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Published on: 30/03/2017

Edward Piers Cross

Today we heard the sad news that our dear friend and sector colleague; respected Supervisory Board Member; and water and sanitation sector guru; Edward Piers Cross has passed away. We convey our sincere condolences to his family, especially his wife Lynda, his children Grace, Xanthe, Gabriel and Tyson, and grand-children and to all others who were touched by his wonderful presence.

For 30 years, Piers was a passionate activist, spokesperson and thought leader for water supply and sanitation. He worked for the World Bank Water and Sanitation Program for 20 years in several capacities, including as Global Program Manager and Principle Regional Team Leader in Africa and South Asia. He advised international agencies on water and sanitation issues and was a senior advisor and tireless champion of the Sanitation and Water for All (SWA) partnership. He worked in over 40 countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. He was founding CEO of the Mvula Trust which, in the Mandela years (1990s), helped his country, South Africa, to rapidly scale up rural water and sanitation delivery.

Piers's first formal connection with IRC was in 1999, when he served as an international member on the IRC Advisory Board. In 2012, he joined IRC’s Supervisory Board. His contribution was always of great value, he kept us on the right track with his clear view of the WASH sector. We will not only miss Piers’s expertise but most of all the friendship of a man of great wisdom and humour.

In an interview he gave on World Water Day 2013, Piers presented his insider view on the past and future of international WASH cooperation. For him it was clear that the SWA partnership was our best bet for the way forward. He remained “irrepressibly optimistic about WASH’s future”.

He will be sorely missed.

On behalf of Board and Staff of IRC:

Hans van Dord (Chair), Patrick Moriarty (CEO).

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