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close this bookSpecial Public Works Programmes - SPWP - Community Water Supply - A Community Participation Training Element for SPWP User Beneficiaries (ILO - UNDP, 1987, 100 p.)
close this folderSESSION 1: What an Improved Water System Can Mean to Your Community
View the documentGUIDELINES
View the documentREADING SECTION




At the end of this learning/discussion session, the participants should be able to:

1. Identify and discuss time-saving benefits that may result from the new water supply system.

2. Identify and discuss social benefits that may result from the new water supply system.

3. Identify and discuss any economic benefits that may result from the new water supply system.

4. Identify and discuss potential health benefits that may result from proper use of the new water supply system.


one to two hours


chalkboard and chalk, or flipchart and pen


1. INTRODUCTION: The participants’ section provides a short case story which can serve as an introduction to the discussion that you will lead. If the participants are not comfortable with reading, you may:

1. read or tell the story to them in their own language;
2. make up a similar story that reflects the actual situation in their community.

2. DISCUSSION OPPORTUNITY: It is during the discussion section that most learning will take place.


· Your job is not to tell people the answers.

· Your job is to present some facts and guide the discussion so that valid conclusions will be made.

· Your job is to listen.

· Your job is to encourage everyone to participate.

The purpose of the questions is to make people THINK about water and health and sanitation. There will not always be RIGHT or WRONG answers to the discussion questions.

People like their ideas to be acknowledged. It is a good idea to quickly and briefly list all their ideas on the chalkboard or flipchart. This is particularly helpful for questions such as: “How is the saved time spent in your village?” As people suggest answers, list them.

Later, use the list for further discussion.

3. DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: During the discussion section, many opinions may be given. The suggested answers that follow in this discussion leader’s guide are typical answers which may or may not be true for this community. These suggested answers are only EXAMPLES of what you might expect. You may suggest some of these answers, if necessary, in order to add more ideas to the discussion.


Questions 1 and 2: Answers will depend on the number of people in an average family and the amount of water they generally use each day.

Question 3: Possible answers might be: “Time is spent in family activities; in leisure and relaxing; in studying; in gardening; in sewing; in more agricultural work; etc.”

Question 4: Possible answers might include: “The men benefit from their wives’ extra time spent on agriculture”: or “Men benefit from improved health conditions.”

Question 5: Possible answers might include: “More plentiful water makes it easier to make or sell food and drink, e.g. home-made beer”; or “More plentiful water may provide opportunities for small industries to develop.”

Question 6: In addition to answers similar to those in number 5 above, other answers might include: “Water will make our gardens more productive so we will have more vegetables to sell in the market”; or “Water will bring better health so we will spend less money on medecine”; “Water may help us plant trees”; “Water may help us make bricks to use ourselves or to sell for extra money”; or “Water may help us to keep our livestock healthy”.

Question 7: Possible answers might include: “People may have less diarrhoea; Babies will have less gastro-enteritis; There will be fewer skin and eye infections, etc.”

Question 8: Possible answers might include: “If people are healthier, they have more energy and can do more work; Children grow stronger; Children will go to school more often; Less money will be spent on medicine; etc.”

5. READING ASSIGNMENT: If this group does study assignments before each learning/discussion session, ask them to read the material in Session 2 before the next group meeting.