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TitleSafe water for the community : a guide for establishing a community-based safe water system program
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsLantagne, DS, Gallo, W
Pagination62 p. : fig., photogr., tab.
Date Published2008-01-01
PublisherCenters for Disease Control and Prevention
Place PublishedAtlanta, GA, USA
Keywordscommunity management, guidelines, haiti, health education, hypochlorination, safe water supply, sdilac, water storage

Each year, inadequate access to safe drinking water and improper sanitation causes an estimated 4 billion cases of diarrhea and 1.9 million deaths in developing countries, mostly among young children. Waterborne diarrhoeal disease leads to decreased food intake and nutrient absorption, malnutrition, reduced resistance to infection, and impaired physical growth and cognitive development. Factors contributing to this high rate of diarrhoeal disease incidence include: poor sanitation, poor hand hygiene, contaminated water, and lack of sufficient household water. Programmes that provide latrines, hygiene education, access to microbiologically clean water, and/or enough water will reduce the incidence of diarrhoeal disease.

The Safe Water System (SWS) programme is a household water treatment intervention, responding to the cholera epidemics that swept across Latin America in the early 1990s. It consists of three elements: 1) water treatment with hypochlorite solution in the home; 2) storage of water in a safe container; and 3) education and behaviour change communications to improve hygiene and water handling practices.

The experiences of the JSWF-program in Jolivert, Haiti, are used throughout this guide to illustrate the development of a successful community-based programme. This successful community and faith-based intervention uses local production and community education and distribution to make chlorine available in a local area. The main challenges are maintaining the community programming aspect while expanding to reach a greater population, and obtaining funding to subsidize the modified buckets needed to bring additional families into the program.

A CD that contains supporting information necessary to develop a community-based programme accompanies this guide.

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