Take the plunge, it’s World Water Day!

By Rebeca Mendoza, Rotary International Regional Grants Officer

Today, World Water Day, is dedicated to learning more about water related issues, sharing our individual stories and projects, and taking action to make a difference. Nearly 1.5 billion people work in water related sectors and nearly all jobs depend on the safe delivery of water. The theme for World Water Day 2016— water and jobs — focuses on how access to sufficient quantities and adequate quality of water can change workers’ lives and livelihoods – and transform societies and economies.*

Cimenagraph_ghanaRotarians are working hard to improve lives through clean water. As a Regional Grants Officer for District 9211, which consists of Uganda and Tanzania, I receive a high volume of applications for Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) grants.  While WASH initiatives in this region vary by location, many of them consist of providing wells and rainwater harvesting, improving sanitation, and many are WASH in schools projects. In honor of World Water Day, I hope the following responses to two common questions about WASH grants help your club and district strengthen your water and sanitation projects:

What are the most important components of water and sanitation projects?

The strongest WASH grant applications include a thorough community assessment that consists of an evaluation of the communities, their assets, and their priorities. This assessment may be done through discussions or surveys, but the most important thing is that an open dialogue is carried out with not just the sponsors, but with the local community members.

For all of these projects, we suggest starting with a detailed implementation schedule that lists infrastructure activities (e.g., constructing latrines) and their duration, training activities, and monitoring and evaluation activities. Rotarians will often provide descriptions of the environment in grant applications, as well as water statistics. While this is great information, it is not sufficient because it does not specify how the proposed technologies and interventions were selected and why the selected technologies/interventions are best for the particular community.

What makes a project sustainable?

One of the most important components of a WASH project is the training and outreach to complement the systems being implemented. The kind of training will vary by project type, but some sort of training is always required to make the project sustainable.

In my opinion, this is where Rotarian involvement matters most. The training provides an opportunity not only to share important information about best WASH practices, but also helps establish lasting connections with the communities in which these projects are taking place. Some of the best projects I see have substantial training and outreach by Rotarians and the outcomes show that this makes a huge difference in the project’s long-term success.

Traditional charity and aid alone will not solve the problems caused by poverty but building relationships and empowering communities will transform communities. Rotarians have a contagious enthusiasm for doing good in the world. The projects I see that have significant Rotarian involvement spread this positive outlook and enthusiasm throughout communities. I know you can’t measure these things, but I’d like to argue that these experiences, filled with passion and dedication, lead to long-term sustainability. Community members feel empowered by being able to take part in solving their own challenges; empower community members eagerly go on to help others.

Water is more than just essential to quench thirst or protect health; water is vital for creating jobs and supporting economic, social, and human development. If you are planning a WASH project, consider the impact you can make beyond the provision of water supply.

Join the #WorldWaterDay celebration by using #WaterIs to share messages about #Rotary Water and Sanitation initiatives on Twitter and Facebook.

*[United Nation’s World Water Day website]

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Author: rotaryservice

The Rotary Service Connections blog helps Rotarians plan effective and inspired service projects. If you have questions, comments, or story recommendations, contact us at rotary.service@rotary.org

5 thoughts on “Take the plunge, it’s World Water Day!”

  1. WATER IS LIFE – there s no other substitute for this 3% only treatable water for human use & the rest 97% is oceanic salt Kudos for ,much more popular
    Action of the world rotary water project & collaborative project to train more water engineering manpower in developing countries IP ROTARY Project
    Gbemisoye Tijani
    D9135
    Rc Oluyole estate cedar resort Gra Ibadan

  2. I mean o write D9125 and say STAY HOPEFUL FOR THE WORLD S 60% still craving for adequate water & sanitation issues,Thanks to MATT Damon & Gary White who initiated Nd supported TOILET Installations in needy areas ,Hear their truthful frank thinking aloud & field findings ALMOST 800 million people – I e a figure more than Canada USA & western Europe – have no access to safe drinking water,yet if you monitor & ensure any grant or help cash o infrastructure they will fulfill destinies just ensure Judicious USE OF HELP,May the creator heal the world of greed
    beware sophisticated helpers so have no genuine compassion for the marginalized or refugees
    In Ethipia Damon witnessed a young kid carrying water which he tried to do even though he s 3ce weightier
    according to Rotarian s interview anchored by Charles fishman,

    Actor Matt & Engineer Damon were genuinely optimists and water activists Whose model can’t be forgotten by the communities their special intervention have had impact
    Even in developing democracies se are still battling with la k of enough water per individual & household in the urban cities let alone talking of rural communities who could naivelyresort to any source of water
    and therefore be captured by any of the waterborne diseases
    Thanks to Rotary unruffled attitude to neglect of public responsibility-askance if the like of ROTARY INTERNATIONAL viA her clubs and well,mearning partners s & friends didn’t do it who else will provide sanitation & basic succor for cleanliness for the hygienically helpless rural & urban poor ?
    We can modestly reflect failed water projects of the past decades in the80s and concerned role of WATER ACTIVISTS ,rotary and collaborators globally in providing water as a basic amenity without which the body & the community can’t function normallyphysiologically

    .Felicitations to all concerned with WORLD WATER DAY
    Gbemisoye Tijani
    Pp,PHF,ROTI,charter treasurer RC Oluyole estate d9125,Trainer
    RI VOLUNTEER MONITOR 2012 SPD in Minjibir Lga Kano Stste
    Gbemi is also former unesco youth club leader in Ogun state Nigeria in the 70s

  3. Kjdos o all ;Rotary clubs in D9125 who have contributed ahugely to water & health projects and Rotary clubs at Abuja who have provided boreholes and adopted villages who could ve been deprived of water access- even in Federal Capital Territory,Ope your beneficiaries will flow with WORLD WATER DAY easily ,,,,
    Gbemisoye Tijani
    Aka MST
    24/3/18.2244am

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