Q&A: Drink Local. Drink Tap.

Discussion Forum

PWX members can use this space to discuss elements of the Organization. PWX members can post questions or comments and they will be seen by everybody. Any PWX member can respond to the questions and comments, not just the submitter.

Wonderful!

Posted over 8 years ago

Hi there

This is very exciting to see the forum expand to issues NOT in a developing country. The water crisis is global and intricate and I'm thrilled that we are including all the different issues into PWX.

I was curious to find out how you would use PWX and what kinds of specific programs you would intend to seek funding? Could you describe some of those programs and the kinds of projected impact it would have?

Thanks! and Welcome!

Gemma

Wonderful!

Posted over 8 years ago

Hello Gemma,
Thank you for writing. We intend to use PWX to help in not recreating the wheel when it comes to any issues we are not familiar with. From what I understand, PWX is intended to be used so the wheel is not recreated everytime someone has a question or project they need to implement/plan/ etc.

Currently, we are working at a very rural school compound in Uganda and plan to fund the initial installation of a new, sustainable water sourcethrough BPN as well as our other fundraising sources. Team Hope, a local team of cyclists has specifically been raising funds for our school/project-so we have a more targeted project with BPN and Team Hope/BPN have been great advocacy partners in 2011.

The sustainable part of our project comes from community ownership development in the very beginning stages of the planning. It also has included ongoing education that is made monthly once the project is complete (for our current project) inkind from a local professional. Funds raised will be used for the actual planning an installation of the water source and any extra sanitation and management we can afford to include during this phase of our project with this school and community.

The impact is obvious as I have just returned from filming and experiencing the walk for water for weeks with the children, the sickness in the community, and the gratitude that is already felt in the village and parish. The gratitude exists because the children will miss less school from walking so far early morning and evening (hours of lost homework and class time), sickness, and many other extranalities that occur while walking for water (like rape and prostitution).

So, the impact is huge-specifically an entire parish, a growing orphan school of @700 children, 15 teachers, many parish workers, a small basic clinic, and the immediate surrounding village. A very untounched area of Uganda that is verymuch so third world and in need of safe/better access to water.

We are very excited to have this support network of professionals and BPN to help build closer relationships with other people trying to ease the pain of unequal clean water access.

Thank you for writing!
Erin Huber

Uganda, partners, etc.

Posted over 8 years ago

Hi Erin,
Great reading about your program and your current projects. I really love your "Drink Local, Drink Tap" campaign. I also like all the levels at which you are operating: starting community clean up efforts, creating awareness of global issues, connecting communities across the globe, etc.

- Does the Cleveland Mayor's office have bottled water delivered? ;)
- Are there other organizations like yours in the US and do you partner with them?

In the context of PWX, could you provide more information on:

- The organization(s) you partner with in the Uganda?
- Why Uganda? Will Uganda continue to be your primary focus outside of the Great Lakes area?
- What size projects do you anticipate undertaking? Will they be primarily around schools?
- What benefits are you hoping to derive from the PWX network?

thanks,
Madan

Uganda, partners, etc.

Posted over 8 years ago

Dear Madan,
Thank you for writing. Below I have addressed your questions the best I can with African jet-lag, please let me know if you'd like more clarification.

- Does the Cleveland Mayor's office have bottled water delivered? ;)
From what I understand, it is kept to a minimum now and they continue to be aware of the costs associated with bottled water and they also commend us for our work (we have a proclamation from the mayor). I can triple check on the status of their water use, or feel free to make a call. Mayor Jackson is very nice!

- Are there other organizations like yours in the US and do you partner with them?
I am not positive about organizations, but school groups have set some amazing examples. As you are aware, there are so many NGOs in the world/nation. If you are thinking of a specific one, please do share.
We work locally with colleges, schools, companies, and other non-profits that are water related, but may not deal directly with anti-bottled water advocacy normally.

In the context of PWX, could you provide more information on:

- The organization(s) you partner with in the Uganda?
We are parting with the local parish, local planning agency friends who have negotiated costs and donated ample project management time on the ground, and are exploring other opportunities.

- Why Uganda? Will Uganda continue to be your primary focus outside of the Great Lakes area?
A local school teacher I met is from the area just outside this area of Mullajji and told me about the school, showed me some pictures and said " I don't know how to help these people". I told her I could and I would. SInce then DLDT has worked with her school and others to raise awareness about local and global water issues. Connecting the youth allows us to show them THEY can make a difference and that they are both rich is so many ways; in Cleveland, they are rich with water.
Another comment is that this project is "tangible". For instance, team Hope rides for St. Charles School in Mullajji, Uganda. I am making a film and they can actually SEE the fruit of their work (amoungst the hundreds of other DLDT supporters who have been working to fund research, filming, and development of this project).

This are is literally forgotten about in many ways as I'm sure you can imagine.
My comment is " why not Uganda". We don't want these people and children to just be another number in an unimaginable stat of 1.1 billion people without access to safe drinking water.
I can't say if Uganda is it or not. I have filmed in the second largest slum in the world in Kenya, seen the trash in Tanzania, and been in the most remote villages of Uganda-then to the Nile, the source of all life where one STILL can't drink the water.

- What size projects do you anticipate undertaking? Will they be primarily around schools?
I want to do this well and do this right, then I can better answer that question. I like the idea of filling the gaps the big NGOs can't make time for.

- What benefits are you hoping to derive from the PWX network?
See Gemma response:)

Madan, Can you tell me a bit about what you do as well and why you are involved in PWX? It is our first time using this forum and I'd love to know how you benefit from it as well.

Thank you for your questions, please contact me anytime and send some feedback if your time allows. Cheers!
Erin

Uganda, partners, etc.

Posted over 8 years ago

Hi Erin,
Thanks.
- I will send email to Mayor Jackson as a almost-citizen of Cleveland. It was the summer before the winter with 50" of snow, does that narrow it down? ;)
- I was curious about other organizations working on "Drink Local, Drink Tap" for a couple of reasons: a couple years ago a colleague and I convinced our co-workers that drinking tap water in our office was just fine. I do believe there is a lot that can be done in corporates/offices etc. that truck water in for their employees. Also, triggered by your great video I just started a dialogue with a local, upscale restaurant (Bangalore, India) to see if there is a way to steer people towards safe, filtered drinking water that is filtered on site as opposed to buying plastic bottles of water. We are looking at a simple poster or a placard that can be placed at tables that gives people some food for thought, so to speak, and makes them think again about bottled water. Do you have any literature or pointers to resources that we can use?
- I'm a volunteer with PWX. I'm an engineer and have worked for 15+ years in Silicon Valley, Berkeley/US and Bangalore/India, and over the last 6 years was involved with the creation of Solar Richmond, www.solarrichmond,org. I've just started volunteering with PWX and hope to contribute in any which way I can.
thanks,
Madan

Concerns regarding Uganda project

Posted over 8 years ago

Hello DLDT!

I just watched your 20min. film -- how inspiring!

Your efforts on creatively educating the public, especially the youth, are tremendous. Your efforts on pushing the awareness beyond the Great Lakes region, to a school in Uganda, is commendable.

I look forward to your replies to Gemma and Madan's questions above. In addition, I have the following thoughts:

1. Connection between PWX and Uganda project

Are you specifically looking towards PWX to raise funds for the Uganda project?

2. Leveraging DLDT strengths for the Uganda project

Being familiar with the challenges of implementing water-related infrastructure projects in developing regions, I have the sense, from reviewing your uploaded application and budget information, along with your Making Waves blog, that DLDT is on fresh ground when it comes to actual infrastructure implementation. While DLDT has strengths in awareness building and community exchange, it may experience technical challenges due to field realities, especially with regards to a confirmed technical solution, commitment from the local engineers, and logistics.

Do you have a strategy or team in place to ensure success of the technical aspects? During your awareness building activities in Uganda, were you able to connect with technical experts that were inspired by the project?

Addressing technical aspects needs to includes sustainability mechanisms that will ensure the technical system lives long after it is implemented. Once you have a technical strategy in place for the St. Charles School project, you will easily be able to adapt to future projects.

3. Water AND sanitation?

I see sanitation mentioned in the project description, however, there does not seem to be specific details regarding the current sanitation infrastructure/efforts and the project goals for sanitation.

In developing regions, access to water and sanitation go hand-in-hand. Sanitation facilities without access to water can be meaningless; and access to water without addressing sanitation does not guarantee optimal benefits to the end users.

Does the school need toilets? Does the school staff have capacity to establish the social habits required for sanitation?

4. Please reply!

Seeing that you have not yet posted any replies to the PWX questions, I would like to conclude with a bit of encouragement:

The essence of PWX is it's ability to facilitate action-triggering, knowledge exchange via the internet. However, that exchange requires time, commitment, and openness in replying. You have wonderful work/experiences to share via this Q/A -- I hope you do so soon!

Best,
Dipti

Concerns regarding Uganda project

Posted over 8 years ago

I am particularly excited to have Erin and DLDT participate in PWX. She is introducing a new model which is essential for scaling the number of projects we can address. That is ... An organization without project experience can learn from the information housed on PWX and through the Peer Review process in order to design and organize a project organically with the targeted community. It is wonderful that Erin is also documenting this experience with a film. Hopefully this will pave the way for other communities and local groups to step up to implementing their own projects with their own funding. This applies to both communites in the US who want to help those in need, as well as those communities without water.

The Peer Review process has helped all involved create better, more effective projects. For example, Erin's St. Charles School project in Uganda will benefit from the guidance on issues like integrating toilets and sanitation.

-Mark

Concerns regarding Uganda project

Posted over 8 years ago

Hi Mark,
Thank you for your support, encouragement and guidance. We are in phase 1 of our project currently (just past the site visit) and hoping to raise enough funds to complete the new water access by the end of January. After new access is complete and handed over to the water committee we have already formed at the school/community, we will be looking for next phases in improving the access and sanitation of the new water source.

We currently have our district planning professional who has made a written agreement with us to oversee the project, test the water prior to handling the source over to the school, test the water annually, and complete water committee training initially and then bi-monthly at no cost to us or the community/school. Stay tuned for more!

We appreciate the support of the PWX and hope we can return the support in some way and create new and strong partnerships with the organizations working in this online community.

Erin Huber