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Bulgaria: Water safety plans

Environmental education for teachers as multipliers for children and young people at the example of rural communities in Bulgaria

22.09.2011


Countries: Bulgaria
Donors: Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt
Partners: EfE, Eco World
Issues: Water & Sanitation
Duration: 08/2011 - 11/2012

The aim of the project was to raise awareness for environmental protection - to encourage the population through the creation of drinking water safety plans for local water supply systems with the inclusion of students, youths, teachers, local people and authorities - particularly in the field of water quality.

In Bulgaria, more than three Million people have no access to safe sanitation. Sanitation is especially scarce in the rural areas with pit latrines as the common sight. Often toilets are not emptied for a long time and the waste water is only thrown onto the streets and courtyards. Nitrogen and microorganisms contaminate the ground-water, polluting the environment. Safety-plans for sources of drinking water are usually ignored. The general population is often unaware of the interconnections of the quality of the water, sanitation, hygiene, fertilising and health.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has developed the innovative tool of Water Safety Plans, WSP to ensure the quality of water-systems, including small wells and small-scale local centralised water-supply systems. This allows to minimise the health risks. In those WSPs the civil society is of crucial importance, besides the authorities and the local suppliers.

The project is in line with the EU-directive which aims at educating and training young people on (waste) water cycle, protection of water resources and sustainable water usage. The training is supposed to be structured and practical.

Activities:
  • Preparing WSP materials, such as reworking and adjusting the WSP teaching materials for teachers and pupils; Translation of the documents into Bulgarian.
  • Training of teachers about realizing the project and development of WSP together with pupils, young people, and the local population.
  • Implementation of the WSP modules in cooperation with local partners. Identification of drinking water problems with the participating schools.
  • Publicity work, awareness raising and planning of actions to increase the water quality and minimise the risks.
  • Presentation of results in seminars, media and local fairs.

See the German website for a more extensive report on this project.


Contact: Friedemann Klimek friedemann.klimek@wecf.eu


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