Christian Holmes is Deputy Assistant Administrator in USAID’s Bureau for Economic Growth, Education and Environment, and the Agency’s first Global Water Coordinator. He is responsible for overseeing the Agency’s global water portfolio. In observance of World Water Day’s 2016 theme — water and jobs — Holmes talks with Global Waters Radio about the role that USAID water programming plays in fostering sustainable economic development around the world.
Offering case studies from Kenya to Zambia, Holmes discusses how USAID programs for improving water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) are building local economic capacity and creating new jobs by enhancing public health, increasing food security, and facilitating educational access. Holmes focuses on how USAID WASH programs are empowering women by laying the foundation for improved educational and economic opportunities. To this end, he highlights the recent successes of flagship USAID water efforts in Africa such as the Sustainable Urban Water and Sanitation in Africa (SUWASA) program, which helped add gender diversity to the workforce of a major Kenyan water utility, and the Schools Promoting Learning Achievement through Sanitation and Hygiene (SPLASH) project, which improved hygiene education and sanitation facilities at several schools in eastern Zambia, allowing girls to stay in school longer. Holmes also discusses how the USAID Global Development Lab’s Securing Water for Food (SWFF) program is improving agricultural livelihood opportunities for men and women alike, particularly in arid regions of the world.
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Global Waters Radio is a podcast series produced by the Water Team at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The series offers listeners insights from USAID officials, development partners, thought leaders and experts from across the water sector as they discuss current USAID water programming and cutting-edge research from around the world. Have a topic you would like to see covered in a future Global Waters Radio podcast? Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow us on Twitter @USAIDWater.