IBM (NYSE: IBM) has introduced that it’s accepting proposals for subsequent cohort of the IBM Sustainability Accelerator, which can give attention to water administration options.
The program applies IBM applied sciences, reminiscent of hybrid cloud and synthetic intelligence, and an ecosystem of specialists to boost and scale initiatives targeted on populations susceptible to environmental threats.
In response to the World Well being Group (WHO), over 2 billion individuals reside in water-stressed international locations. This problem is anticipated to be exacerbated in some areas due to local weather change and inhabitants development. Africa stays probably the most susceptible continents with 418 million individuals missing a primary stage of ingesting water service, 779 million missing primary sanitation companies (together with 208 million who nonetheless apply open defecation), and 839 million nonetheless missing primary hygiene companies, based on UNICEF.
In Kenya, about 28 million individuals nonetheless lack entry to protected water whereas 41 million lack entry to improved sanitation. These numbers have been exacerbated by the hostile results of local weather change as over 90 per cent of water sources have dried up in some areas in latest months – leaving greater than 4 million individuals grappling with acute starvation in what has been described because the longest and most extreme drought on file within the Horn of Africa.
In alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Growth Objective (SDG) 6, IBM will look to assist initiatives that assist enhance equitable entry to protected ingesting water for all, enhance water high quality by lowering air pollution, improve water-use effectivity throughout all sectors, shield and restore water-related ecosystems, improve sanitation administration and cut back the variety of individuals affected by water shortage, amongst different functions.
The RFP course of will embody enter from IBM throughout disciplines, and from representatives from organizations reminiscent of Water.org and the United Nations Growth Programme. The choice standards will take into account the applicant’s capability and readiness to assist communities which are particularly susceptible to water-related threats, technical feasibility and sustainability for the envisioned resolution, and transparency on measurement and reporting – together with others.
“Sub-Saharan Africa stays probably the most water-stressed areas in Africa and globally on account of elements reminiscent of local weather change, elevated water necessities, inhabitants development, and poverty. With the latest developments – not restricted to instances of devastating droughts and flooding – threatening the way forward for thousands and thousands, addressing the water disaster turns into much more pressing by the day,” mentioned the Normal Supervisor of IBM Africa Development Markets, Julia Carvalho. “This is the reason we’re delighted to prolong our water-management options to organizations with initiatives that want them as they search to empower communities to beat these water challenges in a bid to drive water stewardship and in the end, resilience within the area.”
This 12 months’s RFP course of will embody enter from Ben Mandell, Utility Providers Professional at Water.org and Mary M. Matthews, Head of the UNDP Ocean Innovation Problem and interim Head of Water and Ocean Governance Programme – along with different companion specialists. They’ll share their enter and experience all through the choice cycle. Kevin Pietersen, PhD, Analysis Fellow on the Institute for Water Research, College of the Western Cape, has additionally been tasked with the accountability of implementing these choice standards as a choose. Boasting over 30 years of expertise within the water, surroundings, geosciences and power sectors and offering consultancy and evaluation companies to different water initiatives throughout Africa, Dr Pietersen may even consider the proposals and share enter that may inform IBM’s picks.
“Innovation within the water administration house is essential for assembly UN SDG 6,” mentioned Mandell, one of many judges for the water cohort choice. “Group initiatives which are chosen to take part within the IBM Sustainability Accelerator can have a major alternative to make an influence with the assistance of IBM’s know-how, experience, and community throughout its giant ecosystem of companions.”
Non-profit and authorities initiatives targeted on water administration can apply to the RFP from March 14th till the tip of Might 2023. The chosen individuals might be introduced in November 2023.