The PHE units that ensure quality water for good rural health
KOHIMA, MAY 31: The Public Health Engineering department conducted a workshop for members of the WATSAN committee and Water Quality Monitoring and Surveillance (WQM&S) for Kohima district at Ura Academy Hall in Kohima town on Tuesday.
The executive engineer of Kohima rural division, Jakpou Khiamniungan, said in his keynote address that the purpose of the training was to create ‘awareness’ about the duties and responsibilities of WATSAN committees. As members of the committee, every worker should have proper knowledge concerning their responsibilities, before any schemes were undertaken, he said. The reason is, he said, is that the committees’ members are have been tasked with mobilizing and spreading knowledge among the village communities.
Emphasizing on the importance of water quality, Khiamniungan also advised the participants to test water timely, which he said would help in preventing ‘many kinds of diseases and sickness.’ He urged the members to spread knowledge to the communities about the benefits of clean and hygienic environments in their respective villages and areas.Speaking about the responsibilities of WATSAN committees was Ruokuovituo Vizo, SDO of Kohima, rural division. He said that the members of said committees should be aware of the various water sources and water quality-assessment resources in their respective area. There is a need to maintain traditional wells, and preserve forests near water catchment areas by planting more trees, he said.
The members were advised to keep records of the schemes and works they had undertaken, and also to present their activities before annual village council meetings.
Stressing on the importance of using water economically, Vizo said that ‘women members should be included in the committee, as women have better understanding on this issue.’ He informed the gathering about the water fee as well, as directed by the Centre. A team from the central government will be arriving coming for inspection, he said. Therefore, members are to keep ‘proper and clean records,’ he said.
Likewise, they are to keep proper records and maintain correspondences, besides maintaining records of utilized funds.
Also, speaking about the importance of WQM&S, consultant Thepfulie said good quality water ought to be ‘clean, clear, tasteless, odorless and free from disease carrier germs and chemicals.’ 4.5 million children die of diarrhea globally, he said. Water testing should be undertaken twice a year as made mandatory for the WATSAN committee members to undertake for the welfare of village communities.
Water testing kits were distributed during the program; demonstration was shown by Dziesetsinuo Kiso, a chemist. The members were instructed not to discard or misuse the kits but ‘use it for the good of the village as a whole.’