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Issues for the Community Mobilizer

By Phil Bartle, PhD

Dedicated to Andrew Livingstone

Training Handout

What issues should be considered when choosing water as a priority?

This handout lists the various issues that need to be resolved if the community chooses a water supply facility as its priority. All of them are discussed in various locations throughout this water module. they are directed towards the mobilizer, and your work with the community.

  • Water alone will not decrease disease, nor reduce poverty;
  • A campaign of water-borne disease understanding must be included with water supply;
  • A change in behaviour is needed to keep water pure from tap to mouth;
  • Sanitation must be included if water is to promote health;
  • People must understand why they are doing, as well as how to do it;
  • A water supply is an investment not a consumer good;
  • Providing water is not free;
  • Myths that water should be free need to be debunked (it may be a right to have free water, but it costs resources to get it from its source to the mouth);
  • Giving a community free water promotes dependency and perpetuates poverty;
  • Communities that contribute to their water supply will more likely maintain it;
  • Politicians must be understood by the mobilizer;
  • Politicians can help empower a community but are predisposed to promote dependency;
  • Water committees should be transparent in their decisions and finances;
  • Communities must organize any awareness raising campaigns;
  • Communities need to learn how to manage their water supplies;
  • Communities must decide the appropriate sources of water;
  • Communities must decide the appropriate technology for providing water;
  • No single technology is best for every condition;
  • Communities are advised to have a mix of technologies;
  • Communities should calculate per capita costs of supplying water;
  • Communities must decide how to recover costs;
  • Communities must decide if fees or rates should be used;
  • Communities must distinguish between capital costs and operating costs; and
  • Communities must manage their own water supply facilities.

Water Issues:

Ilustración 1, Asamblea comunitaria; toma de conciencia

© Copyright 1967, 1987, 2007 Phil Bartle
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Last update: 2012.07.20

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