The regulator in you

In a sector where the self-belief and enthusiasm of social initiatives are often blind to barriers, the path to safe water is full of obstacles.

Rule by rule, much can be done by change in legislation, in reform of duty barriers, fiscal dues, tax incentives, standard setting and compliance. Could it be that the key to unleashing the safe water scale-up lies in the hand of the Minister of Finance, and her/his departmental and parliamentary advisers?

These recommendations (since adopted) are from a 2012 study on HWTS by the Government of Malawi, enabled by 300in6 :

  • “Request the Malawi Bureau of Standards to develop national standards and labelling requirements for water treatment products which are harmonised or based on internationally-accepted protocols such as EPA, NSF or WHO
  • Review regulations on duties and taxes as they relate to the importation and sale of water treatment products for humanitarian, charitable and commercial purposes where there is an obvious public benefit.”

In March 2014, the World Health Organisation launched the WHO International Scheme to Evaluate Household Water Treatment Technology.

“Up until now, we haven’t had an international scheme to evaluate the performance of these products on the basis of which we can make recommendations to governments. And to UN agencies. Now we have.”

—Maggie Montgomery, WHO, part of the secretariat of the International Network for HWTS.

The role of government regulation are reviewed in the video ‘When WHEN came home’ which includes Ms Montgomery. Her interview and that of a Malawi government spokesman also feature in other videos, and Upscale 3.

Scaling up access to safe water