Household water management at the 4th World Water Forum, Mexico City, 16 -22 March 2006
Household water management was addressed in a number of informal and formal events at the 4th World Water Forum, the most significant being the topic session jointly convened by the WHO Network, PAHO/AMRO, and the NGO CAWST on 19 March 2006, under the framework theme Water Supply and Sanitation for All.
With household-level action increasingly recognized as an interim solution to ensure drinking water safety for vulnerable populations, efforts are now focusing on the challenge of bringing implementation to scale. In this session, presenters addressed the challenge from the perspective of different themes (implementation, education and training, research and external support) drawing on experiences in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. All presentations are available for download, below:
Implementation of HWT in Nepal - Roshan Shrestha, ENPHO
Reaching scale with HWT - Greg Allgood, P&G
HWT: The perspective of an educator and trainer - Camille Dow Baker, CAWST
HWTS: Research and implemenation - Thomas Clasen, LSHTM
HWTS: What motivates external support - John Borrazzo, USAID
Following this, an expert panel of respondents, raised additional points, and re-confirmed key points that were brought up, including:
- With regard to the relationship between research and practice, the evidence-base is crucial: there is a need to evaluate what is working, what is not, and move forward with proven interventions. Research that guides us in implementing options at scale is very much needed.
- In terms of evaluating impact, presenters noted the that interventions must work in the lab, and be robust enough to be also effective in the field. The technology must be accepted by users, and demonstrate health impacts. Finally, the intervention must be able to go to scale, keeping in mind comments from presenters that, “product is necessary, but not sufficient”, and “mass communication is necessary but not sufficient”.
- Finally, the need to educate implementers and consumers on the suitability of the various treatment and storage options available was emphasized, recognizing the varying circumstances of different households.
In closing remarks, Teófilo Monteiro noted how WHO/PAHO has been promoting household water treatment as an interim solution to bring about the health gains associated with safe drinking water and to advance the achievement of the “safety” component of the Millennium Development Goal on water.