10 months ago


Water treatment

Traditionally, in the

Traditionally, in the WS&S of Colombia, human resource development was limited to the implementation of a wide variety of training courses not always related to the main problems found in the systems in a particular region. Training alone does not seem to provide adequate tools or solutions to some of the main questions that resulted from the evaluation of the International Water and Sanitation Decade. How to involve the different “ actors” in the sector in capacity building? How to ensure that users are not just spectators? How to involve them in decision making? How to facilitate learning? (Garcia et al, 1997). During the process of transferring MSF alternatives to local level institutions and communitybased organisations, the strategy gradually changed from rather “technical demonstration projects” to capacity building through “ joint learning projects” . In these later projects Cinara staff and its national or international advisors, acted more as facilitators, stimulating participants to learn from experience and to develop their own autonomous learning. A learning project should generate conditions in which members of institutions and communities can interact more horizontally, whilst working in activities relevant to the specific conditions of the projects (Garcia et al, 1997; Galvis et al, 1999). Looking for this learning environment, several participatory workshops were implemented including caretakers of WS systems, members of local institutions or community based organisations managing the systems, professional staff members of departmental or national level organisations related to the WS&S sector. Some of these workshops included parallel activities for actors with different roles in the sectors but having also activities to stimulate interaction and learning environments between different type of “ actors” . Photos 4.8 through 4.13 illustrate some of these activities. They are presented just as a background of the context in which MSF systems were being monitored in this study and introduced at local level. 4.4 Monitoring Full Scale Multistage Filtration Plants 4.4.1 Materials and methods Study area The research activities on full-scale plants were developed in the Cauca Valley department of Colombia. Its location and description is included section 3.1.1. Meanwhile close to 90% of community settlements in the flat area of the valley uses pumped groundwater to feed their WS systems, most of the settlements in the hillsides of the valley use rivers or streams to feed by gravity their WS facilities (CVC, 1998). Nine MSF treatment plants were monitored during the present study. Six are located in the suburban area of Cali and three in the coffee region at the northern part of the Cauca Valley Department (see figure 4.3). All MSF plants are fed by gravity with water from small rivers of streams draining relatively small watershed areas, before discharging into the Cauca River, the main natural watercourse in the valley. 143

Photo 4.8. Participatory workshop with community members taking place in Mondomo, Cauca, Colombia. A creative environment helps participants to share experiences and points of view about the WS system. Photo 4.9 Interacting activities between members of community based organisations and local institutions, caretakers of MSF systems and staff members of Cinara. Coffee region, Cauca Valley Department, Colombia. 144