Home · Blog · Cestos City : Why community training is an essential component of water and sanitation projects

At Voss Foundation, a water project is not about digging a well, taking a picture, and going home.  It is a carefully thought out process that involves as much intensive planning and preparation beforehand as it does monitoring and evaluation afterward.  The actual construction phase is usually the shortest and easiest part of the project!  Most importantly, the community is involved in every aspect of project development, so that their knowledge of local conditions is taken into account, and it is ultimately their water project – we’re just helping them improve their own lives with access to clean water!  Education plays an important role in project efficacy and sustainability.  Understanding the “why” and “how” is essential to acceptance of a new water and sanitation system.  Here’s a perfect example from our Lene Maria for Rent Vann projects in Rivercess, Liberia:

 
 

“During hygiene education, we address the importance of safe drinking water and encourage residents to only use the hand pump water for drinking. We’ve found that rural people sometimes need to hear and understand why the new way of life being proposed [safe pump water]is better than the old way [creek water]. In one case a resident mentioned that the creek water was usually cooler then pump water and continued to use the creek water. We had to of course intervene and make the case for not drinking creek water.” -Emmett Wilson, Program Coordinator, FACE Africa

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