Community engagement is critical for program sustainability. It’s important that the community be involved in every aspect of the project, from program area mapping, baseline surveys, well siting, and the formation of water user committees (WaSH).
The first point of engagement is government. Mariatu’s Hope works closely with all line ministries, local district council, Paramount Chief, and section chiefs. The first of many meetings are than held with stakeholders and community members to explain the program in detail and define Mariatu’s Hope program community requirements. Every house is to have a useable toilet and household members are required to attend Mariatu’s Hope 3-5 day health, hygiene, and sanitation training. The community is required to elect a 9-person gender balance water user committee.
This committee will oversee the proper use and maintenance of the waterpoint including the hygienic condition of the surrounding area. The community is required to participate in Mariatu’s Hope cost recovery program for future waterpoint repairs if needed. This program ensures the waterpoint will be repaired correctly in timely manner by Mariatu’s Hope trained well technicians. This also helps achieve Mariatu’s Hope goal of year-round waterpoint functionality.