Royal decoration for Henk Holtslag by the Dutch Minister of Development Affairs

Royal decoration for Henk Holtslag

On 19 November Mr. Henk Holtslag, technical coordinator of Connect International, has been decorated Knight in the Order of the Royal family Oranje Nassau. The decoration was awarded by the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs during a special celebration at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Mr. Holtslag has worked for more than 25 years on the development and promotion of what we call SMART Techs. Mr. Holtslag has specifically worked on the now famous Rope pump (for which he is often called 'Mr. rope pump), of which currently many thousands function to provide the poorest on earth with good and nearby drinking and irrigation water. Mr. Holtslag has done his work in many occasions on his own account, without any financial support. While others were focusing on conventional (often not sustainable) technologies Henk Holtslag knew that the solution would rather be technologies that can be locally produced and maintained and that are affordable to even the poorest people. He has proven right and for that he has been rightfully awarded the very high royal decoration, as with these technologies now hundreds of thousands of people have better health and better welfare. We congratulate Henk wholeheartedly and are very proud to work with such a frontliner in appropriate technologies and such a friend and especially also respected example for many other people in the development sector.

November 2008