How We Work
At the local level
Water For People works in collaboration with a variety of other organizations and groups on the ground. First, the community is the central player. We bring the government, private sector, development organizations, and others to the table. Each must play their role and contribute to the success of the community.
We involve local municipalities and private sector companies in the planning, funding, and implementation of projects to ensure long-lasting results. The Water For People country coordinator connects these partners with the communities who have expressed a desire to change their lives through water resources and improved sanitation.
The community must be willing to contribute in-kind labor and funding to the entire project but is also a driving force in planning, implementation, operations, maintenance, and repair. Water For People does not believe in sending engineers and volunteer laborers into a community to build systems. Instead, community members are trained to build and maintain systems and to collect tariffs for ongoing operations. Water For People uses only locally available materials should repairs be needed. This ensures that community members take ownership and have the ability to keep systems operational.
At the regional level
Many organizations work at a project level. People working to supply water at a single school or to build a latrine in a household. Both are worthwhile endeavors and help people. However, Water For People is dedicated to long-lasting solutions and a focus on full coverage within entire districts or municipalities. The impact of this work is twofold.
First, by covering an entire district our work has to take into account both the easy locations and the difficult locations to serve, because we must diligently planout and implement total coverage.
Second, success in an entire municipality is a noticeable event for the private sector, government, and the communities themselves. This builds awareness of this possibility, success, and higher demand for total water and sanitation coverage in large areas.
By focusing on full coverage of water and sanitation in a region (of whatever size), Water For People shows that innovation applies not just to technology but to How We Work as well.