Another Step Towards SustainabilityOK Clean Water reached a new milestone on July 22 & 23 when 40 caretakers (38 men & 2 women) of village water systems gathered in the village of Kitiwum for a two-day training session. The village of Kitiwum (just north of Kumbo) provided an excellent site for the workshop because of their model catchment protection area and because of the good working partnership between the village water management committee, their development association, and their traditional rulers.
The first day of the training session included presentations with charts on such topics as: role and responsibilities of a caretaker, relationship with the water management committee and the villagers, caretaker’s tools and their uses, and record keeping. The more experienced caretakers in the group shared their stories to help the newer members better understand their responsibilities and challenges.
The second day started with a visit to the catchment protection area at 6 A.M. Following that visit, the group divided into three subgroups, each with a specific water maintenance task to complete. This was to provide a hands-on experience with each group sharing the experience and learnings with the whole group. The three tasks were: repairing a public standpipe, constructing an air vent in a storage tank, and learning the use of the dicing machine (needed to make threads on GI pipes).
The OK consultant, Mr. Visi Edwin, organized and facilitated the two days. Once again, his knowledge of village water systems and the challenges faced, evoked a fair amount of laughter as he described situations that were all too familiar to the participants.
Demonstrating their commitment, the participants slept on mattresses (brought from Kumbo) in the meeting hall. Meals were prepared by women from the village.
The time together concluded with the awarding of certificates to all in attendance and recognition of three caretakers for their commitment. The acceptance of the certificate included a commitment to the work of sustainability of the village water system. To help them keep their commitment, each village received a copy of an operation and maintenance guide for caretakers for village water systems. The evaluations of the session sounded a very positive note including a proposal for the next training session!
The session began and ended with prayers of thanksgiving for the life of Sr. Norma McCoy, for her energy and commitment in helping to establish the OK Clean Water Project.
This training session for village caretakers was funded by the RETIRED TEACHERS’ ASSOCIATION of Ottawa. BERI WO/Thank you/Merci!