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Zimbabwean Scientist Awarded Stockholm Water Prize

Africans often face lack of clean water and sanitation. (Credit: Save the Children)
A Zimbabwean scientist is this year’s Stockholm Water Prize recipient for his innovations in safe sanitation and clean water supplies.

Dr. Peter Morgan, a former civil servant with the Ministry of Health, will receive his prize of $150 thousand and a crystal sculpture at a ceremony in Stockholm during World Water Week in September.

Some of Dr. Morgan’s innovations adapted by the Zimbabwe government include the Bush Water Pump, the Blair Ventilated Pit Latrine and the upgraded family well, used mainly by rural communities. The 70-year old researcher says the technologies he designed are also being used in other African countries. For each of his technologies, Dr. Morgan says he developed a wide range of training and educational materials to help communities install and maintain them without expert supervision.

Dr. Morgan calls the award an “honour” not only for him, but for all the people of Zimbabwe.

“I think it means the recognition to me personally," Morgan said. “It means the recognition of perhaps most of my lifetime’s work, which has been dedicated to this area. For the country I think it’s important to many of my colleagues here within the [inaudible] community and within the government have told me that it means a lot to Zimbabwe, as well, to be recognized for the work that we have done in this country to actually push the state of the art forward.”

For more of the Interview with Dr. Morgan, click the link below.

Interview with Dr. Peter Morgan
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Dr. Morgan is a naturalized Zimbabwean. He was born in 1943 and educated in England where he graduated with a Ph.D. in marine biology. He worked as a chief research officer at the Ministry of Health’s Blair Research Institute in Harare, now called the National Institute of Health Research. In 1991, he was awarded member of the Order of the British Empire (OBE). Dr. Morgan has received many other awards and distinctions, including the International Inventors Award, the AMCOW Africasan Award for Technical Innovation in Sanitation, and the Rural Water Supply Network Award for Lifetime Services to Rural Water Supply.

The Sweden-based Stockholm prize committee, which has selected a winner every year since 1991, says Dr. Morgan was chosen for what they called his “unwavering commitment to inventing low-cost practical solutions to provide access to safe sanitation and clean water to millions of people worldwide.” The Director of the Stockholm Water Prize, Mr. Jens Berggren, says making the selection was not easy, but Morgan’s work was special because its beneficiaries were the poor.

“I think the [inaudible] nomination committee was really impressed that he has done over the past 40 years," said Mr. Berggren, "sort of effortlessly supporting the lives of poor people out there by designing and inventing new solutions for—especially poor people’s—access to good sanitation and good, clean drinking water.”

According to the committee’s website, the purpose of the award is to recognize what it calls the world’s most visionary minds for driving “water development forward.”