The best practice was developed to improve access to safe water for people who use public fountains or communitary wells and do not have private domestic taps for water delivery.
Therefore, people need to collect, transport and store water at home with consequent water microbiological re-contamination from catchment to final consumption.
Moreover, the risk of water re-contamination is increased during the rainy season. Water re-contamination was evaluated on a sample of 27 families living in Vilanculos, Mozambico.
The best practices are useful operations to minimize this risk and guarantee access to safe water for people. These practices are the following:
– FOR WATER TRANSPORT FROM THE CATCHMENT POINT TO HOME
1) to optimize the type of container used. In the small town of Vilanculos three types of container were used.
Monitoring campaigns show that water microbiological re-contamination is high in case of basin, while jerrycan represents the best solution to ensure good water quality.
– FOR STORAGE AT HOME
2) to use the same container used for water transport, as water re-contamination is significantly increased when a different container is used for storage.
3) to keep closed the top of the container for water storage, as if the top is open, water re-contamination increases during storage.
4) to keep the container inside the building, as when the container is kept inside the building a slight increase of enterococci is observed.
5) to keep the container for water storage far from domestic animals, as animal access to the container worsens water quality.
6) to keep the glass for water final consumption in a protected place: far from the ground, far from the animals and upside down when not utilized.
7) to stand water for at least 3 hours in order to reduce water microbiological contamination (especially during extreme weather conditions).
This practice was developed during the project “Empowering conditions for good water governance – a financial and economically sustainable model” ACP EU Water Facility. The coordinator of the project is Acque del Chiampo (Vicenza, IT), and the partners for the development of this practice is CeTAmb (Research laboratory on appropriate technologies for environmental management in resource-limited countries) of the University of Brescia. CeTAmb in this practice is represented by Sabrina Sorlini, and the development of the practice was supported by the following students: Andrea Pollmann Gomez, Silvia Gibellini, Stefano Curti, Michele Plate. Engineer Luca Rondi offered and additional support for the water safety plan approach.
Objectives and beneficiaries
The objective of the practice are:
- to protect human health
- to improve access to safe water
- to increase knowledge of the risks associated to water re-contamination even in extreme weather conditions
- to increase the capacity to manage drinking water resources
- tosugg est simple and low cost technologies for improving access to safe drinking water
The direct beneficiaries of the project were 27 families living in the small town of Vilanculos. Each family has an average size of 6 persons. However, the benefits of the project could be easily disseminated to a large part of the population of Vilanculos, whose total inhabitants are about 50.000 people.
Strong points of the practice
The strong points of the practice are:
- Effectiveness in reducing the risks of water re-contamination
- Use of simple and low cost technologies (no infrastructures required)
- Simple operation
- Simple implementation even in extreme weather conditions
- Dissemination based on sensibilization and education activities
- Community based
Expected results and benefits for climate change adaptation and mitigation
The expected results of the practice are:
- Drinking water microbiological re-contamination from catchment to consumer reduced
- Access to safe drinking water increased
- Human health improved
- Water related disease decreased
- Knowledge about the risks of water re-contamination, particularly in extreme weather conditions, increased
The benefits for climate change adaptation and mitigation are:
- People have knowledge of the risks of water microbiological re-contamination, especially during extreme events
- People have knowledge of the practice to adopt for reducing the re-contamination of water, especially in extreme events
- People have knowledge that the risks of water microbiological re-contamination increase during extreme events
- People have knowledge of the practice to adopt for reducing the level of water microbiological contamination, increased during extreme weather conditions
- People can continue to use the same water points both in dry and rainy season (as during rainy season people adopt specific actions for reducing the higher water microbiological contamination)
Replicability potential of the practice
The practice is suitable for small towns, rural villages and peri-urban areas where people do not have a private tap for water delivery inside their house. In all these cases people need to use water from public wells and fountains and, therefore, they need to collect, transport and store water at home.
These operations represent potential risk of water re-contamination, especially in areas with seasonal weather variation (dry season/rainy season) and in extreme weather conditions.
The practice has been developed in the small town of Vilanculos that can represents a significant case-study for the validation of the practice. The potential of the practice is very high as it can adopted in several similar situations of access to drinking water that are widespread in different areas in Africa.
The practice presents a high level of replicability in these contests due to the following reasons:
- It is based on simple actions
- It is based on low cost and simple technologies easily available in developing countries
- It is based on actions that can be easily implemented even in extreme weather conditions
- It is community based
- It requires a low level of technical skills for water management, therefore it can be managed directly by the users
- It can be successfully implemented by means of sensibilization and formation activities
[Editor's Note: All information published as submitted by the author(s). Minor edits may have been made to increase readability and understanding.]