Access to water for life is a basic human need and a fundamental human right. Yet in our largely prosperous world, more than 1 billion people people do not have access to clean water. So asserts the 2006 U.N. Human Development Report: Beyond Scarcity, Power, Poverty and the Global Water Crisis.
Because it impacts the social and economic welfare of people from village to state, it is also becoming an important political issue.
Mr. Opong has worked for over 25 years in international development and program management in developing countries, with a focus on water supply and sanitation programs. He most recently administered support for a 5-year Hilton Foundation and World Vision funded rural water program covering Ghana, Mali, Niger, South Africa and Namibia. From 1997-2002, he was Project Director for the World Vision Ghana Rural Water Project. He served earlier in his career as a consultant to UNICEF covering health care service in Central, Western, and Eastern regions of Ghana. Mr. Opong has an MPS in Agriculture from Cornell University.
World Vision is one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the world. With a $1B budget, it operates on six continents, with a stated goal of "working for the well-being of all people, especially children."
Mr. Lubasi, a native of Zambia, is currently the manager of the World Vision Area Development Project in southeastern Zambia. He works directly with villagers to help organize local committees, which implement borehole installations and manage sanitation systems.
Emmanuel Opong, a native of Ghana, is currently the World Vision International Program Officer for five countries in Africa. Previously he managed the $15 million Hilton Foundation/World Vision funded Rural Water and Sanitation program in Ghana and West Africa.
Maria Wulff is president of the World Affairs Council of Oregon.
She was formerly director of business assistance at the International Trade Institute and managing director of an import company producing custom products in Asia for worldwide distribution. She was founder and president of the East West Business Association and serves on a number of civic boards.
She holds degrees in History, International Relations, and Business from Portland State University, the University of Zagreb in Croatia, and Harvard University.