- 23 Mar
- Category: News
GWOPA, in partnership with Cap-Net and IWA, initiated a training program on WSP that started in 2009 with a training workshop for 10 Anglophone African utilities. The latest training event, within this program, was organized last January in Beirut, Lebanon, for Arab water operators.
The five-day training, which was given in Arabic, took place on 9-13 January 2012, was coordinated by Dr. Laila Laraki and Dr. Mahmoud Hafsi from ONEP-IEA (Morocco), and Mr. Hani Tarazi from ENGICON (Jordan). The workshop was hosted and co-organized by UNESCWA-BGR program, in coordination with ACWUA and WHO-CEHA. The training kit, including an Arabic translation of the WHO-IWA WSP manual, as well as a workbook and a series of presentations developed cooperatively by ONEP-IEA and GWOPA, is now available online on the Pipeline of GWOPA website.
Water suppliers have a duty to care for their clients or consumers of the water they supply. A Water Safety Plan (WSP) is the most effective way of ensuring that a water supply is safe for human consumption, and that it meets health-based standards and other regulatory requirements. The primary objectives of a water safety plan in protecting human health and ensuring good water supply practice are the minimization of contamination of source waters, the reduction or removal of contamination through appropriate treatment processes, and the prevention of contamination in the distribution.
33 participants from Lebanon, Yemen, Palestine, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan attended the training workshop. Its purpose was to enable the participants to return to their utility and lead the process of developing and applying a WSP in their home institution. By the end of the course, participants were able to identify the scope and requirements of a water safety plan, understand how to set up a plan, and know how to manage a team to develop a WSP which is feasible to implement within the constraints and specificities of the utility. The participants also learned how a WSP can safeguard customers, optimize operations, and positively impact the environment.
The 3rd day of the workshop program was devoted to a field visit to the water infrastructure around the Jeita Spring, the main source of water for Beirut (Dbaye Treatment station, Jeita Spring, and Grotto), as well as to the sources of water and main pollution risks in the upper Jeita catchment. This trip allowed the participants to know more about Beirut water supply system, to discuss - on site - some of the concepts already covered by the training course, and to gain more insights into the needs and challenges for water protection at the source as an integral part of the overall WSP process.
Training follow up will be supported by GWOPA in collaboration with the trainers from ONEP-IEA. A technical discussion forum will be held through the dedicated group created on the Pipelinefor the participants, where utilities will be invited to report on their progress in WSP development and seek support from the trainers. Individual follow-up visits by the trainers, to participants utilities that show progress and commitment, will be supported also by GWOPA.