December 2012 - A PPP Team visits India as part of the PEP Pilot
!st Instalment of a series of reports from team leader PDG Arvind Phukan.
The project consists of 9 hamlets/Pandas (cluster of homes ranging from about 30 to 70 homes) with about 2000 population. The project is located about 90 miles north of Mumbai, India (Financial hob of India) called Akre Gam Panchayat, Thane District (Maharashtra State, India).
The Akre region is mountainous and the entire aboriginal (Tribal communities) are neglected by the Government and they are very poor. They have to walk long distance (1 to 3 miles) to access drinking water during the non-raining season (8 to 9 months). They are hardly any sanitation facilities and hygiene practices in the villages. Due to scarcity of water supply, the needed agricultural products are also not produced enough for their livelihood. Still, we saw people are happy with what they have. Though they are Hindu religion, they don't have any God or Goddess to pray. I was told that they have own village god. There are no temple or gathering place to pray God. This is the biggest surprise which I saw in a tribal community.
I went inside couple of houses (Both newly built and old one). Due to warm weather, they sleep on floor and they are hardly any furniture inside the house-look like an empty house. Also, surprised to know that cows live with them inside in a separate section. Each community though look alike, they are different tribes and they are no marriages between different tribes. Girls get married at the age of 13 to 18. Their main job is to look after the animals and bring water from the dug wells or river. The literacy is very low (about 10%) and saw an elementary school (Grade 1 to 4) with about 25 students taught by a teacher. They have to walk long distances to go to a school.
There is a NGO called Pragati Pratishsthan located in the Region and they are involved in the socio-cultural/economic development of the Region. We are partnering with them to provide the needed village awareness program and community survey. This project will be a long term project to provide year round water supply, sanitation facility and hygiene practice, agricultural development with irrigation system etc.
September 2012: Project Opportunities
“Looking for a project?—look no further!
Rotarians from all Rotary clubs in Uganda have formed the Uganda Rotary Water Plus (URWP) program—an umbrella for every club WASH project throughout the country. The program was launched by H.E. The Minister of Water & Environment at a moving ceremony late last year.
Local clubs, working closely with the host community, with other NGOs and the local water authority, are identifying many WASH projects which will qualify for support from The Rotary Foundation. Uganda is in D-9200, a Future Vision Pilot district that qualifies for Global Grants under the recent pilot PEP initiative announced by TRF.
These projects need an international partner. This is where you come in.
If your club is looking for a project that is subject to rigorous needs assessment and robust planning and monitoring, that has a major impact on the community and qualifies for support from TRF—here it is.
These projects are holistic. They are much more than just providing safe water, sanitation and hygiene. They aim to transform entire communities. Some proposals which we have already seen address HIV/AIDS prevention, food security and nutrition, malaria control, relief of poverty, environmental sustainability, empowering the community ( especially women), maternal and child health, training and equipping artisans and entrepreneurs and community-based organizations (CBOs) in building, operating and maintaining WASH services.
These projects are grounded in the essentials of sustainability-functional, organizational and financial.
To ensure sustainability, the URWP team would like the international partners to be involved from the beginning. Together with the host club and community they will jointly plan and manage the projects. And, under the pilot PEP program announced by TRF, funds are available for that initial planning trip.
To date, proposals have been drafted by the Rotary clubs of Mengo, Kampala-South, Muyenga, Masaka, Kalisizo and Kyotera. These and others, still in preparation, are looking for partners.
This could be the opportunity you are looking for.
The projects will be posted on the Wasrag website. In the meantime contact email@example.com or PDG Chris Mutalya at firstname.lastname@example.org for more detail.
December, 2011: Featured Project:
A quick visit to Wasrag's www.startwithwater.org website will give you access to literally hundreds of projects that need help. New projects are being added on a regular basis. In November one of the new projects was the Simbo Water Supply Rehabilitation Project.
It's located in the Solomon Islands, one of the world's remotest spots. The project will repair Simbo Island's gravity fed water system. The island has had a water system since 1975. However on April 2nd, 2007 a massive earthquake and tsunami struck the Island, killing nine people and completely destroying two villages.
Most of the pipelines and standpipes were damaged at the same time. Simbo is a small island in the Western Province. It is home to approximately 1700 people in five main villages. To rehabilitate their water system the communities in Simbo formed a water committee and approached the national government's Rural Development Program for assistance.
In August 2011, a water engineer from RDP assessed the damages to Simbo's water system and produced a detailed project plan and materials budget. RDP, with funding from The World Bank will provide SBD $133,000 (US$17,733) for the project. The total projected costs are estimated at SBD$303,000 (US$40,000). The remaining SBD$170,000 (US$22,600)is being sought from Rotary clubs. The Gizo and Honiara Rotary clubs are already supporting the project. If your club(s) is interested in helping this great project, more information is available on the Wasrag site. For more information on this project and to enquire about donating, please contact Gideon Tuke at email@example.com (in the Solomons) or Matt Lauer at firstname.lastname@example.org (in the USA).
August 2011, Featured project: Tippy-Taps and Two Cups: Simple solutions changing lives
A small community in Malawi built a water system for their villages and introduced hygiene and sanitation education activities with support from The Rotary Foundation and Rotary clubs. Then Elaine Lo, a U. of North Carolina graduate student in public health was asked to assist and visit the beneficiary households to assess if the Rotary program was a success. Read more.... about the tippy-taps, two-cup system, and other simple things that became a success with the locals in the fight against diarrhea.
In her own words, here is Elaine's story...
As I was sitting in a bus crammed with passengers, luggage, chickens and crying babies, I peeked outside the window to see one of the passengers' children squatting and defecating next to the bus. The bus started to move, as if to warn them that it was leaving, and the mother immediately pulled up the child's pants, picked him up and ran into the bus. The feces remained outside and the flies started to pile around. I couldn't help but wonder, where were these flies going to be that day?
These flies are one of the many reasons why some people still have diarrhea in developing countries like Malawi, where diarrhea is one of the leading causes of death for under-five children. The Malawi government and NGOs like Rotary have tried for many years to promote hand-washing at critical points and the use of latrines and safe drinking water, yet the problem persists.
In 2006, with the support of Rotary clubs and The Rotary Foundation, the Church of the Central African Presbyterian Synod (CCAP) of Livingstonia initiated a program to provide as its mission access to safe water to ten surrounding villages through the construction of a gravity-fed water system. The program was supported by Rotary clubs from Mzuzu (Malawi) and the Olympia (Washington State, USA) and Dallas (Texas, USA) areas, three Rotary Districts and 55 Rotary clubs, as well as Wasrag leadership and the Rotary Foundation. Jenny and Henry Kirk, who have been working in Livingstonia since 1998, were key leaders on the ground as the work developed.
As the 35 miles of water pipe construction continued to serve all ten villages, the local community members developed a tariff arrangement in order to create a sustainable system that would continually increase communities' access to water and maintain any broken pipes or taps. However, the Rotary members working in Malawi and local villagers realized that there was also a need for hygiene and sanitation education because of the communities' lack of knowledge about water management and the prevention of diarrhea. In the last of ten phases of the project, the Rotary clubs and The Rotary Foundation funded CCAP's hygiene and sanitation education grant to teach the program beneficiaries about the importance of practicing good hygiene and sanitation behaviours. Leaders on the project included Marilouise Peterson and Sylvia Gentili, two non-Rotarian educators who travelled to Malawi many times, designed the curriculum and mentored Malawians to deliver it.
In order to understand the local communities' hygiene and sanitation issues and needs, the Water and Sanitation Department of David Gordon Memorial Hospital in Livingstonia and the U. of Livingstonia's Rotaract Club conducted household surveys. About 25 young Rotaract members surveyed 1,250 households over two Saturdays.
Their findings revealed that about 35% of households reported a member having diarrhea, a problem commonly caused by lack of hand-washing, improper use of latrines, and consumption of contaminated water. Since only 70% of the villages had latrines and 11% had hand-washing facilities, the grant's education activities focused on the proper use of latrines and hand-washing at critical points.
The Rotary clubs team wanted someone to evaluate the program midway to see if the grant activities were being implemented as intended and if the initial results were successful.
This is where I came in!
As a graduate student in public health at the UNC-Chapel Hill Gillings School of Global Public Health, which has a growing partnership with Wasrag, I was afforded the opportunity to complete my internship in Malawi. Members of the Rotary team approached Wasrag for assistance with evaluating their program, and a Rotarian at UNC looked for an intern with the right skills and experience. Because of my previous experience as a Peace Corps volunteer at a rural health center in Malawi and and my area of focus and education at UNC, the Rotarians felt that I could assist them with technical skills. This amazing experience also gave me the opportunity to further develop my experience in monitoring and evaluating an on-the-ground public health program in rural Africa.
In Livingstonia, four water and sanitation officers and a nurse were identified to facilitate the hygiene and sanitation activities. Their most important activity - training of local leaders and villagers - was already underway. As an external evaluator I observed several training sessions, created pre-test/post-tests to assess the participants' knowledge gain from the training, and conducted interviews and household follow-ups. The tests revealed that the participants had increased their knowledge about the prevention of diarrhea, modes of transmission of diarrhea, critical points of hand-washing, and safe water management. The evaluations and interviews revealed that the demonstrations and group discussions helped participants learn more effectively about important practices for diarrhea prevention.
To find out if participants had applied the knowledge within their households, I conducted follow-ups at their households with the facilitators. After retesting their knowledge from the training, we observed their households' sanitation and looked for specific indicators that they were practicing hand-washing and protecting stored drinking water from contamination - particularly the tippy-tap and two cup system.
The tippy-tap is a simple yet efficient hand-washing facility that uses locally available resources - two wooden poles, two plastic bottles, and wires. Rather than bringing a bucket of water to the latrine or entering the house to retrieve water, this stationary facility allows uses to simply pour water into a bottle poked with holes so they can wash their hands underneath running water. This new technology was so popular amongst the participants that 71% of the households we visited had adopted it. And, 90% also reported washing their hands after using the latrine, some of whom admitted that they had not done so in the past.
Another new practice - the two cup system - is a simple method to prevent contamination of drinking water. The participants did not realize that the simple addition of a cup used for pouring water into another cup for drinking could help prevent people's saliva from contaminating their bucket of water. This was another success, as 75% of the households we surveyed had started practicing this system.
A new tool that interested many participants was composting latrines. This new type of
eco-sanitation latrine was being introduced through a non-profit, Water for People, to promote the use of human manure as fertilizer. In an agricultural national like Malawi, many villagers were interested in the additional benefit of using a latrine. Some of the participants had already begun constructing composting latrines.
Even though the communities at Livingstonia were starting to show some changes within their households, behaviour change can take a long time. I have recommended a few simple additions to accelerate and sustain change. In addition to the training, vulnerable groups may need resources to enable them to adopt the new behaviours. For example, people living with HIV/AIDS and the elderly may need financial or physical assistance to build a composting latrine. Follow-ups can keep participants accountable for their behaviour and reinforce behaviour change. Community-wide competitions that reward those who displayed exemplary behaviours as role models would help reinforce behaviour change because of the positive feedback and health benefits the awardees receive. This would also encourage others to model their behaviours.
My internship was the start of a successful partnership between Wasrag and UNC-Chapel Hill. While I was able to apply the theories and skills I learned from the program, I was also able to share my knowledge and tools with my Malawian partners, both at Livingstonia and in other regions.
My hope is that, long after I am back in the US, they will still be able to use the tools to improve the quality of their public health work, thereby improving the quality of life for Malawians.
Before I left Livingstonia, the trainees and facilitators kept thanking me and Rotary profusely for the work that was being done in their communities. At every training session the participants expressed their gratitude through words, songs and dance. The facilitators were enthusiastic about being able to use the tools to help evaluate their work. One of the facilitators told me that my work gave him a better perspective of why the work he was doing was so important; of how Rotary and his job came in full circle to do one very important thing - and that was to "save people's lives".
May 2011, Featured project: Advocating Change on India's railways.
Wasrag Board Member, Saumen Ray, member of the Rotary Club of Calcutta, provided a copy of the letter sent to the Minister of Railways in Kolkata. Although things are improving in India, the practice on the rail system of emptying toilet contents directly onto the railway tracks has not changed. This practice pollutes rail tracks and stations, spreading disease and creating an unpleasant enivronment.
Several steps are in hand to improve the toilet systems on trains. 1500 coaches have been updated with a Control Discharge Toilet System (CDTS) and an agreement signed regarding bio-toilets.Trials with vacuum retention toilets (like on airplanes) and Zero discharge toilet systems, are planned.
This is a challenging problem and advocacy helps to maintain focus on finding solutions.
To read Rotarian Ray's letter to the Minister, click here.
To read the response he received from government, click here.
March 2011, Featured Project: Choluteca, Honduras
Rotarians – so often unsung heroes – are quietly bringing a new quality of life to the people of Choluteca.
The Rotary Club of Corpus Christi, Texas (District 5930) and the Rotary Club of Choluteca, Honduras (District 4250) are co-sponsoring the Choluteca Household Water Treatment, Sanitation and Hygiene Project to benefit 165 families in four communities in the department of Choluteca, Honduras.
The project provides biosand filters and latrines to each household and gives hygiene and sanitation workshops. Training of community water boards, hygiene committees and community agents are all critical components to this successful and sustainable project.
The intended outputs for the project are:
Install 165 biosand filters
construct 165 latrines,
deliver 3 workshops on hygiene and sanitation in each community,
provide water and sanitation hygiene education at the schools,
provide de-parasite medicine for each beneficiary,
train water and hygiene committee members and community stewards.
Safe, clean water, sanitation and good hygiene will all contribute to lower incidences of diarrheal disease which will in turn lead to improved and more productive lives. Conditions for sustainability are built into the project via: (1) use of appropriate locally available technology, (2) community ownership and participation, (3) building of expertise of local committees, and (4) user education and project follow-up. All of the construction materials were designed by Honduran project coordinators and are manufactured in Honduras with local labor.
The sponsoring Rotary Clubs obtained commitments from each of their Clubs (and many of their Club members) plus contributions from other Rotary Clubs in South Texas, New Jersey and Alaska, DDF funding from Districts 5930 (South Texas) and 5010 (Alaska) and a Rotary Foundation Matching Grant. Installation commenced in February 2010 and completion is expected by May 2011.
The project also included a work/study trip to Honduras in January 2011 by 15 Rotarians and Family of Rotary members from South Texas and Alaska. The Team visited the materials construction site, participated in the Project sign dedication, visited villages where installation was already completed and then spent several days in the uncompleted area assembling latrine units.
The villages hosted the visiting team with a fiesta and the team attended the regular meeting of the host Choluteca Rotary Club. It is believed that this is one of the first Rotary projects in Honduras to tackle the full issue of water and sanitation with not only water filters, but also latrines and hygiene education. Everybody involved is delighted with the results and looking forward to more partnership endeavors in the future.
Additional information can be obtained from Project leader Arthur Zeitler of the Rotary Club of Corpus Christi at email@example.com. Art is District 5930 RFCC and a long time Wasrag member.
February 2011, Featured Project: Bongabona, Tongua Island, Vanuatu
A broken down water tank isn’t much use to anyone. But it is more upsetting when it is one that you have worked hard to pay for, and see it cracked and unusable from an earthquake. A first aid clinic, half finished and sitting idle, doesn’t help a young woman giving birth. A school classroom damaged from an earthquake, means children have to cram into the teacher’s house for their lessons.
These are some of the mammoth tasks that have faced Bongabonga Village in Vanuatu over the past few years, but with the help of the Rotary Club of Waitakere and members from six other Rotary clubs, things have turned the corner.
Craiger Hargershiemer and Kerry McMillian first came to the remote village in 2006 to assist with a First Aid Centre that had been built in 1994, but had not been completed. They made several trips to the village with other Rotarians, over a three year period, to help the villagers make the First Aid Centre operational. Kerry managed to get hold of some solar panels, and installed these on the centre to power lighting, when he heard about a young village woman, who had given birth holding a torch in her mouth, so that that the nurse could see what was going on.
Then in 2009, an earthquake hit the village. The school building was damaged and the village water tanks were cracked and could not hold water. The villagers did not have enough money to rebuild the water tanks, which they had originally saved up to pay for themselves. For a year they collected rain water in buckets, before Kerry and Craiger, together with Philip McFarlane, Wasrag’s South Pacific Director, were able to provide a solution. The three travelled to the village in May 2010 with a plastic liner and taught the villagers how to install it into the village’s main water tank. During this visit they also scoped out repairs to the school building.
In October 2010, six Rotarians from various other New Zealand clubs returned to the village to complete the repairs. The Rotary members took the trip to Vanuatu for different reasons, some for the adventure, and others for fellowship. But mostly, it was about making a difference, without requiring a huge amount of financial aid or experience.
Philip McFarlane says, the difference in the village has been great, just by working together; villagers working with Rotarians and Rotarians from different clubs joining together to share workload and costs. The villagers have learnt new skills and passed on their knowledge to each other, so in the future they can fix other water tanks in the area. The school room is now repaired, and the children can learn in comfortable environment. The school’s leaking water tank has been fixed and the school’s toilet has been moved near to the water tank, so there is now water for children to wash their hands, reducing water related illnesses in the village. All of these small projects have been made possible by clubs working together.
Rather than concentrating on only one aspect of development aid, a more holistic approach has been adopted, with the villagers being helped to improve their water, sanitation, hygiene, education and medical facilities. There have even been other benefits to the village, for example, villagers now come to the First Aid Centre on a regular basis to charge their phones from the solar panels that were installed. The villagers pay a nominal fee, that goes towards future village projects.
It is evident from this Vanuatu project that Rotary members want to get involved, and see the difference they can make. But if we are to make a real difference, Rotary clubs need to be given ideas and support on what is needed, but more importantly we need to work collectively together, developing long-term programmes, if we are to make real improvements to the lives of peoples in under developed countries.
To this end Wasrag is developing Regional Teams, that will guide discussions with communities and assist in project planning and design, as well as monitoring the long-term sustainability of projects. For more information contact…….
Click here to see a video on the work carried out in Bongabonga Village.
Above: children return to school.
Below see pictures of the original school toilet (left), and the new toilet (right).
December 2010 Featured project: Ndandini, Kenya
This project is located in the village of Ndandini in eastern Kenya. It began as a quest to find a sustainable source of safe water, and has expanded into an educational farming and drip irrigation program that is having enormous impact on the well-being of the community.
Terry and Jan Umbach have been working on fund raising for this project since September 2007 after they first visited Ndandini Village on the Yatta Plateau in eastern Kenya with a group of friends from Sechelt B.C. Canada.
Since then, this has become a Rotary project spearheaded by Rotarian Terry and the Sunshine Coast Rotary Club in Sechelt B.C. Canada along with donations and very welcome support from 25 Rotary Clubs around the world participating - from Spain and Denmark, to New Jersey USA, and several Canadian clubs from Saint John New Brunswick in the east
to Vancouver Island on the west coast.
Ndandini is reached by first driving 4 hours from Nairobi on the main road to Kitui. The town of Kitui does have very basic hotel and restaurant facilities. However, you need to then travel a further 1 1/2 hours on dirt roads to the village of Ndandini which is a collection of individual mud huts with an estimated population of 1000 men, women and children. There is a very basic primary school in Ndandini with mud walls, rough planking desks, essentially no books and no sanitation or water.
The hope was that potable water would be found and that water for the village of Ndandini would be the important first step towards a better way of life for all the villagers and an end to the daily trudge for the women and children of up to 10KM each day to a dry river bed to dig by hand for water - dirty polluted water that all the animals and villagers share.
Before being able to raise funds from Rotary clubs and apply for a TRF matching grant, Terry had to travel to Kenya and personally visited many Rotary clubs before being able to convince any of them to become the host club. During those visits he also interviewed people who where involved with other NGO's and charities who could be possible local project managers and bring their experience to the project. Terry also visited potential project suppliers and secured preliminary quotes for project components.
With an excellent local project manager in place, and the development of a local village committee, this project grew from providing an excellent source of safe water, to providing a greenhouse and drip irrigation facility in the local primary school, providing food and income, and teaching self-sustaining farming methods that are transforming the community.
The Chairman of the Ndandini Water Management Committee, the headmaster of the primary school and his teachers are all well educated and understand the issues and because they speak English this allowed us to discuss ideas, issues and plans.
Many of the adults in Ndandini do not speak English - they speak swahili. Many do not relate to how different farming and irrigation methods can now be introduced with the availability of consistent water to enable more productivity and a healthier life. It is through teaching the children new ideas that we hope to introduce new knowledge to the community with the children taking the new ideas home and parents seeking more information from the school.
Recently a forward thinking government Member of Parliament provided similar greenhouses for fifteen pilot secondary schools in a different constituency. They are proving to be a huge success as well. We are hoping that our project at the primary school level will encourage more government support and move the focus to the primary school level and reach many of the children who unfortunately will not go on to high school. This greenhouse program (called an Amiran Farmer's Kit) provides a medium size drip irrigation system complete with seeds and training to produce one crop. The crop can then be sold with the revenue going to the school to buy whatever else they need. The other significant objective being that the kids take their knowledge home and convince the parents to use this knowledge.
See more information about the Amiran Farmer's Kit go to www.amirankenya.com
Terry and Jan's blog tells the story of how the project evolved and has many photos. www.ndandini.blogspot.com Scroll back to read the blog posts in chronological order, starting with the first in May 2010.
Anyone interested in further information or in any of the potential project ideas can contact Terry by clicking here.
November 2010 Featured project:
An opportunity to get involved in a tremendous initiative!
Rotary International (RI) & The US Agency for International Development (USAID) have come together to form the H2O Alliance, and have partnered on a program in Ghana. RI and USAID are also allied on similar programs in the Dominican Republic and the Philippines.
The Ghana program offers a long-term approach to meeting and sustaining crucial water and sanitation needs in 114 communities with a population of more than 86,000 people.
There are 3 main components to the program:
Infrastructure construction (with indigenous contractors and competitive bidding)
Capacity building a the local, district and national level, and
Behavior modification to improve basic sanitation habits.
Projects were carefully selected in the Volta, Central, Eastern and Greater Accra regions by Ghana Rotarians in cooperation with USAID and the national Community Water and Sanitation Agency (CWSA). Selection criteria included need, community readiness to take on ownership, non-existence or low level of NGOs or other donor agencies, and proximity to a local Rotary Club for support and supervision. Sixteen of the twenty-one Rotary Clubs in Ghana are active in this program.
The Rotary Foundation awarded the Rotary Clubs of Ghana, led by RC Accra East and international partner, D7630 (Delaware and Maryland's eastern shore, USA), a $500,000 special 3-H grant. The partners are jointly managing the project and leading a campaign to raise the remaining funds needed from Rotarians worldwide.
On May 20th, 2010, the project was launched at Nyive, the Volta Region, Ghana.
Rotarians will contribute $1,000,000 + for:
57 wells with hand pumps in rural villages
KVIP sanitary facilities in 18 schools
WCs in three public facilities
Modern water supply and distribution systems in three communities of a municipal assembly
USAID will contribute $1,000,000 for:
20 wells with hand pumps in rural villages
KVIP sanitary facilities in 22 schools
All training, capacity building and behavioral modification activities
As at September 3, 2010:
TOTAL ROTARY BUDGET CONTRIBUTION: $1,010,868.
3-H Grant $500,000.
DDF and Cash contributions $242,326.
Still needed from Rotarians, Rotary Clubs and Districts: $268,541.
You can help! How? Designate 3-H Grant # 10 - 70427 with your contribution to The Rotary Foundation Annual Fund. Your contribution will help fund the $268,541 still needed by the Ghana project, AND you will earn Paul Harris Credits for your Annual Fund contribution!
How to Contribute:
For details on how to contribute, see slide 8 of the Ghana presentation.
More information about the program and details on how to contribute are available in the presentation.
Click here to download the presentation (7.14 MB .PPT)
This project is listed on the Start with Water website as
Project name: PID 105 / Rotary/USAID International H2O Collaboration / Accra, Greater Accra, Ghana
Project Number: 2010-000297