Accord Network WASH Alliance
When the first case of Covid-19 was reported in Kenya, everyone thought that it would just be for a short while before things get back to normal. Six months down the line, the country has confirmed more than 39,000 Covid-19 cases with a case fatality rate of 1.9 percent. The country may have reached its peak before the end of July and since then daily cases reported by the ministry of health have been declining. At the onset of the pandemic, Living Water Kenya team guided by our global Covid-19 technical team came up with a strategy to help respond to the pandemic. The strategy was developed in tandem with the prevailing government guidelines which were being reviewed on a monthly basis based on number of Covid-19 cases reported. The organization opted to sacrifice drilling one of its planned community borehole and channeled the funds to supporting the government respond to the pandemic. Within the six months of the pandemic, Living Water team has had a lot of learning from its programs as it worked with local governments, partners, churches and the community. Through creativity and utilization of its strategy of working with churches and the local community , leaders, the organization surpassed its six months targets and has continued responding to the pandemic while other organizations slowed or stopped their operations. With the learning gained from responding to the pandemic, Living Water would like to get an opportunity to share the lessons learnt through development of a poster showcasing our response.
The onset of the global COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the urgent need for WASH services in healthcare facilities (HCFs), a gap that preceded COVID-19. Water Mission’s work in healthcare facilities has historically included the implementation of solar-powered safe water solutions. Recognizing the importance of handwashing as a preventative measure for the spread of COVID-19, Water Mission expanded its work in healthcare facilities to include installations of handwashing stations. Water Mission has installed over 7,600 handwashing stations around the world as part of its COVID-19 response, of which 12.6 percent were installed in HCFs. As development practitioners, we have an opportunity to learn from this global pandemic and strengthen systems by connecting the WASH and health sectors.
The sustainability of WASH solutions is critical to continued success. In fact, sustainability is one of the Accord Principles in Excellence in WASH. A systematic approach to reviewing sustainability has been developed by GRI (Global Reporting Initiative), of The Hague, Netherlands. In 2019, Water@Work Ministry applied the GRI methodology to create its first sustainability report. The report follows the GRI methodology which considers the sustainability aspects of the WASH solution in four aspects: Economic; Water, Sanitation & Environment; Social & Community; and Continuous Improvement. Data regarding these four aspects were collected for all six of the Water@Work, church-owned, water purification and bottling plants in the Dominican Republic for the full year of 2019. Results are shown for the economic impact of the water plants, business profitability, community infrastructure improvements, employment created, environmental impacts and recycling, and continuous improvement plans for 2020 and beyond.
In order to improve hand washing practices in emergency settings, based on local practices, motivators and barriers, ZOA has piloted the recently developed WASH’EM toolkit (washem.info) in multiple settings around the world, like Colombia, Afghanistan and Yemen.
In 2019, ZOA started a response to the increasing settlements in northeastern Colombia, linked to the Venezuelan crisis. The baseline survey showed a functioning water market whereby prices were mainly dependent on the amount of water bought at once by a household. Households with the least storage were thus paying an uneven amount per litre. ZOA intervened through the provision of water storage tanks in the area.
Over the last several years SonSet Solutions has developed and refined SonSetLink™: a complete pump monitoring solution. The technology is a platform including edge devices, tailored analytics, and data distribution that results in greater ministry impact. It’s now a mature family of monitoring solutions, including edge devices for common hand pumps like Afridev, India Mark II, Lifepump, and any solar-powered pump. We have seen many partners use the data provided by SonSetLink to make measurable, tangible improvements in the lives of men, women, and children in over 20 countries. The data made available by SonSetLink help ensure long-term sustainability of WASH services, and allow ministries to be thoughtful in their response to disasters, as the data allow better resource allocation. These goals and ends align well of the Accord WASH Alliance Principles of Excellence.
Since 2008, Village Water Ozonation Systems (VWOS) team has aimed to provide communities with the cleanest water they can sustainably afford by designing and installing water treatment systems to meet local needs as part of the global effort to increase access to safe and affordable drinking water. The team is excited to partner with Full Gospel Assemblies Bible College in Lahore, Pakistan to provide affordable and safe drinking water.
The Gravity Fed Water Project at Messiah University aims to use gravity to transport water from groundwater seeps down a mountain to approximately 53 local homes. The project is located in Sipacapa, Guatemala and partners with the Mennonite Central Committee. Concrete intake structures will be built for various groundwater seeps, then water from those will be combined into one 300 gallon concrete intake structure. The water will then be piped down to a 1,000 gallon concrete water storage tank which will help to store at least days’ worth of water for the villages. There will then be piping to two different locations which will each have a 300 gallon storage tank. There will be eight tap stands throughout the system. Onsite water testing will be done for coliform bacteria once the intake structure and the piping to the first storage tank are built.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Water Mission pivoted our approach to place an urgent focus on hand hygiene and increased access to handwashing facilities. While Water Mission has done work related to handwashing for years, COVID-19 served as a catalyst in bringing this program to scale. As a part of this scaling up, we installed handwashing stations, mobilized networks of hygiene promoters to raise COVID-19 awareness, conducted community trainings and other WASH promotion activities. While COVID-19 provided unique challenges, it also led to unique opportunities for learning that have implications in our non-emergency programming, including the importance of global and context-specific infrastructure standards, the importance of mobilization of existing relationships and resources to serve as many people, as quickly as possible, and the value of real-time data to drive decision-making and close the loop between data collection, learning, and practice.
In the mountains of Central Asia, many communities live without access to clean water and the Gospel. One Collective is working in this region, bringing people together with different gifts, including water engineers, women’s health trainers, and local partners to help bring about what we call “integrated community transformation”, or ICT. Through ICT, we engage with local leaders to facilitate community development projects, leadership training, and spiritual discipleship. Our primary means of community development is through constructing water distribution systems to provide clean water to every home. We build relationships within the community, listen to their greater needs and help them create vision for their community. Integrating prayer often leads to spiritual conversations as we see people accept the Gospel and be transformed. Since 2015, we have completed 12 water projects, as well as hundreds of healings, salvations, and other answered prayers. We continue to listen and adapt to a specific community’s needs as we pursue holistic transformation together.
Water4 will present qualitative stories of the great efforts made to combat COVID-19 by partners in 15 countries. Examples include increased WaSH trainings, soap production, distribution of personal protective equipment, and increased access to water. Most interestingly, quantitative data from Ghana before and after a free water mandate shows the drastic effect that COVID-19 had on a desire for treated water in the face of community health concerns. In a sample of 10 kiosks, sales increased by 56% in May as compared to the first few months of 2020.
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