204355 Models of Community involvment in improving drinking water and sanitation in low income communities

Monday, November 9, 2009: 3:10 PM

Professor Paul R. Hunter, MB ChB MBA MD F , School of Medicine, Health Policy and Practice, University of East Anglia/ IPWR Chair of Executive Board of Directors, Norwich, United Kingdom
Graciela I. Ramirez-Toro, PhD , *, Lajas, PR
Many water and sanitation interventions in low-income countries fail. In part this failure is due to poor planning and design and in part because of local communities do not adequately maintain the system. A recent study from South Africa reported that a substantial number of systems reviewed were not providing water on the day of inspection. Reasons for failure include the well having dried up, the pump having broken, no money for fuel for the pump and the pump operator being ill. It is well recognised that for water quality interventions to be sustainable the local community has to be actively involved. This community involvement needs to start at the design stage and be carried through to ensuring adequate training of key personnel and also education of the general community in order that the can help protect vulnerable source waters.

However, there is no adequate consensus about what form that community involvement should take. At one end of the spectrum community involvement may be restricted to providing some form of training and education and at the other end the community may participate fully in the design, implementation and management of a system. This seminar will present the experiences of several water and sanitation intervention projects, focusing on how the community was engaged in the project and discussing successes and failures in that process.

Learning Objectives:
Describe the significance of community involvement in water and sanitation interventions in low income communities to address water borne disease. Identify approaches to gain community involvement to foster improved outcomes and strengthen sustainability of interventions.

Keywords: Water, International Public Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: European Editor - Journal of Water and Health Percival S, Embry M, Hunter P, Chalmers R, Sellwood J. Microbiology of Waterborne Diseases: Microbiological Aspects and Risks. Academic Press, 2004. Hunter PR, Waite M, Ronchi E. (eds.) Drinking Water and Infectious Disease: Establishing the Link. CRC Press, Bocata Raton, 2002. Mons MN, van der Wielen JML, Blokkern EJM, Sinclair MI, Hulshof KFAM, Dangendorf F, Hunter PR, Medema GJ. Estimation of the consumption of cold tap water for microbiological risk assessment: an overview of studies and statistical analysis of data. Journal of Water and Health 2007; 5 (suppl. 1): 151-170.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.