WECF: Water Safety Plans in Schools

Experiences from Romania
Water Safety Plans
in schools
Margriet Samwel
Geneva 13/14 September 2010 - Good Practices in Water, Sanitation and Human Rights
Who takes care for the rights on
access to safe W&S of
the rural citizens?
For example Romania:
7 million villagers obtain drinking water
from mostly unprotected wells
• Drinking water quality often does not meet the requirements of the
Drinking Water Directive: nitrate, bacteria
• In rural settings only 20% of villages have access to improved
Practice in rural areas
of CE and EECCA
• Problem identification does not lead to action from local
citizens or governments, neither form national authorities
• Although 30 - 50% of the citizens live in rural areas, focus of the
most politicians is on urban areas
• Most rural villagers lack:
- participation in decision-making processes
- access to information
- financial resources
- ownership
The approach of a Water Safety Plan
Identification of
which minimise
and manage the
Planning and
Source WHO
Management and
Developing WSP in rural settings-involving schools
1. Capacity building
- understanding of water supply system
2. Investigation
-water tests
- interviews
- sanitary inspections
3. mobilisation of the community
-Providing information
4. Identifying and formulating
-water and sanitation related problems
-plans and actions for improving the situation
-accountability -Who is responsible for what?
What we did:
Adaptation of the WSP approach
for small scale water supplies to schools
WSP - Toolbox for schools
Materials for water tests, like nitrate, colour
• Manual in local language including
- Introduction of WSP
- Background information for teachers
- Suggestions for activities
- Questionnaires for different stakeholders
- Checklists for sanitary inspection of wells, taps
- Forms and examples for reporting results
What we did:
Introduction of WSP in villages
Providing information about WSPs
• Public - school meetings
• Testing nitrates in drinking water
Training of teachers and workshops
• How to involve pupils and stakeholders
• Identification and selection of the activities
In General
Teachers and pupils were motivated and enthusiastic
about activities- Nitrate test were very appreciated
Activities were educative and relevant for the local
Results depended considerable on motivation and
available time of the teachers, and on support of the
local NGO
Interviews by schools in
6 Romanian villages
• Authorities responsible for water supply
- No budget for monitoring and operation of public wells
- Public taps are partly monitored
- Public has access to analyses results
• Local health authorities
- Respondents said water is not protected and not tested
- One out of 6 respondents received analyses results
- In 4 out of 6 villages Nitrates and Giardia Lamblia are a problem
Summery of results of
More than 70% of the wells exceed the nitrate limit of 50 mg/l
Depending on the geo-hydrological conditions no or
extremely high seasonal fluctuations of the nitrate
concentration in water was observed
Most villagers are aware about bad water quality
Low awareness on causes of water pollution
Example Identified sources of pollution
• Unsealed latrines
• Husbandry raised within the households
• Agricultural chemical substances (in particular
• Detergents and cosmetic products used and
• Randomly throwing garbage and household refuse
• Flooding and overflows affecting groundwater
• Dust accumulating in uncovered wells
Example Water Safety Action Plan
Realisation of a safe sanitation system
Animal farming system in remote places
Using ecological landfill
Adequate coverage of the wells
Collaboration of citizens with the local authorities
Training of citizens for proper hygiene
Construction of central water supply system
“Developing WSP involving schools/communities”
A good practice in relation with access to safe W&S?
Criteria of good practices
• Availability
• Accessibility
• acceptability
• non-discrimination
• Participation
• Accountability
• Impact
• sustainability
A well-managed WSP is a
participative - informative -transparent process
accountability, impact, sustainability, non-discrimination
Planning + implementation
Availability, accessibility, Quality/safety, affordability, acceptability
WSP can be used as an instrument for mobilising
communities and authorities on all levels, covering in
particular the cross cutting criteria - which should lead to a
fulfilment of the main criteria
Only a well-informed and self-confident public is able
to request her rights and to fulfil her duties
Thank you
for your attention!
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