Empowering Rural Communities: Simple Water Safety Plans

Report
Water Safety
Conference 2010
Tasleem Hasan, Abraham Hicking and Jina David
Empowering Rural Communities:
Simple Water Safety Plans
Presentation Outline
•Pacific island countries – Location
•Introduction
•Issue
•Methodology
•Results and Discussion
•Conclusion
Water Safety Conference
November 2-4 2010, Kuching, Malaysia
Water Safety Conference
November 2-4 2010, Kuching, Malaysia
Introduction
Access to safe drinking water is a basic human need and essential to
public health
Resolution of 64th UN General Assembly – right to water and sanitation
declared as a human right
United Nations Secretary General's statement on World Water Day
2010 (March 22):
More people die from unsafe water than from all forms of violence,
including war.
Water Safety Conference
November 2-4 2010, Kuching, Malaysia
In Pacific island countries, every year 2800 deaths result from
diarrhoea
Preventable as often linked to unsafe water, lack of proper sanitation
and poor hygienic practices
Drinking Water Safety Plans is an efficient mechanism for ensuring
safe quality of drinking water thereby improving public health
Risk assessment and risk management approach, from catchment
to consumer
Water Safety Conference
November 2-4 2010, Kuching, Malaysia
Issue
81% of the Pacific population live in rural areas or outer islands
Most have own water supply e.g. rainwater tanks, boreholes, dug
wells, and water is consumed untreated
These communities are remote and isolated.
The national surveillance agencies in Pacific island countries
often have limited human and financial resource base
Hence the national agency do not (cannot) regularly visit and
provide advice on drinking water quality issues
Water Safety Conference
November 2-4 2010, Kuching, Malaysia
What then? What can be done?
Simple answer – empower the community to keep their water supply
safe (water safety plans)
How to do this in the Pacific? Many different cultures, over 1000
different languages
Use trained local facilitators and simple water safety plans
Water Safety Conference
November 2-4 2010, Kuching, Malaysia
Water Safety
Plans
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Water Safety Conference
November 2-4 2010, Kuching, Malaysia
Water Safety
Plans
OKAY
Water Safety Conference
November 2-4 2010, Kuching, Malaysia
Methodology
The approach of training local facilitators to empower communities
has been implemented in the Republic of Marshall Islands by SOPAC
and WHO (South Pacific office)
Done in partnership with the national surveillance RMI Environmental
Protection Authority (EPA)
Local facilitators targeted are from local NGOs, College of Marshall
Islands water quality section, MoH and MoE field workers, planning
office. This builds the capacity in-country for water safety plans
Water Safety Conference
November 2-4 2010, Kuching, Malaysia
SOPAC and WHO developed a training package
3 day course with 8 modules and delivered the training in Marshalls
Module 1 – What is Drinking WSP
Module 2 – Sanitary Survey
Module 3 – Water quality testing using hydrogen sulfide test
Module 4 – How to interpret hydrogen sulfide result
Module 5 – Field visit
Module 6 – Basic household level treatment processes
Module 7 – Field visit outcomes
Module 8 – Simple assessment
Water Safety Conference
November 2-4 2010, Kuching, Malaysia
Water Safety Conference
November 2-4 2010, Kuching, Malaysia
Simple Tools - Sanitary Inspection
Greatest facet of WSPs is its applicability to any water supply system
(large or small, urban or rural)
Main water supplies in outer islands of Marshalls are rainwater
harvesting and hand-dug wells
WHO already has sanitary inspections which are in fact simple
WSPs
Water Safety Conference
November 2-4 2010, Kuching, Malaysia
Example of rainwater harvesting sanitary inspection
1. Is there any visible contamination on
the roof catchment area (plants, dirt,
excreta etc)? Y / N
2. Are there overhanging trees or
branches? Y / N
3. Are the guttering channels that collect
water dirty? Y / N
Is the tank inlet screen absent? Y / N
Etc etc
Water Safety Conference
November 2-4 2010, Kuching, Malaysia
The sanitary inspection forms were modified to suit the local
Marshalls situation
The forms were also translated into the local dialect for greater
effectiveness
The trained facilitators fill the sanitary inspection form with the
household owner and leave a copy with them to act on managing
the risks identified
Transfer knowledge, help them identify the risks, inform how to
manage the risks etc – EMPOWER them.
Water Safety Conference
November 2-4 2010, Kuching, Malaysia
Simple Tools – Hydrogen Sulfide Kit
Very important to find the impetus for WSPs (it may not always be the
“health” angle)
It can be pride, sense of security or knowing that the water you
drink is of good quality
How can communities know this? Lab testing is irregular,
expensive, results don’t make much sense
The presence/absence hydrogen sulfide test can be utilised in such
situations
Water Safety Conference
November 2-4 2010, Kuching, Malaysia
The H2S test is a visual test.
If the water is contaminated with bacteria (H2S producing) then the
color will change from light yellow to black.
Clean water sample
Contaminated water sample
Water Safety Conference
November 2-4 2010, Kuching, Malaysia
Shown to have good correlation with faecal contamination
Visual color change has more impact on the community than lab
numbers and drives them towards taking action – impetus for WSP
Water Safety Conference
November 2-4 2010, Kuching, Malaysia
Results from Marshall Islands
Replication of training to train more local facilitators from other outer
islands
Communities visited are demonstrating positive response (managing
risks as per the sanitary inspection forms left with them)
Further follow up visits will determine sustainability
Water Safety Conference
November 2-4 2010, Kuching, Malaysia
Conclusion
WSP is the framework to ensure safe drinking water supplies
For implementing WSPs in communities (with non-technical
people) it has to be very simple
Tools such as sanitary inspections and hydrogen sulfide test can
be used
Training local facilitators to empower communities to look after
their own water supplies is an effective approach of spreading
the WSP concept
Water Safety Conference
November 2-4 2010, Kuching, Malaysia
THANK YOU VERY MUCH
KOMMOL TATA
Acknowledgement:
Governments of Australia and New
Zealand who had funded WSP support
for the RMI work
Water Safety Conference
November 2-4 2010, Kuching, Malaysia

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