The Oklahoma International Water Prize is awarded to honor and acknowlege international contributions either through service, research or teaching to community development in the field of water and sanitation in rural, developing and remote areas. Ben Fawcett is an environmental health engineer, development manager and lecturer who has worked in over countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America since . He has worked on irrigation in Mauritania, with Oxfam GB, as Technical Adviser, Country Program Manager (for Vietnam, Laos and Burma) and Technical Director.
This work included both relief situations, from the Ethiopian famine to an earthquake in Mexico City and refugees in Tanzania, and development programs, from Haiti to Cambodia and Vietnam. From to Ben was a freelance consultant reviewing programs with several NGOs, from Save the Children in Tibet, to Water Aid in Uganda, Oxfam GB in Chad and the Leon Foundation in South Africa. He then became a Lecturer at the University of Southampton, UK, where he directed a Masters program in Engineering for Development for ten years. Many of the nearly graduates of that program are making significant contributions themselves to the water and sanitation sector around the developing world.In he co-authored a book on the global sanitation crisis (‘The Last Taboo’: Black and Fawcett). This book provides a unique look into what is usually overlooked by the developed world; adequate and dignified sanitation solutions for developing communities. Ben has tirelessly campaigned for sanitation solitions to the problem which affects . billion people in emerging nations. (World Health Organisation). Ben has also been instrumental in highlighting gender issues that have been overlooked in the push to complete U.N Millenium Development Goals. Ben will be travelling to the US in October to receive the award and will give the plenary lecture at the Oklahoma WaTER Conference, to be held Oct. and . The two-day conference will include keynote speakers and poster and paper sessions devoted to water and sanitation in remote regions of developing countries and much more.EWB would like to congratulate Ben on the award, his dedication to water and sanitation issues in community development and his contribution to EWB.