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CLOSE THIS BOOKSpecial Public Works Programmes - SPWP - Community Water Supply - A Community Participation Training Element for SPWP User Beneficiaries (ILO - UNDP, 1987, 100 p.)
SESSION 8: Some Responsibilities of a Water Committee
VIEW THE DOCUMENTGUIDELINES
VIEW THE DOCUMENTREADING SECTION

Special Public Works Programmes - SPWP - Community Water Supply - A Community Participation Training Element for SPWP User Beneficiaries (ILO - UNDP, 1987, 100 p.)

SESSION 8: Some Responsibilities of a Water Committee

GUIDELINES

DISCUSSION LEADER’S GUIDE

OBJECTIVES:

At the end of this learning/discussion session, the participants should be able to:

1. Recognise and discuss potential problems arising from the human factor within the community.

2. Make decisions about appropriate duties of the community water committee.

TIME:

one to two hours

MATERIAL:

chalkboard and chalk, or flipchart and pen

SESSION GUIDE:

1. In the introductory section, guide the participants to the understanding that human factors are usually responsible for the failure of a water system.

2. There is no DISCUSSION OPPORTUNITY section in this session. However, there should be a lot of discussion!

In the section entitled “Some Responsibilities of Community Water Committees” there are 29 responsibilities listed. Not all of them will be necessary for all communities. However, the participants should think about each one and decide if it is important to their village.

Ask the participants to first work individually or in small groups. They should note their answers about each responsibility in their books, e.g. Should this responsibility be done in our area? By whom?

Then DISCUSS the responsibilities with the entire group. Help the participants come to an agreement on which responsibilities should be undertaken.

Try to get a commitment from the group that the necessary duties and responsibilities will actually be undertaken.

Note: Make sure that all participants understand who in the local or regional government will be responsible for assisting the community with the water supply project.

READING SECTION

INSTRUCTIONS

Read the Introduction and then work in small groups. Discuss each of the suggested water committee responsibilities.

Answer the questions about each responsibility. Then discuss your answers with all group members.

INTRODUCTION

In some communities, improved water supply projects have not been successful because of human problems. Some systems are never even completed because of, for example:

· arguments about property rights at the water source
· arguments about the locations of standposts
· arguments about the division of labour.

Even after successful construction, human factors can destroy the water supply system. Examples of such things are:

· little or no maintenance
· abuse (by children or curious adults)
· sabotage (by villagers who feel cheated and therefore want to punish everyone else; or by selfish villagers who cut open a pipeline to irrigate their fields).

A COMMUNITY WATER COMMITTEE

Because community water projects are community efforts, there may be problems with local disputes, politics and economics. The problems that arise are rarely clearly defined or easily solved. However, a community water committee can help avoid many problems caused by human factors.

The committee is made up of interested villagers. Among its members there should be women as well as men. Teachers, medical workers, village leaders and representatives from each area where there will be a new standpost or well should also participate.

In different villages the committee may have different duties. On the following pages, there is a list of some responsibilities that some water committees have.

The responsibilities are listed in three groups: Before Construction; During Construction and After Construction. However, please notice that some of these responsibilities may occur during all three time periods.

Think about each responsibility. Decide if it is a responsibility that the members of your water committee should undertake. Perhaps you will find some new ideas that will help make your water system a success for many years to come.

REMEMBER!

MANY OF THE RESPONSIBILITIES ARE RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE ENTIRE COMMUNITY - NOT JUST THE MEMBERS OF THE COMMITTEE.

BEFORE CONSTRUCTION

RESPONSIBILITY

SHOULD THIS BE DONE IN OUR AREA?
(YES OR NO)

BY WHOM?

COMMENTS

1. Present the community’s view of its own needs to the water agency (government or project representative responsible for water).




2. Help perform studies (e.g. census taking) and gather information with the technicians from the water agency.




3. Report to the entire community at public meetings and explain what is happening with the project and why.




4. Introduce outside project personnel to the community and explain their activities and responsibilities.




5. Organise community education about the benefits of water supply and sanitation systems.




6. Organise support for the project from individuals in the community.




7. Get legal authority (from government if necessary) to collect necessary money.




8. Obtain ownership rights for land on which storage tanks, standposts or wells are to be constructed; and also for land around the spring (for reforestation) and on which pipes are passed.




9. Explain the different types of water systems possible for the community and explain community responsibilities associated with each alternative.




10. Set up a system to collect and distribute project money.




ADD BELOW ANY ADDITIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES BEFORE CONSTRUCTION OF YOUR WATER SUPPLY SYSTEM WHICH HAVE NOT BEEN MENTIONED ABOVE.




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DURING CONSTRUCTION

RESPONSIBILITY

SHOULD THIS BE DONE IN OUR AREA?
(YES OR NO)

BY WHOM?

COMMENTS

1. Work with construction supervisor to organise labour.




2. Arrange the storage of equipment, tools, vehicles and materials.




3. Arrange the transportation of supplies within the community.




4. Keep financial ledgers during construction (to be done by a committee member who has experience in accounting).




5. Work closely with health educators to explain proper water use, environmental sanitation and personal hygiene to the community.




6. Continue project promotion.




7. Make decisions about the caretaker - e.g. Who should be chosen? Could it be a woman? How many caretakers? What should he/she do? etc.




8. Make decisions about expenses and spare parts -e.g. who should contribute to the expenses of running and repairing the water system? Where should spare parts be kept? What spare parts should be ordered?




ADD BELOW ANY ADDITIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES DURING CONSTRUCTION OF YOUR WATER SUPPLY SYSTEM WHICH HAVE NOT BEEN MENTIONED ABOVE.




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AFTER CONSTRUCTION

RESPONSIBILITY

SHOULD THIS BE DONE IN OUR AREA?
(YES OR NO)

BY WHOM?

COMMENTS

1. Keep a copy of the detailed plans indicating the various pipelines, valves, equipment and other parts of the system. Keep manuals for operation and maintenance of the system.




2. Collect a maintenance fee and keep on accounting of receipts and expenses.




3. Purchase spare parts and recruit/pay any hired maintenance labour.




4. Provide financial support for the caretaker and for minor repairs.




5. Arrange voluntary labour when necessary for maintenance/repair work.




6. Arrange routine cleaning/maintenance of intakes, tanks and pipelines.




7. Arrange care and drainage of standposts.




8. Prevent (and cure) vandalism.




9. Prevent improper water use.




10. Protect spring and watershed area.




11. Look after tools and spare parts.




12. Continue education of villagers in the maintenance and benefits of the water system.




ADD BELOW ANY ADDITIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES AFTER CONSTRUCTION OF YOUR WATER SUPPLY SYSTEM WHICH HAVE NOT BEEN MENTIONED ABOVE.




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