The Department of Water Resources has established a programme called the National Implementation Plan for Safe and Secure Community Drinking Water.
Understand why you should participate in the national programme to improve safe and secure drinking water.
Here is a link to a Guide on the programme. National Implementation Plan Link
This programme will help coordinate support to Vanuatu communities across all six provinces. Central government, provincial government, area councils and communities are all involved.
Communities will learn to identify what makes their water supply unsafe, and will learn what needs to be done to improve this. Some things can be done immediately and by the community. Other improvements will need technical and financial assistance. The programme includes a process for applying for funds for major improvements.
The programme is important to achieve Vanuatu’s national goal to ensure all people have reliable access to safe drinking water and sanitation infrastructure. It incorporates the requirements of the Water Resources Management Act
To participate in this programme, communities need to register with the DoWR.
Register for assistance and register your Rural Water Committee
The Water Resources Management Act requires communities to have registered Rural Water Committees. Before registration, the committees must receive training in community development, financial management and technical/plumbing training.
Here is a link to the form to request assistance and registration of your Rural Water Committee. Water Community Registration Link
A community’s improvement plan needs to be based on an assessment of the water supply for threats to its quality and quantity, its safety and security. An approach called Drinking Water Safety and Security Planning (DWSSP) has been adopted in Vanuatu. Developing a DWSSP is a facilitated community activity. DoWR will assign a facilitator to assist your community. Every community’s water supply is different, so every community needs its own DWSSP.
Develop an improvement plan for your water supply
A DWSSP will help you think about what contaminants might get into the source or during distribution to households or storage. It will also help you think about what you can do to prevent, reduce or remove the contamination. Sometimes these are simple routine tasks that the community can do, like putting lids on storage tanks and building a fence around a well. Other improvements are more technical and require assistance.
Here is a link to the template for preparing a DWSSP. Community Drinking Water Safety & Security Plan (DWSSP) Participant’s Guide
Your community water supply improvement plan (DWSSP) will probably include some items that are beyond the means of your community to finance. The programme includes a Capital Assistance Programme (CAP) Fund, which you can apply. You can only make the application once you have completed your DWSSP and it has been approved.
Apply for assistance with major infrastructure improvements
Your Provincial Water Officer will be able to assist your community with the CAP application.
Here is a link to a Guide on the CAP. Cap Guide
Here is a link to the form to apply for financial assistance. Financial Assistance
The PWO will check that your community is eligible. Using information mostly from your DWSSP, your application will be scored for risk to safety and risk to security. The combined risk score for the water supply will be used to prioritise your community application alongside other community applications. Financial assistance will first be made available to the communities with the highest priority risk scores.
Community water supplies need to be maintained regularly. Supplies that are well maintained last longer with fewer breakdowns. A maintenance plan will be part of the DWSSP. Communities should be doing as much of this regular maintenance themselves as possible.
Look after your existing water supply and make small improvements
Periodically, your Provincial Water Officer will be available to provide plumbers training. Contact your Provincial Water Officer to find out when someone from your community can attend a training session.
Here is a link to an Operations and Maintenance of Rural Water Supplies manual. Operations and Maintenance
Major infrastructure improvements are designed and managed by DoWR. But this does not mean that the community should just sit back and watch. The programme has an expectation that communities will assist with some tasks associated with major improvements, as agreed with DoWR.
Get involved in major improvements
Tasks could include manual labour digging trenches, mixing concrete or moving materials.
By being involved during construction, members of the community can learn about how to operate and maintain its new water supply once the engineers and contractor have finished.
Your community should sign an agreement (Memorandum of Understanding, MoU) with DoWR about the contributions it will make.
Here is a link to an MoU template. [link]