Theme 2

Brandt Witte - Friday 12 May 2006

I am the Water and Sanitation Technical Advisor for the Hygiene Improvement Project. I am interested in discussing three very importnat questions that are raised in the background reading for Theme 2: How do programs promote HWTS and ensure that the government continues to supply improved drinking water sources?

1. Does promoting household water treatment and safe storage allow the government to shift the responsibility to individuals to finance their own safe water?

2. How can implementers promote water treatment and safe storage without reflecting negatively on existing water sources, which may or may not be safe to drink?

3. Can organizations working to improve access to water also promote HWTS without sending a confusing and conflicting message to their communities?

These questions come up over and over again in my travels and my own take is that it is important to take a multiple barriers approach and work to ensure drinking water safety at both the community source or catchment and at the household level.

Theme 2

Matthias Saladin - Sunday 14 May 2006

Dear Brandt Witte,

Your questions are very interesting, and each of them would be worth a sperate topic in this e-conference. Anyway, I will try to summarize some experiences we made in promoting several household water treatment methods in Latin America over the past 5 years:

1. Does promoting household water treatment and safe storage allow the government to shift the responsibility to individuals to finance their own safe water?

We don't think promoting HWTS should imply a shift in responsibilities - in the long run, it still should be the task of the water distribution entities (government or private) to deliver safe water. However, HWTS can help in the meantime - but realistically, "in the meantime" may be a very long period of time.
Generally, we see HWTS as a shift in public health policies (from curing to prevention), but not directly related to drinking water policies.

2. How can implementers promote water treatment and safe storage without reflecting negatively on existing water sources, which may or may not be safe to drink?

Our approach is to empower people to test their water quality. While a distribution network may deliver poor quality water, some open sources may be actually of good quality - so anyway, you need to measure quality. And in any case, safe storage is needed, because that's actually where big part of the problem arises. We are about to publish some data in this regards, but there is already published evidence that transport and storage are two big risk factors which dwarf the issue of water quality of the source...

3. Can organizations working to improve access to water also promote HWTS without sending a confusing and conflicting message to their communities?

For example, UNICEF Bolivia has already accepted the fact that centralized water treatment systems (chlorinators) generally are non-operational in the rural communities, for a series of reasons. As a consequence, they included a promotion phase of a multi-technology HWTS approach (boiling, chlorination, SODIS) after the construction phase of their water supply systems. This component has been introduced without substantially changing the methodology of these projects, as UNICEF already were aware that constructing rural water supply systems needs a strong hygiene promotion component in any way.

General comment:
I am not sure if the above can be generalized, but it has been our experience that water supply and water quality are two issues which do not interfere with each other, they rather complement each other - and that's how it should be.

New topic

ron rivera - Sunday 21 May 2006

We have to get the WHO to take us seriously and
publically say " yes, HWT technologies can help meet
the MDG".
Once that is done national and local governments will
sit up and take us seriously also.
What do you say?
Peace
Ron

water storage in clay pots

michael commeh - Sunday 21 May 2006

clay pots for storage is better in my opinion though i will not force any one to use it. though there is little knowledge on pots water stored in pots, what had been gathered so far is this: researtch has shown that when clay products cools they get magnetisd for the earth magnetic field. Now when water passes through a magnetic field, it makes plants grow healthier, greener and bigger/taller than their counterpart without magnetised water. putting one plus one is two, clean and safe water stored is fired clay pots will let me grow healthy and young with increasing age. this is one of the research we hope to star soon to investigate into. you can also try it!

theme 2

Libertad Gonzalez - Monday 22 May 2006

3. Can organizations working to improve access to water also promote HWTS without sending a confusing and conflicting message to their communities?

IFRC as an organization working to improve access to safe water promotes an integrated approach for their watsan projects. This approach basically contains 2 elements: hardware elements (construction / rehabilitation /upgrading of affordable water and sanitation facilities) and software elements (promotion of good hygiene practices at community and household level and community management system of the facilities).

Carrying out activities at household level to promote water treatment and safe storage does not exclude implementing hardware activities at water source level. A good water source does not ensure that post-delivery contamination is not done at household level so only through integration of these two aspects in the same project we can ensure high quality in services delivering and gaining better health status in the community.

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