Here at HydrateLife we believe that only the community knows what is best for them, and therefore, we will never go into a community and tell them the solutions to their problems. Instead, a Community Water Council is set up.
This council will be instrumental in all parts of the project; from design, to execution, to maintaining the completed project. The size of the council varies depending on the size of the community, but will always include at least 50% women, and people from all age groups. We realize that for a lot of communities including an equal number of women may not be the norm. However, we feel that their involvement is very important, and will work hard to make sure our standard is met.
During the initial steps, the main purpose of the Community Water Council is to hold community meetings, and listen to the community’s wants, needs, and concerns. Once they have this information, and relay it to us, we’ll share different options with the council; discussing the pros and cons of each one. As a driving principle, all solutions will be centered on the idea of utilizing simple and appropriate technologies, that are friendly to the surrounding environment.
The council will then hold several more community meetings to talk through the options, conveying questions back to us, and once all of the community’s questions are answered together they will decide on a solution that best suites them.
This isn’t where the council’s responsibilities end. It will also serve a number of other purposes, including:
- Continue to hold regular meetings to answer any questions that may come up.
- Some members of the council will receive hygiene and sanitation education, and then will teach the rest of their community on how to use proper hygiene and how the sanitation facilities function.
- During construction the council will organize and schedule workers from the community based on their skills and ability.
- At the end of the project at least two people from the council will be trained to operate and maintain any equipment installed during the project.
- The council will also schedule periodic maintenance of the system, as well as coordinate the maintenance of the sanitation and hygiene facilities.