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What WASMO are doing

25 May 2011

I just feel that I need to clarify what the organization that I do my internship at WASMO are doing. WASMO was created in 2002 as a special purpose vehicle to mainly implement the Swajaldhara programme in Gujarat. Swajaldhara programme is a decentralization programme of the Indian water supply schemes from the Indian Government. The main work of WASMO is to facilitate the process of the villagers taking over the water supply schemes.

Broad overview of the process:

1) A Pani Samati (Water & Sanitation Council) is founded as an entity under the Gram Panchayat (Village Council) , the most local unit in the Indian government structure. The Pani Samiti needs to consist of 1/3 women, to make sure that their voices are heard in the process. Especially since it’s traditionally the duty of women & girls to fetch the water for the household. So it’s both for the purpose of women empowerment and to include the women’s knowledge about the water resources.

2) A Village Action Plan for the  is created were it’s decided what type of water supple scheme the village in question needs and can afford. The villagers need the contribute with 10% of the cost themselves. It’s also decided how the construction will be done and how high the water tariffs will be for different villagers. Before the water has been free of charged, but out of bad quality and a far distance away.  Tariff based supply is especially beneficial for underprivileged, since they are usually the people that previously paid  for water from tankers and in the system the cost is often very low for them.

3) The Village Action Plan is implemented. The construction is done and the village take the mandate over the water schemes  in a special ceremony.

The why WASMO was created, but it has also other purposes:

•  to inform and educate about water and sanitation, especially through awareness campaigns for school children.

•  to work with water supply the areas the were hardly damaged by the earthquake in the region Kutch in January 2001.

•  to ensure secure safe, reliable and sustainable water supply and quality. There are some severe problem with too high levels of salinity and fluoride in the water.

•  to especially work with the population in the Tribal Belt, partly due to low degree of development in the area, partly due to that a different type of a society structure requires a different approach.

•  to promote improved sanitation and the individual household level as well as on the village level (I’ll write much more about that another time).

So no, WASMO not any small struggling NGO, but a autonomous entity of the Government of Gujarat. I have also realized that it’s rather recognized, it has been awarded with both the Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration in 2008 and the prestigious “United Nation’s Public Service Award” in 2009 and the lastest I’m aware of was the Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management-award in 2010.

Now I’m going out for tea!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Anna permalink
    25 May 2011 20:06

    Mycket informativt!!!

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