The role of community in achieving proper water and sanitation standards in times of disaster
It is important to note that whenever a natural or manmade disaster hits a particular region, the entire community is put at risk since it is them who suffer the direct results of the disaster. These negative outcomes of the disaster could be social, economic and even psychological. It is therefore necessary to properly educate the entire community on how they can cope with water shortage and sanitation problems that are as a result of either flooding or hurricanes. The various community drinking water treatment plants should have elaborate emergency plans that are to be put in action should there be a disruption of the service. It is integral that the community water treatment facilities comply with the stringent requirements that are laid down by both the federal and state regulations.
After the emergency for example, it is important that the community follows the EPAs emergency response requirements such as:
Lining up and scheduling of emergency operations and the community cleanup crews
There should be a direct and continuous contact with both the state and federal departments that are concerned with emergencies such as Emergency Management Agency and their contact telephone numbers should be put at the ready to report any incidents
The community must also be equipped with the appropriate telephone contacts for requesting emergency water supply should there be a need.
The community should contact the public health officials or the primary agency for any forms of notifications
The community members must be adequately prepared to put into action all the water conservation strategies and techniques at their disposal
The community must use the approved and hygienic methods of waste disposal in order to avoid spreading of diseases.
The best approach in the mitigation of water and sanitation demands at the times of flood s seem to bring out the best results whenever there is a certain form of involvement of the entire community in designing, constructing, operating and maintaining of the various facilities as outlined in The Sphere Project (2004).
Various other reports on the same subjects have indicated that there is a need for an approach which is bottom-up in its design and execution. Wisner and Adams (2002) did suggest that it is important to implement agencies in the construction of new latrines and these agencies should closely work with the various user families in the design and construction of the facilities in order to ensure that the methods employed are the appropriate ones.
Associated Contents,(2010) The Importance of Water to Health and to Human Life
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