THE WATER SITUATION
In many communities especially in rural areas, they depend on stream water and often the same source of drinking water serves as the toilet.
“The mental state of poverty clouds the thinking and will to change lifestyles. When someone is poor, hungry and thirsty, the last thing on his mind is fetching water to boil and cool before drinking.”
Mostly, people in rural areas seem not to grasp the concept of why and how proper management of their water bodies have a direct impact on their livelihoods, the way of living, and health. The mental state of poverty clouds the thinking and will to change lifestyles.
Several high-level forums and conferences attended by international NGOs and Government agencies have been hosted to deliberate, review and come out with a road map communique to address the optimum approach on proper water management and direct impact on poverty reduction. Almost on a yearly basis, such high profile forums are hosted however, the results of action-oriented programs coming out of these well-attended forums are not encouraging.
Poverty-Environment Partnership (PEP) is a network of bilateral aid agencies, multilateral development banks, UN agencies and international NGOs that aims to address key poverty-environment issues within the framework of international efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
Some of the recommendations from this forum include the following:
Policy, legal and regulatory reform (including rights of access to water).
Planning and technology choices to broaden the range of technology and management choices available to poor people and planners.
Financial mechanisms, including supportive investment environments and cost recovery mechanisms.
Institutional reform and more effective institutional coordination.
Policy actions by governments should initially focus on:
The integration of water into MDG-based Poverty Reduction Strategies.
Reforms to reduce fragmentation within and between government agencies through IWRM.
The improvement of local level water governance through decentralization, securing rights and enhancing institutional capacities that bring decision-making within reach of the poor.
The establishment of an effective regulatory system, including creating a level playing field to encourage investments by small local private sector enterprises.
Advocacy and awareness programmes.
When someone is poor, hungry and thirsty, the last thing on his mind is fetching water to boil and cool before drinking. This example and many more other cultural impediments hamper the acceptance of recommendations coming out of global forums.
install community boreholes for better quality water and host annual workshop seminars on “How to Manage Water resources to reduce poverty”
The MEF proposes to organize a series of grassroots hands-on approach workshops and improving sources of quality water e.g drilling boreholes, targeting keys actors and traditional leaders who have a better understanding of the cultures and tribal beliefs of water bodies in rural areas.