Lesson 6: Act locally – learning from change
A sustainable water supply is a common need wherever we live.
The positive actions taken by people far away can help us, as citizens, to shape our own thoughts and actions in the school locality.
What to do:
- Inevitably, judgements about what might constitute positive action will be made locally. What follows are some ideas which reflect development practice overseas but which are no less relevant in Britain.
- Emphasise our commonality through an exercise such as Commonality first.
- Use the Whose camera? activity to switch the focus to ‘What’s happening here?' or at least ‘What could be done here?’. Key questions to work through might include:
What can be done?
Raising awareness about ‘water for all’ issues such as conservation, avoiding pollution and protecting health, can be enhanced by ‘maps and photos’ activities.
Ideas for enhancing supply and its use may stem from the table below.
How do we decide?
Participative techniques are outlined in ‘Speaking and listening: participation and dialogue’
What support or advice might we need?
What's the plan?
- Whatever you decide to do, keep an archive on CD or in a big book. Sustainable change needs to be archived and passed on to younger ones coming through for guidance and inspiration. Further, it can help with the creation of ‘sustainability indicators’ about water conservation (for example, garden yields, habitat surveys, purity of natural water sources, people’s feelings about their role in local change).
Ideas for positive action stemming from the case studies
||After the dam?
Hitting the target!
|Invent a targeted watering machine.
Can a school garden plot be irrigated solely by rainwater?
||Spoilt water? Freshen up your source!
||Design a ceramic campaign plaque – use local materials.
Plan tree-planting, habitat replenishment, clean up a local water source, start a gardening club.
||Bang, bang, shoot, shoot?
Tie a knot in it!
|Design a miniature peace monument/take
a familiar object and alter it slightly to make a point (see Cambodia
Paint/photograph movement and colour.
Devise creative movement with music around a theme or story concerning conflict resolution.
||No irrigation? How to make your own mini-dam!
||Find contour lines (water-filled clear tubing attached to two rods acts as a measure of two points at the same height).
Try growing things on bunded and non-bunded slopes.
Where do you predict the water table is nearest the surface?
Does it rise after rainfall?
In what ways could you try to get it to rise?
Keep it clean!
|Water outside contains micro-organisms
– take a look under a microscope.
How can local water be cleaned up/purified?
Bottled spring water should always be safe. Are there possible disadvantages?
How does water move by gravity? How is the method used in many houses?
Devise and present messages in a chosen medium for younger ones on water conservation or for washing hands before handling food.
||Trade and tourism left you broke?
Try sowing beans!
|Play ‘sowing and harvesting.
Can we grow produce and sell some of it at a fair price to help finance a project?
Take two bars of chocolate, one fair-traded. Compile questions to do with water and development around each one.
What examples of fair-traded goods are available in shops and supermarkets? What range of things are they? Where are they from?
||Dry as a bone?
Mother Earth knows better!
|How could you gather and store rainwater?
Is sand any help in filtering water to clean it?
Where is the source of your water?
How is it transported to you?
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