SITUATION BEFORE THE INITIATIVE BEGAN
About 10 million people, half of them women and children suffered water borne diseases e.g. cholera and diarrhea etc from polluted water sources. Particularly, water wells in the city were associated with outright failures, organic growth, and incrustation of calcium carbonates and bacteria slimes, and nuisances of sewage and
ESTABLISHMENT OF PRIORITIES
The priorities of the initiative were; • Introduction of the filter technology in the city. • The training of 78 youths. • Organizing a Water, Sanitation and Hygiene training activities for women and men. • The manufacture and installation of Mor-sand filters. Other priorities were set on, demand, affordability, sustained functioning and maintenance, management and user behaviour . In addition are the priorities of planning, monitoring and evaluation. To achieve sustainability, community involvement was central in setting these priorities. The outcomes and outputs were decisions identified and implemented for greater common good by all.
FORMULATION OF OBJECTIVES AND STRATEGIES
The objective was to assist households to maximize the quality of their drinking water supplies. Our strategy was based on PHAST. ‘’PHAST builds on people’s innate ability to address and resolve their problems. It aims to empower communities to manage their water and control sanitation- related diseases’’ (WHO, 1996:1). These were set by team members and community volunteers. Strategies now adopted for city-wide development includes; • Equipping graduate filter trainees. • Appointment of filter distributors in parts of the cities. • Developing new ‘software’ and business model for filter promotion. • Engagement of new partners and volunteers
MOBILISATION OF RESOURCES
To give life to our ideas we have through team effort since 2004 successfully mobilized funds through competitive processes such as the The African Development Bank (AfDB) in 2004: US$40,000 The World Bank Development Marketplace in 2005: US$5,000 The World Bank Development Marketplace in 2006: US$190,000 The key actors includes; Rural Africa Water Development Project (RAWDP) which had the lead responsibility and facilitated the manufacturing activities; managed the project budget ; record keeping and report writing as well as managing both the external and internal environments of the project. Nuel Mark & Partners was responsible for the liaison between the initiative and the oil companies, as well as public relations, development of business strategies and community mobilization. The Engineers for a Sustainable World, University of Buffalo Chapter, New York USA played active roles as a volunteer project research group. Community groups such as the women and youths were involved in the promotion of the filters, motivation of trainees, project advisory, filter distribution, capacity building, community sensitization and mobilization, as well as peace and security etc. The exact role of women in this project is well documented on these links (a presentation at the World Water Forum,
The major problems that affected the initiative were the steady depreciation of the US Dollar over this period; Building and achieving community participation and the high cost of transportation and other logistics etc. Adjustments made to confront these problems included Prudent and most austere management of the limited funds available to us and committing more funds to enhance community participation etc. Community participation was achieved through vital participatory tools which included processes that enable the building of self esteem, sense of responsibility, increased awareness of problems and options for change and capacity to improve were used. Some of these include the involvement of households particularly women (mothers) in scheduling the house to house filter performance evaluation visits; the girls as filter trainees and the representation of all groups (sex and age) in project meetings etc. We involved the communities in the collection and analysis of the baseline information in order to achieve ownership of that information. Often, we presented results of the baseline assessment as pictures or symbols, so that it could easily be understood by all. Focus Groups were often our best forums for doing this as it enabled the participants the opportunity to discuss the findings. In achieving this, we collected information via, surveys using questionnaires, analysis of operational records and reports etc. We also ensured that field workers keep simple pro-forma records of their visits to target and beneficial communities On a 3-6 months intervals the following key indicators/benchmarks are measured and recorded; Water: Increase in number of filters produced; Increase in number of filters purchased/distributed to households; Increase in number of Households using filter months after purchase; Increase in number of Households saying they now drink clean water; Number of request for filters outside target project communities; Decrease in wrong use of filter by Household; and Increase in number of households using improved water storage vessels etc. Excreta disposal: Increase in number of latrines in use by households; Increase in number of children using latrine, and decrease in evidence of open defecation etc. Hygiene Practices: Increased in number of people washing hands after using the latrine, and Increase in understanding of mothers on need for safe disposal of children faeces etc. Environmental Sanitation: ncreased evidence of improved refuse disposal etc. Community Participation: Total number of youths trained as filter technicians; Number of men, women, boys and girls trained in WASH and hygiene ,
The success or otherwise of the project have hitherto been measured on a log frame that had set objectives and objectively verifiable indicators. This served as a show case frame of how the project stands at any particular moment. However, we at periodic intervals monitored and evaluated our activities in order to measure progress against objectives and performance standards, and to enable accountability to donors, partners and people affected by the project. The initiative has so far achieved the construction and use of VIP latrines (at the minimum); Hand washing practices and Household water treatment by households etc. As at the moment a good sense of community participation is established in projects locations unlike in the past. As a result we now have Healthier households particularly children; Improvement in school attendance and a Reduction in reported cases of Diarrhea etc as more people now drink filtered water. Absenteeism of children from schools on health grounds reduced. There is also a Reduction in reported cases of endemic water borne/based diseases e.g. Diarrhea, Filariasis, Hipatitis-A, Malaria, Roundworm/Hookworm and Tapeworm etc because of observed changes in behavior and attitudes e.g. open defecation is well reduced, dirty open drains and stagnant pools of water are regularly cleaned up etc. The enhancement of personal dignity amongst men and women was also achieved particularly by all those who bought filters and those who built new latrines etc.
Rural Africa Water Development Project (RAWDP) has a mission to make safe drinking water available to poor and marginalized groups in environmentally ravaged communities through appropriate technologies. RAWDP is currently working as a collaboration partner to the World Health Organization (WHO) on Household Treatment and Safe Storage in Nigeria. http://www.who.int/household_water/network/participants/en/index.html First organized in year 2000 RAWDP is today a legally incorporated body with a 5 member trustee board. Its activities concentrated in the oil rich Niger Delta region. www.mor-sandfilter.org Previous funds were all received principally as seed money targeted at enabling the project to effectively take off. It was planned that the seed funding will enable the project to develop the market and engage the target population. However, in scaling up the project and achieving sustainability we have taken cognizance of social, economic and political constraints in Nigeria. This has enabled us to develop a business model that is dependent on external funding for a period of 6 years (2004-2010) with a goal set at 2-5% of 6 million households by 2010 (a total of 120,000). The business model incorporates commercial and social concerns such as the type of filter and payment options; community engagement tools, a range of promotional material for the project, and a tree planting strategy that promotes the project and protects the environment.. The business model is in tandem with the triple bottom line which accommodates the poor and the environment. The project’s positive attributes safeguards the environment while concessions to the poor help to ease poverty recognizing that the poor constitute the bulk of those who have limited access to safe drinking water as well as the political/lobbying process. One major environmental benefit of our project is
That the ‘gospel’ and imperativeness for Community involvement should be prioritized in all cases for project sustainability. Also that baseline assessment/survey is often an important first step towards a water, sanitation and hygiene improvement programme. It provides us a means of assessing the existing WATSAN and Hygiene situation of the target communities, helping us to understand why people do what they do and why the status quo subsists. 2) That awareness creation and promotion activities of new water treatment filters such as ours’ should at all times, also address water storage; post filtration. And that program like sanitation and hygiene trainings should also integrated into such activities. 3) That there is increasing recognition that simple household based approaches to ensuring drinking water safety should also be incorporated into country strategies to reduce water borne diseases. It is therefore expected that RAWDP should as it engages the local households and communities, also engage the government particularly at the local government level. This is the easiest way to elicit the attention of government at the centre and committing its involvement in this important assignment. Finally, one leaning that has assisted us greatly is the understanding that working with the poor is best achieved by engaging the rich. This is often achieved by developing a business plan/model that though targets the poor, still reaches the rich. Such a plan often make in-roads into the target communities via the rich, such that beneficiaries will not feel ‘’ego bruise’’ i.e. feeling that by adopting the technology, they are hopelessly poor. Our up scaling plan has noted this and is working on it.
Great potentials exist for up-scaling as the raw materials required for construction are readily sourced from most communities. Households currently using the filter have confirmed that it rids their water of excess impurities. Opportunities exist for micro-entrepreneurs for the distribution and marketing of these filters; same for promoters and health workers. The Mor-sand Filter is an improved adaptation of the Bio-sand filter. It integrates the combination of coagulation and filtration as effective and significant mechanisms for reducing the concentration of microorganisms in water. It markedly differs from the Bio-sand filter by its adoption of a Moringa layer in addition to the naturally forming bio-layer in the former. This layer offers coagulation, a traditional first unit process in conventional water treatment that is crucial for the removal of impurities in water. Proper coagulation followed by sedimentation and filtration can achieve more than 99% reduction in bacteria and viruses. As a multi-media filter our Mor-sand filter is designed to improve filtration performance through optimum coagulation. Moringa oleifera is an effective coagulant identified from plant origin. The powder, when in contact with water yields water soluble proteins that possess a net charge. The high positive charge (above 10) and small size may suggest that the main destabilization mechanism could be adsorption and charge neutralization. This coagulant, acting like a chemical reagent forms insoluble chemical compounds which are then subsequently removed by sand filtration. This method of chemical removal originally was used for treating mining effluents, where for example arsenic was present at high concentrations, however it has been proven effective with drinking water in this context. The Mor-sand filter is further fortified with the replacement of the gravel bed in the Bio-sand filter with a pumice bed, resulting in this sequence of layers: Moringa, > then Sand, > then Pumice. The low specific gravity and high porosity of pumice make it important for a number of applications in water and waste water treatment processes. The use of pumice in multimedia filtration was first reported by Pumex UK LTD (2000). The Mor-sand filter also overcomes the time hitherto spent waiting for the bio-layer to form, a minimum 17 days in the Bio-sand filter. The water could be consumed right away upon filter installation. As at the moment we have received well over 100 enquiries by many interested development groups spread all over the