CHAPTER 2: The three phases of the SRWSP approach
Taking into consideration a set of principles such as empowerment, justice and equity, gender equality, and rolling planning, the objectives for SRWSP are formulated and divided into five main categories:
The stepwise process is a series of activities and benchmarks that safeguard the integrity of the project process and increase community ownership. A number of specific activities and/or criteria must each be fulfilled by the community. A new operation is started only once all previous required activities have been completed. For a project to reach completion, it needs to successfully run through three phases: Preparation, Construction, and Operation & Maintenance. The duration of each step and each phase depends entirely on the commitment, ability and willingness of the community (a detailed description of the 25 steps can be found in chapter 3).
1. Preparation phase
During the preparation phase, preceding the construction of a drinking water scheme, numerous activities take place which lead to improved community management and better sanitation practices among the people. Those activities include assessment and analysis of the community in the field of drinking water and environmental sanitation, community mobilisation to form a Water and Sanitation Management Committee (WSMC), Health and Sanitation Education (HSE), training of WSMC members, fund raising for operation and maintenance, and participatory monitoring. Only after completion of these activities is a detailed technical survey and planning for the drinking water system initiated. At the end of the preparation phase, when the design and material estimates are ready, the community plans for collection of locally available material, transportation of additional construction material to the village and all construction. This is the start of the construction phase. The duration of the preparation phase varies but usually is one to two years.
Activities to be completed and criteria to be fulfilled by the community during the preparation phase are:
The construction phase is the shortest of the three. An average gravity flow system, consisting of a 5 km main pipeline length, a storage and distribution tank, some other structures and a total of seven tapstands serving about 50 households can be completed within three months. SRWSP provides skilled and technically qualified staff to guide and support the community, but it is the people themselves who must build their own drinking water scheme. During this phase a Village Maintenance Worker (VMW), appointed by the community, is trained on the job and during an intensive two-week training programme. After completion of the construction work and the subsequent final commissioning, the operation and maintenance phase begins.
3. Operation and maintenance phase
The operation and maintenance phase is open-ended for the community, while for SRWSP it is limited to two years. The objectives of the O&M phase are:
Partnership is a key feature in the implementation of the whole programme. SRWSP has a very broad scope of partners but essentially works within two types of partnership: dual and multiple. A dual partnership entails cooperation between SRWSP and the community represented by a Water and Sanitation Management Committee (WSMC). In the multiple partnership approach, SRWSP cooperates with various organisations, such as NGOs, technical consultants, local authorities, and governmental drinking water agencies, and reaches the community in this way. Cooperation with the NGO sector takes place mainly in the areas making up the programme's social component, while consultants are given the responsibilities in the technical field. Local authorities and governmental agencies are partners for coordination and cooperation. Others are involved for specific tasks such as training.
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