Notes on completion of East Africa Capacity Building and Sustainability Training
by Mark Hreljac, Project Manager
In all of the work that Ryan’s Well engages in, it is imperative the projects we support are sustainable. Our partners on the ground strive to get better in the work they do with each and every project.
It is important that the organizations Ryan’s Well works with are up to date with the changes that are continually taking place in the world of water and sanitation. Shared best practices and learning in a face to face setting in the field helps with the practical realities of the work we are doing. Common challenges can be discussed with a common goal of improving the work that we are doing.
Our partners, Divine Waters, RWIDF and POWER came together for three days in late May in Northern Uganda. In total, 14 water and sanitation projects were visited. Ideas were shared regarding challenges that can occur in the field and the possible solutions in the resolution of what is presented. WASH delivery was discussed throughout the two days, and the different ways that training can be delivered. The current project phase of work was talked about, as well as the future target areas that need to be focused on in our project delivery in the next few years.
As the project manager for Ryan’s Well, I cannot express enough how proud I am to be connected to such a wonderful group of partners. We have worked with each partner for many years. The work that is being done in the field gets better and better each and every year. Each partner lives in the area where they work, their families living side by side with the beneficiaries of the work they are doing. SUSTAINABILITY, ACCOUNTABILITY, INTEGRITY………all things that make it so easy for me to work with such a committed group.
I was able to bring a long time donor of Ryan’s Well with me on my latest monitoring trip to Northern Uganda. She was in attendance for the entire three days, visiting each site and attending the meetings, and was able to have open discussion with our partner members. Transparency, has always been front and center in the work we do. The feedback I received was a resounding YES to future training sessions, improving and building capacity within our partners, makes Ryan’s Well stronger and makes our donor funds go further.
Delivering access to clean, potable water and sanitation facilities to as many people as possible has to be done thoughtfully and in a timely fashion. Our partners work hard to implement projects on the ground that are meaningful and long lasting. To that end, Ryan’s Well is committed to help build the capacity with every partner we work with.
Our partners in East Africa – Divine Waters Uganda, RWIDF and POWER– came together for a two-day monitoring trip in northern Uganda. It’s a great opportunity to share best practices and to discuss and see for themselves what works best, both in the field and in the classroom.
To be truly sustainable, projects must be managed by the local community. This is why our partners work closely with members of the communities to set up committees made up of people living in the area. It’s also why bank accounts are opened by the communities and funds are raised; when maintenance and repairs are needed, money is available to do what’s required in a timely manner. Local community involvement is imperative to the success of every project, taking ownership of the infrastructure and ongoing management.
WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) training is critical for success in improving the health of communities in which we work. For example, there is not much use putting clean water in a contaminated container! Our partners spend a lot of time teaching how to prevent water-related diseases, adopting hygiene behaviours and healthy habits.
The East Africa Capacity Building and Sustainability Training project encompassed hands-on learning in the field, coming together as a team, learning and determining how we can continually improve what we do together.