Water Committee Training
In every village that a well is drilled, a Water Committee is elected from among members of the village. This committee is key to the Water for Life Initiative (WFLI), as it is responsible for the long-term care of the deep-capped water well, and collaborates with other teams trained by GAiN to bring continued development to the community. The committee is composed of a minimum of six people, and at least 50% of positions must be held by women. GAiN’s equal opportunity policy opens doors for women to other leadership opportunities within their villages, and builds upon the Gender Sensitivity training that WFLI provides in many villages.
The Water Committee is responsible for all matters regarding the water well. Part of this responsibility making sure it is properly maintained. The committee’s Vice President and Maintenance Supervisor work together to ensure that the well and its surrounding area is kept clean, that the pump is in working order, and that villagers are trained to use it properly. The Maintenance Supervisor is also trained to make routine repairs, and to recognize problems that require advanced work.
The committee also oversees the management of the well by monitoring how much water is drawn, and training villagers in best water use and Hygiene and Sanitation practices. They collect and manage a small fee for every bucket of water drawn, which goes into a well maintenance fund. Any surplus in this fund can be used to fund community projects that are voted on by the community, and in the past have been used to build schools and fund farming projects. In this way, the pure water provided by the well not only brings life and health, but also new opportunities for growth and development.
The water wells GAiN provides are gifts to the villages, however, because a well is a long-term gift, it is important the villagers learn to protect and preserve their new resource. The Water Committee’s presence and training allows the community to take ownership and responsibility for the well and to become independent of GAiN’s assistance. This allows GAiN to move on to aid and train more villages, and also ensures that the well will become a sustainable resource for the next generation.