Action – not words - will be the true measure of success at COP28

30 November 2023
Image: WaterAid/ Khaula Jamil

WaterAid is at COP28 this year, calling on world leaders to make people's needs for water, sanitation and hygiene a priority in adaptation action. 

Sultan Al Jaber, the president of the UN COP28 climate summit, delivered his opening address today to kickstart the climate summit, where he acknowledged clean water as an issue that is 'critical to adaptation' and that we must 'finally face'.

In response to the COP28 President Sultan Al Jaber's opening address in Dubai, Claire Seaward, WaterAid’s Global Policy and Campaigns Director said:

"The climate crisis is undeniably a water crisis which is why it is incredibly important to hear COP28 President Dr Sultan Al Jaber confirm water’s pivotal role in tackling the climate crisis in today's opening address.

“But action will be the true measure, not words. COP28 must be the year where delivery on adaptation matches that of mitigation and people's needs for water, sanitation and hygiene are prioritised.

“The lives of people most vulnerable to climate change depend on it. We cannot let climate change wash away peoples’ futures.”



WaterAid will be attending COP28 in Dubai, with expert spokespeople on the ground available for interviews, comment and analysis, including our CEO Tim Wainwright, youth advocates and country programme directors.

To interview any of our spokespeople or for any other WaterAid media queries, please contact:


In Dubai: Emma Sutton-Smith, WaterAid News Manager - 07588305443, [email protected]


In London: Safeeyah Kazi, [email protected] or call our after-hours press line on +44 (0)7887 521 552  


Available WaterAid spokespeople

Week 1

  • Tim Wainwright, WaterAid’s Chief Executive (expertise: general climate, water, adaptation)
  • Claire Seaward, WaterAid Global Campaigns Director (expertise: general climate, water, adaptation)
  • Kate Hughes, CEO of the Resilient Water Accelerator (expertise: climate finance, water infrastructure, private sector)
  • Adam Garley, Country Director – Mozambique (expertise: climate, health, Mozambique)
  • Partha Hefaz Shaikh, Director, Programmes and Policy Advocacy in Bangladesh (expertise: climate, health, Bangladesh)

Week 2

  • Caroline Maxwell, senior climate campaigner (expertise: climate change and water)
  • Youth Advocates from Madagascar and Bangladesh (details provides on request)
  • Hantaniaina Rabesandratana, Head of Programme, Governance & Policy in Madagascar (French interviews)
  • Ernest Randriarimalala,  Communications Specialist, Madagascar

Available virtually throughout week 1 and 2

  • Katherine Nightingale, Global International Affairs Director Policy & Campaigns (expertise: general climate, water, adaptation)
  • Sol Oyuela, Executive Director, Global Policy and Campaigns (expertise: general climate, water, adaptation)
  • Arielle Nylander, Senior Policy Analyst Health (expertise: health and climate)
  • John Garrett, Senior Policy Analyst (expertise: development finance)
  • Annie Msosa, Senior Campaigner for Women's Health (expertise: health and gender)
  • Raheema Panhwar, Gender Advisor in Pakistan (expertise: gender)


Notes to Editors: 


WaterAid is an international not-for-profit determined to make clean water, decent toilets and good hygiene normal for everyone, everywhere within a generation.  We work alongside communities in 22 countries to secure these three essentials that transform people’s lives. Since 1981, WaterAid has reached 28.5 million people with clean water and 29 million people with decent toilets. 

For more information, visit our website, follow us on Twitter @WaterAidPress, @WaterAidUK, @WaterAid, or find us on Facebook, LinkedIn or Instagram

  • 703 million people in the world – almost one in ten – do not have clean water close to home. 
  • 1.5 billion people in the world – almost than one in five – do not have a decent toilet of their own. 
  • Over 300,000 children under five die every year from diarrhoeal diseases caused by poor water and sanitation. That's more than 800 children a day, or one child every two minutes. 
  • Investing in safely managed water, sanitation and hygiene services provides up to 21 times more value than it costs. 

[1] WHO/UNICEF (2021) Progress on household drinking water, sanitation and hygiene 2000-2020. Joint Monitoring Programme. Geneva: World Health Organisation. 

[2] WHO/UNICEF (2021) Progress on household drinking water, sanitation and hygiene 2000-2020. Joint Monitoring Programme. Geneva: World Health Organisation. 

[3] WaterAid calculations based on: Prüss-Ustün A, et al. (2019). Burden of Disease from Inadequate Water, Sanitation and Hygiene for Selected Adverse Health Outcomes: An Updated Analysis with a Focus on Low- and Middle-Income Countries. International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health. vol 222, no 5, pp 765-777. AND The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (2020) Global Burden of Disease Study 2019. Seattle, WA: University of Washington. 

[4] WaterAid. (2021) Mission-critical: Invest in water, sanitation and hygiene for a healthy and green economic recovery.