Director of Waterwise

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Our fourth Water Hero, Nicci Russell, is the Managing Director of Waterwise, an independent, non-profit NGO in the UK whose mission is to reduce water consumption throughout the UK. Waterwise is a particularly impactful organisation in that it encourages innovative water-saving behaviour amongst governments, industry and citizens alike. Waterwise is widely considered a “leading authority on water efficiency in the UK,” with their work including research, technological and policy innovation, as well as media and events.

Prior to her role as Managing Director, Nicci was Policy Director and co-founder of Waterwise from 2005. Beyond her work with Waterwise, Nicci also served as special advisor for the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for four years.

Martin Bradbury, chair of Waterwise, describes Nicci as “a highly respected leader in the water sector, with in-depth knowledge and experience.”

Nicci Russell is one of our #100WaterHeroes because of her work with Waterwise and her overall dedication to significantly reducing water consumption throughout the UK.

Twitter:

@nicci_vasey

@Waterwise

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London, England