Watch out, the word “sustainability” is about to become more famous in the next few years – if it hasn’t already. It is certainly an aspect that has an ample amount of weight in the building industry. Architects and engineers alike. They talked about it and spent times trying to figure out how to wrap their project with a big blanket of sustainability. This is a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, not so much in many volunteering projects especially in developing countries.
Ned Breslin (his Bio) – A CEO of Water For People said this:
Africa, Asia and Latin America have become wastelands for broken water and sanitation infrastructure…
The infrastructure mentioned here is referring to facilities that were built by many volunteers and NGOs (Non-Governmental Organization). The intention to bring water and provide safe sanitation to remote and forgotten communities is nothing but good if not – noble. The problem lies in the poor execution and half-baked procedure.
a small caveat of incentive that comes with this kind of project beside “helping” the communities is that the number of people benefited from the project will be shown on someone elses portfolio. And it will stay there for a number of years. Even when the system finally ceased to operate and the volunteers are long gone, the number in the portfolio lives on.
The longevity and life cycle of the system are often left out for other volunteers in the future to figure out.
The right way to do this as described by Ned, is to incorporate ownership of the system. Which involves the community actually paying for the system in long term. Find out how at the source below after the pictures.
Money can be raised, water pump can be bought, donated and installed. But, to exclude and ignore the capacity that the community itself have to offer, is a sure failure coming at a distant.
Hard to believe that even water was once considered an unlimited resource. Understandably, it’s almost unthinkable that water would someday became “out of stock”. Afterall, our earth is covered by 71% water. But, most of them are not safe for immediate consumption and to provide potable drinkable water requires energy, infrastructure, man power and lots of money. So, it is in everybody’s best interest that potable water cumsumption be kept as minimal as possible. In contrary to the urgent matter, here in U.S. it’s a normal practice to flush our toilet with drinkable water. How much water do we dump through our toilet? Literally.
Before Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) 1975, water closets were flushed with 7 mighty gallons of potable water! Later on, the U.S. Energy Policy Act (EPAct) 1992 set a maximum rate for flushing water closet to 1.6 Gallon per flush. Now, some manufacturer have come up with 0.5 gallon per flush. Very significant progress indeed. Who knows what the future might bring… in terms of flushing your number 1 down the toilet. Maybe “waterless toilet” shoot something at “it” and it evaporates…