WASH committee members are trained to repair water boreholes
WASH committee members are trained to repair water infrastructures

WASH Committees Setting Examples for Sustaining Water Infrastructures

By Benjamim Capito, Communications Coordinator 

Access to clean water is a milestone in rural Mozambique where communities must walk long distances to find this vital resource to secure daily needs.

World Vision-Moçambique, through Educating Children Together – Phase III (ECT-3) project, implemented in the districts of Muecate and Nacarôa, in Nampula province, has managed to provide safe water to 160 schools in both districts.

Communities themselves play a crucial role in maintaining water infrastructures functional and sustainable for the improvement of health, hygiene and overall quality of life of children and their families.

It is in this context that ECT-3 is revitalizing school WASH committees that are responsible for managing water and sanitation infrastructures. 

The tasks of a WASH committee can be divided into social management, technical management, and financial management. It’s all about planning, organization, decision-making, coordination and control.

Recently, a WASH committee was established in Nathuo Primary School, in Muecate district, and was structured following the above description. The members were elected among community members.

The newly elected president of the Nathuo WASH Committee, Zacarias Manuel, said that he will encourage members to set good examples to motivate people to use water and sanitation facilities correctly.

“A member of the WASH Committee must be a role model in his community. He cannot tell others to adopt good practices of water treatment and hygiene if he cohabitates with the filth where he lives. Hygiene starts with oneself. That is why a member must be an example to be followed,” noted the president adding that the drilling of a new borehole in Nathuo made life easy because families relied on a borehole that was distant from the community.

In Namahia-Terrene village, and also in Muecate village, the local WASH committee is responsible for managing a water supply system that is capable to serve 1,200 people. During a storm, solar panels were displaced, but the committee managed to reposition and the panels are working properly.

Sódio Tábua, president of the WASH committee in Namahia-Terrene considers that the upgrade of a borehole into a water supply system has improved access to clean water allowing more families to use this resource.

“When we depended only on the manual borehole, women in the village had to wake up early because the process of collecting water was slow, but now there are faucets nearby and people can get water at any time,” he said.

ECT-3 project plans to revitalize and refresh the existing 13 school WASH committees during the Fiscal Year 2023. Also in this period, the project will train 13 local artisans for major repairs of water points, and spare parts availability and link them with WASH committees.