Wikiwater: universal web guide to facilitate water access for all
Please find below a message from Secours Catholique/Caritas, co-founder of Wikiwater.
On the occasion of World Water Day in March and the International Year of Water Cooperation declared by the UN, Secours Catholique and Fondation Caritas France would like to tell you about the international release of an innovative, high-performance site:
The site (www.wikiwater.fr) is a universal web guide intended to advertise and share the technical, financial, educational and management tools that are the least expensive and best adapted for facilitating access to water and sanitation for all, in particular for the poorest and most vulnerable people, in rural areas, urban and suburban zones and shantytowns in emerging countries.
The purpose of the tool is specifically to help the poorest, who are not at all lacking ideas but means and knowledge, to help themselves. It provides technical information that is often little known or difficult to find, along with very practical advice.
Selected by the International Committee of the 6th World Water Forum as one of the 60 most interesting and innovative proposals for action or solutions among 1500 entries, WIKIWATER has since been added to and translated into English and it will soon be translated into Spanish.
As of mid-April, more than 136 000 people from 45 different countries had consulted the site. (current average of 660/day).
The tool was brought on line and translated through the support of Fondation Caritas France, the ONEMA (Office national de l’eau et des milieux aquatiques ,French National office for water and wetlands) and the Agence du bassin Adour-Garonne. It was created entirely with volunteer work with the help of experts from Secours Catholique and elsewhere, Caritas’ African partners and an international team of 16 engineering students in the Ecole Centrale and the university in Paris.
It took 3 years and more than 4,000 hours of work and research to analyse and summarise the most interesting and informative existing documents in order allow anyone interested in any of the 112 subjects covered to easily understand it, learn more about it and especially develop plans with his team to launch or better a development project and/or share the information with other local people and associations.
Wikiwater’s 112 illustrated electronic files are organised into 5 fields (access to water, sanitation techniques, rate schemes and financing, health and hygiene education and governance and management methods for water services) and deal with such varied issues as:
“How to capture spring water, dig a well or drill to the water table” “How to restore or disinfect a well” “How to find water” “How to capture rainwater” “What type of water pump to choose” “What type of latrine to build” “How to construct a gravity-powered water reservoir” “How to treat water” “How to easily purify water at home” “Effective irrigation” “How to create and manage a market garden” “Ecological methods for treating wastewater?” “How to take action in a shantytown”, “What types of aid and social rate scales to choose” “Microcredit?” and even “Good ways to spread health and hygiene education”.
Because Wikiwater is designed as a wiki, every user can propose improvements or suggest additional information, making it a shared, living tool that is regularly updated.
You’ll find a brief description, in French and English, of Wikiwater in the memo attached to this note. To find out more about it and discover how easy it is to use and the numerous possibilities that it provides, why not take a moment to visit the site and see for yourself?
Lastly, if you like the idea and the contents of the site, you can help us get the word out about it, for example by sharing information about it on your website, in your publications or newsletters, talking about it with your network and various partners (volunteers, expats, technical operations employees, field operators and local associations) in concerned countries or regions by forwarding this note and/or attached document.
Many thanks in advance for anything that you can do as well as for any feedback, observations or proposals for partnerships.
Project head for the International Action and Advocacy Department
Secours Catholique – Caritas France
106 rue du bac 75007 Paris FRANCE
Tel. +33 6 09 47 47 84