Day 3 of the Fellowship was a very full day for the teams. The first half of the day was spent visiting existing CWS villages. Each team visited a different CWS village. Half of each team monitored sales at the treatment center while the other half did household water storage monitoring with their translator. Both team halves took water samples along the way.
In Cheko, Team 3 encountered an example of the difficulties that can arise in development work. For the first time, we found in Cheko that households didn’t have clean water in their homes and some had dirty water in their containers. The center wasn’t running and it had obviously not been for at least a week. The CWS staff immediately looked into this and discovered that the women running the center had left the village (for various reasons) without leaving properly trained women behind to keep the center running. Shak met with the chief and elders to solve the problem and held an emergency community meeting to reiterate the significance of clean drinking water and the need to use household containers properly. The next day, he spent going household to household to repeat this message and the treatment center was cleaned and new women were selected to be trained to run the center. Team 3 was disappointed to not see the Cheko center up and running that day but appreciated the realistic experience they were getting. Personally, though we realize that we are here to monitor and problem solve, it’s never enjoyable to see such rare problems. Teams 1, 2, and 4 all visited villages with busily running centers and every household visit showed properly stored clean drinking water.
The second half of the day, the teams rotated through the CWS office, where they spent an hour and a half reviewing with me in detail the step by step CWS implementation process, focusing especially on the very important initial meeting with the chief and elders. Following this, each team moved over to the lab to learn how to properly conduct water tests and performed tests on the samples they had taken that morning. They were also taught to clean the lab equipment; we had to buy distilled water for the process, to ensure that all the testing equipment was clean and safe to use.