Gandhinagar, 5 May 2008: Water and Sanitation Management Organisation, Gujarat, popularly known as WASMO, was awarded by the Prime Minister of India for Excellence in Public Administration for the year 2006-07.
The award was given for implementing the State’s initiative of ‘Innovative Participatory Drinking Water Delivery Approach in Rural Areas of Gujarat - WASMO’s Experiment for Efficient Local Self-Governance’.
The Prime Minister presented the award to Dr Jaipal Singh, CEO, WASMO on the 3rd Civil Service Day, an occasion for the civil servants to rededicate themselves to the cause of the citizens and renew their commitment to public service and excellence in work.
The Prime Minister’s award to WASMO is a matter of pride for UNICEF as well, as we have been closely associated with WASMO in promoting community based water supply and water quality monitoring programme by equipping WATSAN committees with Office-in-a-Bag and field test kits, developing appropriate training tools for building capacity of partners on techniques of rainwater harvesting, improving sustainability of water sources, equitable water distribution and effective O&M of village schemes.
WASMO received the award for facilitation of decentralized rural drinking water supply by following appropriate social processes and setting up systems and procedures for implementation and management of the in-village water supply systems by the community.
All the works are carried out by the village level Pani Samitis (water committees of the Gram Panchyat), with formal consensus of the Gram Sabha.
The institutional arrangements and the innovations in management and implementation practices have contributed to creation of a strong social capital, where the communities are able to undertake their responsibilities in a democratic, equitable and transparent manner, in the true spirit of decentralized governance.
UNICEF has also collaborated with WASMO in setting up water quality monitoring and surveillance systems by imparting training to their staff and partners in Multi District Assessment of Water Safety (M-DAWS).
This is helping the agency to develop appropriate response plans for combating the threat of faecal contamination of water.