SAQs

Now that you have completed this study session, you can assess how well you have achieved its Learning Outcomes by answering these questions.

Which of the following statements are false? In each case explain why it is incorrect.

  1. Sustainability ensures that activities result in lasting benefit to communities and their environment.
  2. Financial sustainability is achieved when expenditure on a project is greater than revenue.
  3. Sustainability is about benefits in one place at one particular time.
  4. Tariffs for water supply should be set at a level that will maximise the profits of the service provider.
  5. Consideration of sustainability should be included in all stages of a project cycle.

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2 is false. Expenditure must be less than revenue to be financially sustainable.

3 is false. Sustainability should ensure that benefits are widespread and long lasting.

4 is false. Tariffs should be set to cover costs rather than maximise profits and they should not be so high that people cannot afford to pay for water.

The key stages of a project cycle are the planning stage, construction stage and post-construction stage. To which stage do the following factors contribute?

  1. Site selection.
  2. Construction management.
  3. Technology choice.
  4. Good governance and social accountability.
  5. Participatory planning.
  6. Operation and maintenance capacity.

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Options (1), (3) and (5) all contribute to the initial planning stage.

Option (2) contributes to the construction stage.

Options (4) and (6) contribute to the post-construction stage.

Consider the following two situations faced by two mothers, Qwara and Wagaye. In each case, explain how lack of access to facilities will influence her behaviour in safe hygiene and sanitation practices.

  1. Qwara is aware that contaminated water can be treated to make it safe to drink but she can’t find the treatment chemicals in her nearby shop.
  2. Wagaye knows that she should encourage her family to wash their hands with soap after using the latrine but her compound does not have a latrine and the nearby communal latrine does not have handwashing facilities.

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  1. Qwara knows the benefits of treating water at point of use and could treat water at home if she could find any treatment chemicals to buy. But although she knows she could adopt this practice to ensure that the water her family are drinking is safe, she is unable to do so because she does not have access to the necessary treatment. This lack of access is negatively influencing Qwara’s practice, despite her good intentions.
  2. Wagaye would like to encourage her family to wash their hands with soap after using the latrine because she know this will help prevent her children from getting diarrhoeal diseases. But although she is aware of the dangers, there are no handwashing facilities near the latrine that her children use. This lack of an adequate facility is preventing Wagaye’s children from adopting safe and hygienic practices, despite her encouragement to do so. It is having a negative influence.

How could good governance and strong social accountability improve Wagaye’s situation, as outlined in SAQ 13.3?

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  • Good governance: Leaders and decision makers might be able to use their influence to improve the latrine facility that Wagaye uses and to ensure that handwashing facilities are built nearby. This will only be feasible with good governance, i.e. governance systems that allow appropriate decisions to be made and implemented.
  • Strong social accountability: The decisions made will depend on the level of accountability among leaders and decision makers. Wagaye’s family have no latrine in their own compound, so have to use the communal latrine. Without handwashing facilities, they are vulnerable to disease. With strong social accountability, sound decisions that serve the rights and needs of the population are more likely to be made. This would result in equitable services to all sectors of the community, including those who are vulnerable. So with strong social accountability, handwashing facilities are more likely to be installed at the latrine used by Wagaye and her family.

Last modified: Monday, 3 October 2016, 5:38 AM