Trip to Tonga

This space was reserved for a diatribe. But why bother?  I will put in the executive summary of my mission report. 
It does not really cover the arrogant and insulting manner in which the Tongans behaved, but it summarises the state of development assistance in the Pacific. 

Executive Summary

 

The mission
was a partial success.  There appear to
be a number of issues that the DWSP Steering Committee was concerned about,
that were outside the scope of the mission. These coloured the response to the
mission as planned. Requested information that would have been helpful was not
available, and people whose information could be important to the outcome were
also not available.

 

A need for
better communication and sharing of information was identified. 

 

My attempts
to meet with village representatives were frustrated, and it was difficult to
obtain data of sampling and chlorination and this partly affected the intended
outcome of the mission. 

 

Sustainability
and community understanding, participation and commitment could not be properly
gauged due to lack of dialogue with relevant people, however my observations
lead me to infer that the communities do not have a strong understanding or
commitment to the DWSP concept and rely entirely on outside assistance.  I also gained a strong sense that our
in-country partners are unwilling to undertake any activity that is not donor
funded.

 

At short
notice I prepared and delivered presentations on standard operational
procedures and preparation of sustainability plans, which were well received.  I hope these prove of benefit and can be
applied for use.  In particular I hope
they will be used in a forthcoming workshop to be held with village DWSP
committees. 

 

Nonetheless
a number of practical matters were identified and appropriate recommendations
made.  It is my opinion that full
chlorination should be recommended for use in the villages, because there can
be no confidence that other controls would be consistently effective.  The major concern therefore is that
appropriate technology and a sustainable operation be delivered. 

It is essential for water suppliers and managers to accept that a
drinking water safety plan is not merely a methodology for supporting
infrastructure or capital improvements only. The main aim of a drinking water
safety plan is to ensure that water supplied to the consumers is consistently
safe to drink and the plan needs to manage potential risks from the catchment
to consumer. It is with this attitude the water supplier or manager must engage
with all important stakeholders who play a part in the safety of water,
including the community itself, which can participate and contribute in many
ways to ensuring a safe and consistent supply.


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About Uisce úr

Though I am old with wandering Through hollow lands and hilly lands, I will find out where she has gone, And kiss her lips and take her hands; And walk among long dappled grass, And pluck till time and times are done, The silver apples of the moon, The golden apples of the sun.
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