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Water for Life Program


Water for Life Program | Elaborated by: Carlos Eduardo Siste Social Programs Officer September 2010 A socio-environmental investment for the Brazilian semiarid region

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History of the Program


First GWW/ICAAE team visits to Brazil for reconnaissance Jequitinhonha River Valley (1999) of the

Realization of community diagnoses and draft of the pilot project (2000) Realization of the first capacitation workshops for the ChildFund-Brazil teams, Local Associations (2000/2001) Formation of the first 3 water watch groups in the communities (2001) First expansion of the project towards new communities of the Middle Jequitinhonha Valley (2003) Second expansion of the projects to the communities of the Upper Jequitinhonha Valley (2005) First replication of the experience to another state - beginning of the project in Cear through the EMBRAPA (Brazilian Agricultural Research Corporation) (2005)
Water for Life Program | Elaborated by: Carlos Eduardo Siste Social Programs Officer September 2010

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Water for Life Program


Background Over 15 years implanting mitigating actions favorable to the best living conditions of the families and children of the rural area with the Brazilian semi-arid conditions; Development and adaptation of innovative social technologies appropriate for the conservation of hydric resources and socio-environmental sustainability; Promotion of popular practices of environmental education addressing the capacitation and development of local leaderships. Social Recognition Program recognized and awarded in 2006 by the federal government among the five best community management of hydric resources ANA Prize/2006

Water for Life Program | Elaborated by: Carlos Eduardo Siste Social Programs Officer

September 2010

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Our Objectives
General To improve the quality of life of the Brazilian semiarid regions families by means of access to quality sustainable water sources. Specifics To develop skills and capacities of volunteers interested in promoting environmental education at local level;

To collaborate towards building and strengthening networks focusing on the participatory water management;
To collaborate towards reducing the public health problems associated to the waterborne diseases; To contribute towards the construction of the food security in the rural area; To positively influence the governments towards the development and implantation of specific public policies.

Water for Life Program | Elaborated by: Carlos Eduardo Siste Social Programs Officer

September 2010

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Central Problem Context


Most families of the Brazilian semi-arid rural areas lack adequate permanent hydric supply systems
Most children caretakers in the rural area have no information whatsoever regarding the quality of the water that is used for drinking or the risks associated to the diseases transmitted by non-potable water The environmental degradation is still ignored and negatively affects the capacity of the families productive systems for supplying their food needs The specific public policies are still limited in their reach and scope

Water for Life Program | Elaborated by: Carlos Eduardo Siste Social Programs Officer

September 2010

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Programmatic Response Methods

Program strategies

To improve the access to drinking water - concrete-plate tanks projects for harvesting, storage and proper use of rainwater for domestic supply and human consumption;

To improve the access to water for food production - small ponds projects for harvesting, storage and appropriate use of rainwater for irrigated production in community vegetable gardens;
To improve the quality of the water for human consumption - water watchers project, with prevention of waterborne diseases by means of the participative water quality monitoring;

Water for Life Program | Elaborated by: Carlos Eduardo Siste Social Programs Officer

September 2010

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Results achieved by the program

Amount invested (R$)

724.680,00 594 11.961.900 594 4150 152.000,00 5 50.600.000 180 800 322.000,00 16 580 1450 7200
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Table 1: Concrete-plate tanks

Number of systems implemented Storage capacity installed (liters) Number of families benefited Number of people benefited Amount invested (R$) Number of systems implemented

Table 2: Ponds

Water supply capacity installed (liters) Number of families benefited Number of people benefited Amount invested (R$)

Table 3: Water Watchers

Number of capacitation workshops Number of Water Watchers formed Number of families benefited Number of people benefited

Water for Life Program | Elaborated by: Carlos Eduardo Siste Social Programs Officer

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Programmatic Response Methods: Concrete-plate tanks


Ensuring quality rainwater for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene over the long dry season periods

Water for Life Program | Elaborated by: Carlos Eduardo Siste Social Programs Officer

September 2010

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Programmatic Response Methods: Concrete-plate tanks


Method principles

In most of the Brazilian semi-arid region it rains enough to primarily meet the families basic needs for domestic supply water for drinking, cooking, and for personal hygiene; The rainwater harvesting and storage system, which is simply called concreteplate tank consists in the appropriate use of the houses roof areas for intercepting the rainwater and conducting it, by means of piping, to a concrete-plate reservoir semi-buried beside the houses;

The concrete-plate tanks have storage capacities varying from 16 to 50 thousand liters; for example, a 20 thousand litter tank may offer a volume of up to 15 liters of water per person per day, for one family of up to 6 people, during a period of up to 6 months of dry season;
The tank is a social technology with proven results that makes possible the families autonomy and direct control over the management of this sustainable water source.
Water for Life Program | Elaborated by: Carlos Eduardo Siste Social Programs Officer September 2010

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Programmatic Response Methods: Ponds


Reserving rainwater for irrigation of crops in the dry season diversified productive
systems for the families food security

Water for Life Program | Elaborated by: Carlos Eduardo Siste Social Programs Officer

September 2010

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Programmatic Response Methods: Ponds


Method principles

Most of the Brazilian semi-arid region receives enough amount of rain that, if adequately handled, it is possible to reserve rainwater for the irrigated cultivation in the dry season; Small groups of families are organized around a strategic geographic area in the community which should be donated for collective use; The strategy is to choose a location in the community which should be adequate for intercepting and storing the runoff water in a pond built with earth which should have capacity for storing enough water to irrigate a community vegetable garden during the dry season of the year; The vegetable gardens may be cultivated in a collective system in which everyone shares the same labor, or in small individual portions where each family cultivates according to their needs and possibilities; the production serves both for domestic supply and selling of their surplus production at the local market;

Water for Life Program | Elaborated by: Carlos Eduardo Siste Social Programs Officer

September 2010

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Programmatic Response Methods: Water Watchers


Environmental education for the participative management, protection and conservation of the water sources producing and promoting information and knowledge on water quality necessary for the improvement of the childrens quality of life

Water for Life Program | Elaborated by: Carlos Eduardo Siste Social Programs Officer

September 2010

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Programmatic Response Methods: Water Watchers


Method principles

It is based on the employment of kits adapted for conditions of field and efforts addressing environmental education which should permit to carry out analysis of 10 water quality indicator parameters; The method is easy to learn the community volunteers participate in a formation cycle by means of 3-day capacitation workshops on the method; The water watchers become capable of producing environmental diagnoses, generating information and knowledge, and promoting them on behalf of the community; Non-requirement of specific technical knowledge does not exclude people, hence making possible to work with different age groups; The results arouse curiosity and are easily understood; The method fulfills its primordial function of educational nature it is an Alert on Risks of Contamination of the Water Sources; The results produced are safe and reliable, as they are calibrated with laboratory rehearsals;
Water for Life Program | Elaborated by: Carlos Eduardo Siste Social Programs Officer September 2010

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Challenges, perspectives and possibilities


To increase from 25 to 300 the number of communities participating in the program actions; To expand the network of partner organizations to other regions; To improve the recording mechanisms and systematization of the good practices developed by the program, and to facilitate their replication; To amplify the financing capacity of the program actions;

To positively influence the governments with successful models and practices towards development of better public policies for those living in the semi-arid region.
Water for Life Program | Elaborated by: Carlos Eduardo Siste Social Programs Officer September 2010