Effects of Transitory Emergency Response on Sustainability of Water SystemsBilal Javed and Saeed AkhtarSession:
1.1 Rehabilitation focusing Source Development
The quake affected drinking water systems were rehabilitated with a rapid pace following theprinciple of
build back better
in emergencies, by numerous humanitarian agencies mostlywithout coordinating the government line agencies and service providers. Out of numerouschallenges faced by the rehabilitating agencies in rehabilitating the existing systems was sourcedisplacement, especially in case of spring sources due to variations in the tectonic plates. Theexisting sources either dried out or their discharge was trimmed down to a significant level. Mostof the affected areas were located on hilly terrains and were dependent on gravity basedsystems mostly based on spring sources (85% of the 800 water supply systems) beforeearthquake. Meager idea of location of alternate water sources and shorter project duration inmost left no choice for the agencies working to rehabilitate the systems but to look for alternatesources. Sources were rapidly identified and developed with a considerable number of schemesdependent on surface water.Agencies intervening in Water and Sanitation sector utilized multiple designs to re-develop orre-habilitate the existing sources for the water supply systems. Structures like cutoff walls,retaining walls and spring boxes were developed on the source points.Due to swift pace of work in adversity and short duration of recovery period along with somevery good engineering practices some cases of unsafe and unimproved source developmentalso occurred. Unsafe source development could be defined as
“applying improper engineering structure either complete or partial for a specific source type”
.Improper engineering at some of the sites distributed the water sources into two broadcategories improved and unimproved sources.
1.1.1 Improved Vs. Unimproved Sources
Improved sources could be defined as the
“sources serving a water supply system with a proper engineering structure on the source point designed as per the site and beneficiary requirement”
.Unimproved sources lacked either one or all of a proper engineering structure, i.e. appropriatedesign, size and implementation site.
The study was carried out using standard formats formulated in line with World HealthOrganization’s standards (WHO, 2011) to assess the condition of source points of drinkingwater supply systems. Since the completeness of the evaluation required access to a variety of information and that too from different aspects, (such as technical information, informationbased on observations and inspections etc.) a mixed method approach, consisting of quantitative and qualitative data collection tools, was employed as explained:
2.1 Sample Size
A total of eight hundred (800) water supply systems in three earthquake affected districts wereselected for the study using stratified random selection procedure representing both new andrehabilitated water supply systems. The sample distribution of villages by district for the study ispresented in the Table 1 below.
Table 1: Distribution of Sample Schemes for the Study by District S. District Tehsil Number of Water Supply