The other day, David Zetland posted a great item about Joe Troester, whom we both saw (DZ for the first time) at the recent Sixth World Water Forum. It had probably been 10 years since I had seen him.
If there is anyone on the front lines of the water world, it's Joe, whom I first met about 15 years ago at a Lifewater International conference. At the time, I was just getting started in hydrophilanthropy and Joe had been doing it in his spare time while he worked as a hydrogeologist for the U.S. Geological Survey in Puerto Rico (he has a PhD from The Pennsylvania State University).
In 2006 he, his wife Deborah (a Lutheran minister), and daughter Christa moved to Burkina Faso, then to the Central African Republic (CAR). The Troesters are missionaries for the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).
When I first met him he was doing hydrophilanthropic work in Haiti, and if memory serves me correctly, the ACJ Foundation gave him one of our first grants to do some geophysical work on Île de la Gonâve to locate some water wells.
Joe runs the African Water Log, and David noted this perceptive post by Joe about the recent 6WWF:
Although the World Water Forum focused on the developing world, there seemed to be little interest in places like the CAR. It would be a slight misrepresentation to say that the conference was all about aid agencies and commercial companies in the developed world selling their assistance and products to the developing world. But that was clearly the focus of many. There were, however, others hidden in the corners that were interested in the poorest of the poor... keep reading
I would agree with him about the CAR; it's 'too poor', but it apparently does have significant mineral resources (uranium, oil, gold, diamonds, etc.).
We need more people like Joe and Deborah Troester.
"On this World Water Day 2012, it's good to remember that at least some people care about providing safe water to the and sanitation to those in places like CAR. If you're reading this blog, you're probably one of them. Thank you, for helping us reach those in greatest need!" - Joe Troester, 22 March 2012