In the framework the water projects’ monitoring system, Fontes Foundation conducted a field trip to check on water and educational projects in Queen Elizabeth National Park in Western Uganda from Sunday 16th to Friday 21st July 2017.
During the field trip, Philip Borchert (Laboremus Uganda Ltd) and Agnes Kampire (Fontes Foundation) held management workshops for the water committees. The aim of these management workshops was to provide a platform to reflect on past issues and to review how they were resolved, focusing on how the committees communicate internally and with different stakeholders.
In the past, two of the main reoccurring problems for water committees have been management and communication issues, which sometimes cause committees to break down. The workshops therefore helped committee members to reflect on:
- How to deal with a difficult person on a committee and help them to perform well.
- How the water committee is responsible/accountable to the community.
- How the water committee can involve the community in the management of the water.
Providing a workshop to help water committee members come together to improve their communication and management is crucial to the water projects’ sustainability. It is important that the committees can work independently from Fontes Foundation so that if necessary the projects can sustain themselves without our help.
To spark discussion, the committee prepared a role play, during which they impressed us with their acting skills. The role play addressed issues like how to detect conflicts in the team, including conflict resolution, money management and how to communicate better in a team. The members of the different committees were very engaged, and we were delighted to see how the different members reflected upon and discussed best-practices for the management of water systems.