Published on: 05/09/2006
Life in Kassab village in Egypt is changing as traditional methods of collecting and storing water are replaced by a cleaner and easier supply to taps at home. The first pilot project of EMPOWERS supports families to connect water pipes to their homes, through loans to spread the cost of connection.
Life in Kassab village in Egypt is changing as traditional methods of collecting and storing water are replaced by a cleaner and easier supply to taps at home. The first pilot project of EMPOWERS supports families to connect water pipes to their homes, through loans to spread the cost of connection. EMPOWERS is a partnership of fifteen organisations allied together to improve the long-term access to water by communities in Egypt, Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza.
Madiha and her family used to drink water from the “zeer”, the water container well known all over rural Egypt. It is mainly for storing water for drinking and cooking but is neither practical nor safe. The quality of water is not always good because Madiha either gets it from neighbours with a water connection or from the canal.
Madiha’s family was one of the families that benefited from the loans given by EMPOWERS for making in-house water connections. Her life and those of her children have become much easier. She has tap water and she doesn’t have to worry every morning where and how to get water. She uses the tap water to drink, cook, clean and for bathing her children, faster and with a better water quality.
Although Madiha has to pay back the loan to the village Community Development Association (CDA), she and her husband are happy that they could pay a little amount every month instead of paying it all at once. This also gave them the opportunity to buy a modern stove where they can cook their food and bake their bread.
The family still has water problems, for example in getting rid of the wastewater. They dump the water in front of their house which creates an unhealthy environment. The village lacks an appropriate system for sanitation and solid waste management.
The pictures are an excellent example of the process documentation and learning and sharing work of the EMPOWERS alliance. Each country partner has one full time information communication specialist who produces snapshots, newsletters, story books and web sites. The regional information and communication officer helps the development process by sharing information and key lessons.
The job description of an EMPOWERS Country Information and Communication officer may be of interest to other national and regional resource centres.
Each Country Information and Communication Officer supports EMPOWERS colleagues to document and share information about what is being done, in particular by:
These tasks require a variety of skills including:
A wealth of materials resulting from their work is available in English and Arabic from the EMPOWERS site .
The EMPOWERS (2003-2007) project in Egypt, Jordan, and Palestine is mainly funded through the European Union’s Regional MEDA Water Programme for Local Water Management.
The EMPOWERS team will present one of the papers at IRC’s Capacity Strengthening symposium in September 2006.
For more information: May Abu-Elseoud, CARE, P.O. Box 2019, Cairo, Egypt, e-mail: email@example.com