Mar 20 2013

Safe Drinking Water and its policy Framework

Collage 2

We have organized a  workshop on “Discussion on safe drinking water and its policy framework” on 5th March 2013 at our IIT Madras Research Park office premises by in which more than twenty five leading government and non government organizations working in the field of water and sanitation across the world participated.  We have collaborated with LEAD (League for Education and Development) and EAWAG (Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology or EAWAG, Switzerland).LEAD had come up with the draft policy on HWTS (House hold Water  Treatment and Storage), and approached AAUM to facilitate a workshop inviting relevant experts from Government, NGOs and research organizations to discuss the need for safe drinking water and the role of HWTS.

The draft National Policy on Water and Sanitation was released, keeping in mind the present scenario and taking many water related issues into account. However, the draft policy does not concentrate on safe drinking water to Households. The main objective of the workshop was to gather inputs from stakeholders on the current national policy on water with special focus on safe drinking water and need for inclusion of household water treatment and storage methods. immune system. Also waterborne diseases are due to fecal contamination of drinking water.

Prior to workshop, our consultants met the government and non government officials in person and invited them for the workshop . The registration for the workshop was started at 9. 30 am on 5th of March 13. After the registration, the workshop was started with the LEAD’s anthem. Mrs.Radha, the executive director of LEAD welcomed the delegates and gave introduction about objective of the workshop. And then Dr.Amit Nair, consultant of World Bank shared his experience challenges and present condition of water in various states, especially in Tamilnadu. He also imposed the need of HWTS in his sharing. For water treatment he highlighted the available water treatment systems with the features and limitations of those. Mrs.Radha Director of LEAD, shared the draft policy drafted on HWTS by LEAD and the copies of the same have been shared with all delegates. Ms. Kavitha, Program Manager explained the activities carried out by LEAD with regards to water, HWTS and SODIS promotion efforts from the year 2002. She also detailed the genesis of water initiative of LEAD.

In between a pre tested contribution sheet issued to all the delegates, to gather the suggestions to strengthen the policy on safe drinking water and HWTS. The delegates were asked to share their suggestions in the contribution sheet and return  it to the volunteers. Collected contribution sheets were analyzed and the suggestions were consolidated by the organizing committee. The consolidated suggestions were taken and presented in the discussion session by Mr.Rajesh, Managing Director of AAUM. The discussion session was very live and there was a mutual conversation between the delegates and the session holder. Delegates shared their suggestions to strengthen the policy on safe drinking water and HWTS.

Delegate’s Response on Need for Safe Drinking Water Policy Framework

More than one third of the delegates (80%) harmoniously accepted that the need of policy for safe drinking water is essential. (Refer the picture) And very few (5%)said that there is no need for the  policy for drinking water. And less than one fifth  of the delegates (15%) did not respond to the need.

Suggestions Shared by the Delegates

  • Awareness need to be generated to avail low cost method to purify the water, and handling of water for proper water storage at the household level.
  • Awareness on WASH should concentrate more on Children, Youth and Women at household level.
  • Pipe water supply has to be encouraged at all household level  to decrease the wastage of water and contamination.
  • Unauthorized tapping and illegal connections must be controlled by VWSC at rural level.
  • CSR activities can be initiated to avail HWTS products and knowledge on them has to be incorporated at the rural level.
  • Available irrigation ponds and lakes have to be safeguarded
  • Established network for water tank and sump cleaning has to be ensured
  • Metro water pipes with surface are to be monitored periodically
  • Water contamination occurs mostly due to breakage of pipes and sewage mixing and so the monitoring by the concerned officials is to be made strict.
  • Urban Slum development programs should ensure the appropriate water and sanitation while designing the projects.
  • Coordinating mechanism or periodical review among different departments connected to water and sanitation is important.
  • Insisting on regular water harvesting has to be made a part of agenda to the water departments.
  • Strategies to be designed to empower the people about the related policy level decisions.
  • Maintaining good quality and quantity of supply.
  • Ensuring critical basic entitlements.
  • Endorsements and analysis about the potential role of HWTS in aiding the decreasing of gap towards universal safe water consumption have to be available.
  • Campaign of “FIT AND FOLLOW-UP” to ensure water supply and related issues.
  • The low cost authorized water treatment methods and products information should be made available at public domain.
  • Awareness generation among the rural population has to decentralized.
  • Source protection and sustainability should exist.
  • Community participation and commitment should play a major role.
  • Network among different departments working for water and sanitation.
  • Must be ensured that the most vulnerable have access to clean and safe drinking water.
  • Policy reforms with regard to “water for all”
  • Accountability, empowerment and strategy for IEC activities to promote safe drinking water.

Discussion on safe drinking water and its policy frame work

Way forward

Collaboration with LEAD, We will form a Forum of delegates, who participated in the workshop. And the forum of delegates will be continuously involved in gathering for further discussions, in shaping the draft policy, so that it becomes a suitable policy on drinking water. And the suggestions of the delegates will be taken into the account to shape the policy to the final stage by incorporating the role of HWTS in to the current water and sanitation policy. The process would bring appropriate changes to the draft policy with the coordination of delegates. The amended draft policy shall, then,  be presented to the level of planning commission of state and central. The delegates were very happy to be the part of this unique initiative to ensure the safe drinking water for the most vulnerable people. They were also happily accepted to participate in further discussions to shape the policy to expected level.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>